A is for Automobile

A is for Automobile

These 26 short articles provide — in alphabetical order — a terrific introduction to planning in America. They were prepared for the Planning Commissioners Journal by planning historian Laurence C. Gerckens, FAICP. Gerckens is national…

Comprehensive Plans

Comprehensive Plans

an overview of the role of the comprehensive plan by long-time planning historian Laurence Gerckens. C is for Comprehensive Plan — by Laurence C. Gerckens, FAICP A community’s comprehensive plan is not just a file…

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R is for Regional Planning

Missouri (see O is for Open Space). Coincidentally, 1893 also saw the opening of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition, which inspired The City Beautiful Movement in America and provided the impetus for the landmark 1909 Plan of…

A Vermont perspective on billboard control

A Vermont perspective on billboard control

Indeed, as planning historian Laurence C. Gerckens, FAICP, has noted, the origins of city planning in American centered on “realizing an inspiring good order in the public environment while protecting the positive qualities of both…

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T is for Takings

1978. At issue was New York City’s historic designation of Grand Central Terminal, which prevented Penn Central from constructing an office tower over the Terminal. The Court held there was no “taking,” as Penn Central…

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V is for Vision

Many of America’s early planners were people of vision whose creative imaginations continue to make our cities livable and memorable. In 1791, Pierre Charles L’Enfant envisioned an immense, world-class national capital on the Potomac. L’Enfant’s…

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W is for Water

collection and removal. The introduction of the water closet and piped water supply resulted in overflowing private cesspools. This motivated construction of community-wide collection systems to carry away sewage to rivers and streams. Unfortunately, this…

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Z is for Zoning

by the Court’s clearly implied approval of building setback controls in Eubank v. Richmond. In the early decades of the 20th century, New York City was faced with construction of tall buildings that cut off…