Wien Museum model of Vienna in about 1900 from my flickr photos.
Here's a great post from the Web Urbanist on 22 miniature cities ... different physical and virtual models of cities (I learned about it from Planetizen). I especially loved the film by Sam O'Hara "The Sandpit" at the end of the article.
Here are some more examples of physical models for the list:
- San Francisco - when I studied at the UC Berkeley City and Regional Planning Department Professor Bosselmann had a laboratory with a miniature San Francisco; it was used to model how new buildings fit into the visual environment;
- San Francisco - there is an old model of the city that used to be in the Powell Street BART station ... but I have not seen it in a while.
- Zürich - the planning department has a large model of Zürich today (German) cut into sections mounted on wheels so you can move the sections (they are on tracks) and then walk through a cross section to find yourself in the middle of any neighborhood;
- Zürich - the Zurich city archives museum has a nice model of Zürich around the year 1800, the museum is a delightful place for history buffs and is located on a wonderful square in the old city (try the Neumarkt Restaurant across the street for a nice lunch or dinner).
- Munich - the Munich city museum has a model of the city in 1570 and a nice brochure (available in English) about city development (Munich as Planned). The model (shown in photo) is a copy of another model that is in the Bavarian National Museum. The Munich city museum is well worth a visit (have lunch at the Vitualmarkt - one of the greatest urban spaces in the world! - in good weather, try Der Pschorr at night and if the weather is bad).
- Vienna - the Wien Museum (the city history museum) has two models at about the same scale (one on the second floor and one on the third) showing the city in about 1800 and in about 1900 (overview shown above and detail shown at the right). The Wien Museum is well worth a visit, here's a link to my Wien Museum flickr photos set.