The automobile enabled creation of multi-million-person urban areas spread thinly over vast regional areas — and shaped the character of the 20th century American city.
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 historian for the American Institute of Certified Planners; founder of The Society for American City and Regional Planning History; and emeritus professor at The Ohio State University.
Paul Hoffman, who illustrated all 86 covers of the Planning Commissioners Journal, prepared the 26 illustrations for the Planning ABC’s.
Sit back, relax, and browse through a range of fascinating planning topics.
One of the key responsibilities of many planning commissions and departments is the preparation of a recommended capital program for the local governing body’s consideration.
A community’s comprehensive plan is not just a file cabinet full of plans for future streets; parks and recreation; housing; and so on. More importantly, it is an integrated statement of the aspirations of the community designed to achieve a broad array of community objectives.
Urban designers established the foundations of American community and regional planning in the second half of the 19th century, and early 20th century. Their visions of a more ideal America kindled efforts that were realized in the community comprehensive plan and in other ways.
It is logical that ecology should be integral to planning. The natural environment is the community’s birthplace. Terrain, soils and tree cover, underground water, surface streams, vegetation, and wildlife all form an interdependent unity of impact and adaptation.
Maintaining productive agricultural soils has been the basis for the economic and cultural growth of most nation states. In America, however, farmland preservation efforts have gained momentum only fairly recently.
Through the 1960s, community and regional planning efforts were generally directed to the accommodation of growth as dictated by market forces. But a series of closely grouped actions in the early 1970s laid the foundation for the now widely accepted concept of “growth management.”
A look at the increasing breadth of the historic preservation movement as it evolved from the 1920s concern about preserving buildings associated with famous Americans, to today’s recognition of the link between historic preservation and economic development.
By the early 20th century, newly adopted land use zoning controls not only physically separated industrial, commercial, and residential zones, but also by distinguished between single-family and multi-family residential zones. It was not until 1970s that the movement toward inclusionary housing began to emerge.
The Supreme Court decision of the 20th century that had the greatest impact on planned community development was the 1926 Euclid v. Ambler ruling. It opened the door for communities across the country to engage in zoning and use it as the primary tool for plan implementation.
What might be termed the “classic” planning process, as developed in the early decades of the 20th century, followed three sequential steps: (1) data gathering; (2) plan making; and (3) plan implementation. This “classic” planning approach, however, was critically flawed in two ways.
Land ownership and subdivision in America has long been subject to detailed legal requirements and procedures. A look at some of the most significant changes over the past two centuries.
Accurate and up-to-date maps are the foundation for all community and regional planning. An overview of how the use of maps has evolved in planning over the past century.