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PLANNING HISTORY: PART II 1900-1930s: persistent and expanded urban problems and a diversity of (inadequate?) responses Industrial hyper-development presented new challenges eliciting a diversity of complex responses.

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planning history part ii

1900-1930s: persistent and expanded urban problems and a diversity of (inadequate?) responses

  • Industrial hyper-development presented new challenges eliciting a diversity of complex responses.
  • Economic depression (1929-39) stimulated “New Deal” action ranging from environmental planning, to urban and industrial/labor as well as social reform.
the planning responses
The Planning Responses

Reflected differing perspectives/philosophies

and differing outcomes.

Pragmatists (moles)Utopians (Skylarks)

the solutions realistic or utopian
The solutions: realistic or utopian?
  • City Efficient – Regulate and Redevelop
  • New Communities – Reject,Recreate, and


city efficient pragmatic professionals
City Efficient: Pragmatic professionals

Who were they -

-Architects: Daniel Burnham (master planner and “father of American architecture”)

- Lawyers (Alfred Bettman and Edward Bassett

- Engineers (Robert Moses)

- Social Critics (Jane Jacobs)

- Publicists/strategists (Walter Moody)


The PragmaticPlanners

Walter Moody

Jane Jacobs

pragmatic ideology
Pragmatic ideology

Their perspective

  • Improve city form for better functioning
  • Engage in new construction to improve infrastructure
  • Adopt policies (control approach) to achieve desired goals

Their vision

  • Maintenance of capitalist order

Social Order

  • Support for democracy and individualism
idealists utopian planners
Idealists (utopian) planners

Their Perspective:

The city needed to be revamped and people relocated.

Their vision:

  • Anti-urban
  • Embraced semi-rural landscapes with green belt areas
  • Implementation of mixed use landscape for self sufficiency
  • Urban design - blend of country and city
  • Ideal size of city - 30-40,000 population

Social order

  • Prescriptive (at the cost of some laissez faire individualism)
who were labeled the idealists
Who were labeled the idealists?

Best known:

Ebenezer Howard (1850-1929)

Robert Owen


Patrick Geddes (1854-1932)


Best known idealists…

Edouard de Jeanneret aka LeCorbusier (1887-1990)

Frank Lloyd Wright


Lewis Mumford (1895-1979)

to which of these camps do you belong
To which of these camps do you belong?
  • Idealist?
  • Pragmatist?
  • Contemporary evidence of a blended perspective?
iii city efficient movement

(aka: City Scientific, or City Functional)

Application of empiricism (scientific data gathering)

  • Educational and professional institutions promote the planning process and establish professionalism in planning
  • Planners sought public support through systematic marketing efforts.
  • Emergence of public-private partnerships in land developments

See works of Robert Moses and Daniel Burnham, Walter Moody for examples


The Automobile Shapes The city (from article by M. V. Melosi) Ford Model T-automobile 1920s

a search for new beginnings garden cities the utopian response
A search for new beginnings: Garden Cities- the utopian response

A vision realized but never entirely enduring:

  • 1824: New Harmony: a model village for America
  • 1903: Letchworth: England first garden city
  • 1920: Welwyn: England second garden city
  • 1928: Radburn: First Garden City built in USA
  • See Howard’s maps p.143-45 in Platt

Refer also to article by Robert Fishman (required reading)

a garden city for usa radburn nj
A Garden City for USA –Radburn, NJ

The American Architect commented (1980):


Represents the first scientific effort that has ever been made to establish a community designed exclusively to minimize the danger of automobile accidents.…It was also the desire of the builders to create not only a [safe] community ..but …one of beauty in appearance and the utmost in modern efficiency.

Quoted in Kreukeberg 1087, p. 128

radburn lasting contributions to planning
Radburn: Lasting contributions to planning

1. “NGO”-private partnership

  • Separation of traffic by mode (the pedestrian path system does not cross any major roads at grade)

3. Creation of mixed use largely residential "superblocks”.

4. Introduced five-step planning process - has been a lasting guide:

  • i)formulate goals
  • ii) collect data
  • iii) develop plan
  • iv) implement plan
  • iv) evaluate at later date
radburn how ideal
Radburn: How ideal?
  • Current population status versus planning goal?
  • Built for which social class(es)?
  • Diverse or homogenous ethnic/social groups?
  • Efficient use of urban space?
  • Access to employment?
recapping planning accomplishments during 1920s
Recapping planning accomplishments during 1920s
  • 1906: First Major historic preservation act: The Antiquities Act of 1906
  • 1909: First– National Conference on City Planning (NCCP)
  • 1909: Plan of Chicago
  • 1916 National Park Service created
  • 1916: First comprehensive zoning ordinance adopted in NY
  • 1917: American City Planning Institute (ACPI) formed
  • 1926: The rise of Zoning
  • See list of dates in handout
zoning legalized
Zoning Legalized
  • 1922 – President Hoover’s government issued the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act
  • 1922 - Start of conflict between Village of Euclid and Ambler Realty Co.
  • 1926 - Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of comprehensive zoning

(see Euclid v. Ambler Realty Company)

  • 1928 - Standard City Planning Enabling Act (dictated what could occur in the city)
zoning s seminal court cases 1
Zoning’s seminal court cases (1)
  • Discuss case:

Euclid v. Ambler Realty Company

See handout

new deal public works and grande vision of the 1930s
New Deal Public Works and Grande Vision of the 1930s

President F. D. Roosevelt’s New Deal “Planning” Actions

  • Successes and failures of Roosevelt's "New Deal" programs
  • See chart in the handout.

Relief in sight

  • Roosevelt creates new programs
  • CCC gives work to youth
  • Monastery opens soup kitchen
new deal pragmatic and utopic
New Deal: pragmatic and utopic
  • The pragmatic: CWA, CCC, Social Security ….
  • The idealistic: Natural Resources Planning Board (1939-43) Became involved in national, state and regional planning.