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GEOG 340: Day 11. Chapter 11: Urban Policy and Planning. Housekeeping Items. I will hand back a few outlines, but I don’t have them all done yet. I will aim for Thursday for the rest.
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GEOG 340: Day 11 Chapter 11: Urban Policy and Planning
Housekeeping Items • I will hand back a few outlines, but I don’t have them all done yet. I will aim for Thursday for the rest. • Today, we have presentations from Natasha and Diego. I also have a short video I wanted to show you before on urban change in Canada. • But first, I want to draw your attention to a cool site that Pam found on the history of urban planning: http://urbanplanningmasters.dcp.ufl.edu/historical-planners/ • While not strictly in chronological order, and while biased towards men, it has some neat stuff in it.
The Roots of Urban Planning • As the authors note, the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Europe saw an awakening from religious dominance and a focus on the glory of “man’s works,” with a strong emphasis on glorifying the aristocratic and powerful (e.g. sovereigns). • There was also a strong emphasis on building defensible cities from a military perspective.
The Roots of Urban Planning • As the authors further note, “[a]s societies became more complex with the transition to competitive capitalism, national rulers to impose order, safety, and efficiency, as well as to symbolize the new seats of power and authority.” They cite Georges Haussmann as performing that role for Paris. • Another factor was the need to address work- ing class discontent (fear of revolution).
The Conditions Engendered by the Industrial Revolution • The reform movement of the mid-to-late 1800s which helped spawn planning recognized implicitly or explicitly that if the working masses lived in misery then no one was completely safe from fire, disease, debilitated workers, and revolution. • Reformers began to build model housing, as did some enlightened industrialists, such as Quaker George Cadbury who founded Bournville. • Philanthropists like George Peabody and the Guinness family also got into the act. I have also previously mentioned Saltaire and Robert Owen’s New Lanark.
The Conditions Engendered by the Industrial Revolution • In the U.S. reformers included Jane Addams, founder of the settlement house movement, which sought to provide social uplift for immigrants and the working poor, and Jacob Riis, who published a book in 1890, How the Other Half Lives, which led to commissions on how to address the problem of slum housing. • In contrast with Europe, the commissions against direct government inter- vention, argued for tighter building codes, and left the problem of affordable housing to philanthropic organizations.
The Conditions Engendered by the Industrial Revolution • These examples are all from Great Britain. Two other major pioneers in the development of urban planning are Patrick Geddes and Ebenezer Howard. Founder of ‘garden city’ concept Founder of the regional survey
Geddes and Howard • The urban reformers of the late 19th century and early 20th century were influenced by the philosophy of environmental determinism – that people’s living conditions and urban space will shape how they live and interact. These was even evident in the short film on Regent Park from the early 50s we watched, Farewell to Oak Street. • Geddes was interested in contextualizing the town or city in the broader region and enhancing the sense of place. Geddes wanted to overcome the deficiencies of both urban and rural life by creating a new synthesis (see Figure 11.3 on p. 267), the garden city, two of which were built (Letchworth and Welwyn) and many more created in emulation.
Geddes and Howard • These British planners in turn influenced a group of relatively visionary and influential Americans – the Regional Planning Association of America (RPAA), which designed two communities, and also Kitimat, and influenced many more. • One of their members, Clarence Perry, also developed the neighbourhood concept, which appeared in subsequent suburban developments, but in bastardized form. • The previously mentioned settlement movement was more in keeping with the 19th century reform movement than with urban planning, and was led by women, as was the movement for public parks. However, Central Park was co-designed by a man who would later play an important role in urban planning.
City Beautiful • Frederick Law Olmsted’s son, and Daniel Burnham, built a temporary city in Chicago for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. It changed the way many Americans thought about cities. They now wanted their cities to be beautiful like European cities. • However, the ‘white city,’’ as it was known and Burnham’s plan for Chicago, while aesthetic, did nothing to address slum housing or other social problems.
City Efficient • While some of the pioneers of urban planning were highly critical of laissez-faire capitalism, by the early part of the century planning had the support of many members of middle and upper-middle class. They wanted cities that were attractive and efficient without stifling enterprise with too much regulation. • Beginning in 1909, urban planners and city policymakers began to shift towards the “City Practical” or “City Efficient.” Planners began to see themselves as enlightened specialists practicing a ‘rational-comprehensive’ faith.
Rest of the Chapter • Pp. 273-274 discuss the urban policy implications of the New Deal, and beyond that post-war planning and renewal in Britain and the rest of Europe, major legal issues affecting cities (such as anti-segregation and civil rights legislation), various federal U.S. policy initiatives, the views and influence of Jane Jacobs (who finally defeated master-builder Robert Moses) and, finally, the role of neoliberalism and environmental on city-building. • We will try to deal with these issues on Thursday. Jane Jacobs Robert Moses
Crisis-Response Model • Urban planning and policymaking always takes place in a specific political, cultural, and theoretical context. For instance, in North America beyond a certain point private property has largely been treated as a sacred cow. • When a crisis occurs, it engenders a response after a certain amount of bureaucratic inertia is overcome, and the experience from the response to the last crisis (as filtered through current political and theoretical lenses) shapes responses to new crises. • Although not concerned with urban planning for the most part, the New Deal was in tune with J.M. Keynes’ ideas and the recognition that capitalism needed to be saved from itself. For a time, it helped legitimize other similar social-liberal responses.