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M

Machu Picchu An Inca city, built between 1460-1470AD at an altitude of 8,000 feet, probably as a royal estate and religious retreat. Most of the buildings are constructed of granite blocks without mortar, each block fitting perfectly with its neighbours, or are built in to the rock. The ruins, spectacularly sited in the mountains of present-day Peru, were discovered in 1911 by the historian, explorer and politician Hiram Bingham (1875-1956). 'In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it,' Bingham wrote. 'Not only has it great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two miles overhead, gigantic precipices of many-colored granite rising sheer for thousands of feet above the foaming, glistening, roaring rapids; it has also, in striking contrast, orchids and tree ferns, the delectable beauty of luxurious vegetation, and the mysterious witchery of the jungle.'
mackem A person from Sunderland.
mag lev A system of transport that uses magnetic levitation. Magnet fields hold the train slightly above the guideway, reducing the friction and allowing high speeds.
mall-walking Walking in a mall as a form of exercise. The term dates from the USA in the early 1980s.
mallercise Exercise (generally walking) taken in a mall.
Marsh, George Perkins (1801-1882) Conservationist, diplomat and linguist. After practicing as a lawyer, Marsh served in the US House of Representatives, resigning in 1849 to become as ambassador to Turkey. He was the first American ambassador to Italy from 1861 until his death. He published Man and Nature: physical geography as modified by human action in 1864, revising it as The Earth as Modified by Human Action in 1874. Marsh's work, warning of the potentially disastrous impact of mankind's impact on the natural world, was rediscovered in the 1930s and has been called 'the fountainhead of the conservation movement'. See also sustainable.
martini development Forms of development that could be built 'anytime, anyplace, anywhere', in the words of the advertisement for the drink. See also cocktail party syndrome.
meff (Liverpool) A vagrant or tramp.
Megalopolitan Building The fleet street headquarters of the Daily Beast newspaper (owned by Lord Copper, a character inspired by the newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook) in Evelyn Waugh's 1938 satirical novel Scoop.
Melbourne

See john batman and batmania.

messuagium (also messuage) A medieval term for a plot of land supporting a dwelling and attached buildings, often a house and garden (Brown, 1999).
metapolisation The process by which urban centres, villages and recreational landscapes are knitted together into an urban network, rather than an urban centre growing into a metropolis (Nielsen, Albertsen and Hemmersam, 2004).
metrotherapy A stress-management therapy designed to be listened on CD by commuters on their way to and from work. The CD was published in 2005 (Quinion, 2005).
mixed business (Australia) A corner shop, convenience store or delicatessen.
mouseholder A young person who buys a house in an area of relatively cheap housing - even though it may not be where they want to live - in order to get a foot on the property ladder. The modification of householder is inspired by the idea of people as city mice and country mice. The term was recorded in 2004.
Mr Blobby See blobby, mr.
mudmap (Australia) A rough sketch (such as might be drawn with a stick in the mud).
mugger (Geordie) A tinker.
munitions village A state-subsidised housing estate built in the period 1915-19 period in support of armament factory development or enlargement. Guided by raymond unwin at the new Ministry of Munitions, these estates trailed most of the principles recommended by the tudor-walters Report to the UK government. The well hall estate is an example.
murenger An official responsible for maintaining the walls of a town or city.

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In architecture, form is a noun; in industry, form is a verb.
Buckminster Fuller

   
illustration from the Dictionary of Urbanism