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A Short History of Urban Planning

Drawn from:

Richard LeGates and Frederic Stout, “Modernism and Early Urban Planning, 1870-1940”

Paul Knox, Urbanization

Barry Cullingworth, Planning in the USA


 Paul Knox argues that the profession of planning emerges out of series of crises and
people’s responses to them

 health crises (epidemics)

 social crises (riots, strikes)

 other crises (fire, flood, etc.)

 planning tries to mitigate the adverse elements of capitalism, but also makes capitalism
viable over the long term

Marxist inspiration

 Friedrich Engels observed the misery of mid-19th c. Manchester & wrote: The Condition
of the Working Class in England (1844)

 worker oppression

 pollution

 overcrowding

 disease

 alienation

 display of status symbols in the landscape

The Roots of Urban Planning: Romanticism & Progressivism

 these were philosophical, intellectual, and moral stances opposed to the trend in social
relations, values, and environmental conditions of the 18th & 19th c., with loose ties to

 Romantics were utopian visionaries

 generally attempted to balance city/country opposition

 seldom saw their plans actualized

 had a major influence on planning profession

 Progressives were activists

 motivated by desire to reduce poverty or the harmful effects of poverty

Urban Public Health as a Focus of Concern

 Physician Benjamin Ward Richardson wrote Hygeia, City of Health (1876) envisioning:

 air pollution control

 water purification

 sewage handling

 public laundries

 public health inspectors

 elimination of alcohol & tobacco

 replacement of the gutter with the park as the site of children’s play

 such concerns motivated the Parks Movement

The Parks Movement

 grew out of landscape archit. & garden design

 shifted from private to public settings

 naturalistic parks were created in the U.S. by Frederick Law Olmstead, whose career
started with Central Park, New York, 1857

 goals:

 separate transportation modes

 support active and passive uses

 collect water

 promote moral pass-times

Frederick Law Olmsted

 1822-1903

 advanced quite impressively for a park superintendent without a college degree

 with Calvert Vaux (1847) won the competition & went on to design:

 Prospect Park (1865-1873),

 Chicago's Riverside subdivision

 Buffalo's park system (1868-1876),

 the park at Niagara Falls (1887)

 In later years worked on Boston’s park system, “the Emerald Necklace” and the 1893 World's
Fair in Chicago

 Olmsted’s parks were not natural but they were “naturalistic” or “organic” in form

 This form was seen as uplifting urban dwellers and addressing the social and psychological
impacts of crowding

 environmental determinism

Olmsted’s Park Design Principles

1. SCENERY: design spaces in which movement creates constant opening up of new views and
“obscurity of detail further away”

2. SUITABILITY: respect the natural scenery and topography of the site


 “Pastoral” = open greensward with small bodies of water and scattered trees and groves
create a soothing, restorative atmosphere

 “Picturesque = profuse planting, especially with shrubs, creepers and ground cover, on
steep and broken terrain create a sense of the richness and bounteousness of nature,
produce a sense of mystery with light and shade

4. SUBORDINATION: subordinate all elements to the overall design and the effect it is intended to
achieve: “Art to conceal Art”


 of areas designed in different styles

 of ways, in order to insure safety of use and reduce distractions

 of conflicting or incompatible uses

6. SANITATION: promote both the physical and mental health of users

7. SERVICE: meet fundamental social and psychological needs

Riverside, Illinois

 designed by Olmsted, 1869

 a prototype suburb

 9 mi. from Chicago

 fashionable location for the wealthy to live

 often copied

Settlement House Movement

 Jane Addams founded Hull House (Chicago) 1889

 soon over 100 others are founded in American cities

 goals: educating, elevating and saving the poor (condescending attitude) gradually
evolved into something more responsive and scientific

 residents surveyed slum populations, organized housing studies

 the gathering of information from such surveys and studies became central to urban

 famous tenement studies around 1901: Lawrence Veiller (NY) and Robert Hunter

Garden Cities (a British innovation)

 Ebenezer Howard: Garden Cities of To-morrow (1902)

 “three magnets”

 town (high wages, opportunity, and amusement)

 country (natural beauty, low rents, fresh air)

 town-country (combination of both)

 separated from central city by greenbelt

 two actually built in England

 Letchworth

 Welwyn

Ebenezer Howard

no training in urban planning or design


opposed urban crowding/density

hoped to create a “magnet” people would want to come to

Garden Cities

 would combine the best elements of city and country

 would avoid the worst elements of city and country

 formed the basis of the earliest suburbs,

 separation from the city has been lost virtually every time due to infill

A Utopian Model

 an ideal, self-contained community of predetermined area and population surrounded by a


 was intended to bring together the economic and cultural advantages of both city and country
life while at the same time discouraging metropolitan sprawl and industrial centralization

 land ownership would be vested in the community (socialist element)

 The garden city was foreshadowed in the writings of Robert Owen, Charles Fourier, and James
Silk Buckingham, and in the planned industrial communities of Saltaire (1851), Bournville (1879),
and Port Sunlight (1887) in England

 Howard organized the Garden-City Association (1899) in England and secured backing for the
establishment of Letchworth and Welwyn

 Neither community was an entirely self-contained garden city

Actual Garden Cities

 Letchworth, England

 Founded 1903

 Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, planners

 Welwyn, England

 Founded 1920 by E. Howard

 designed by Louis de Soissons

 most of the population now commutes to London

Garden City Legacy in the U.S.

 Garden City idea spread rapidly to Europe and the United States

 Under the auspices of the Regional Planning Association of America, the garden-city idea
inspired a “New Town,” Radburn, N.J. (1928–32) outside New York City

 The congestion and destruction accompanying World War II greatly stimulated the garden-city
movement, especially in Great Britain

 Britain’s New Towns Act (1946) led to the development of over a dozen new
communities based on Howard's idea

 The open layout of garden cities also had a great influence on the development of modern city
 Most satellite towns fail to attain Howard's ideal

 residential suburbs of individually owned homes

 local industries are unable to provide enough employment for the inhabitants, many of
whom commute to work in larger centers

Origins of the Planning Profession in the U.S.

 emerges during the first third of the 20th c.

 adopts less critical stance relative to modernity

 first national conference on city planning in Washington D.C., 1909

 shifts slowly from concern with aesthetics (city beautiful) to concern with efficiency and
scientific management

 patriarchal attitude

 naïve faith in social engineering

 left-leaning political bias almost disappears, esp. with role of zoning

The City Beautiful Movement

 main emphasis: showy urban landscapes

 drew on “beaux arts” tradition (France)

 aped classical architecture

 iconography of and for the urban elites

 moral diagnosis: people need to be civilized

 Daniel Burnham: 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

 orderly and clean

 aesthetic rather than social sensibility

 grandiose and ambitious

 images that follow are thanks to the Illinois Institute of Technology:


The Birth of Land use Zoning

 1886 statute: San Fran. Chinese laundries shut down

 Fed. court case: Yick Wo v. Hopkins, Sheriff struck down statute, so city imposed
no-laundry zone
 other CA cities zoned against laundries, brothels, pool halls, dance halls, livery
stables, slaughterhouses

 How? municipality’s trad. responsibility for protecting “health, safety, morals

and general welfare” of citizens

 1st NY zoning law (1916) protected Fifth Ave. luxury store owners from expansion of
Jewish garment factories

 protected property values and expressed chauvinism

 idea spread to 100s of cities in decade after the NY law was passed, promoting
property values and special interests of the upper class, white majority

Giants of Planning in the U.S.

 concept of the “master plan”: Edward Bassett, 1935, included:

 infrastructure layout

 zoning

 Patrick Geddes (1904, 1915) called for urban planning to take into account the
ecosystem and history of a region, called for social surveys

 a protégé of Geddes, Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) was the first notable critic of sprawl
and the main figure in the Regional Plan Association of America, which built new towns
in NJ & NY

Le Corbusier

originally Charles-Edouard Jeanneret


a founding father of the modernist movement

“social engineering”

Elements of Le Corbusier’s Plan

 very high density

 1,200 people per acre in skyscrapers

 overcrowded sectors of Paris & London ranged from 169-213 pers./acre at the

 Manhattan has only 81 pers./acre

 120 people per acre in luxury houses

 6 to 10 times denser than current luxury housing in the U.S.

 multi-level traffic system to manage the intensity of traffic

Elements of Le Corbusier’s Plan

 access to greenspace

 between 48% and 95% of the surface area is reserved for greenspace

 gardens

 squares

 sports fields

 restaurants

 theaters

 with no sprawl, access to the “protected zone” (greenbelt/open space) is quick and easy

The logic of increasing urban density

 “The more dense the population of a city is the less are the distances that have to be covered.”

 traffic is increased by:

 the number of people in a city

 the degree to which private transportation is more appealing (clean, fast, convenient,
cheap) than public transportation

 the average distance people travel per trip

 the number of trips people must make each week

 “The moral, therefore, is that we must increase the density of the centres of our cities, where
business affairs are carried on.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

 1867-1959

 532 architectural designs built

 (twice as many drawn)

 designed houses, office buildings and a kind of suburban layout he called “Broadacre City”

Broadacre City



freeways +feeder roads

Planning Today

 main tool: zoning

 19,000 different systems

 tends to actually do little in the way of planning

 imposes a rigidity to existing land uses

 encourages separation by class

 encourages retail strip development

 discourages mixed use, pedestrian areas

 in practice, it promotes satellite bedroom communities and suburbs superficially

like Garden cities or Broadacre City

Relationship between Planning and the Crises that Created It?

 Water quality and sanitation is controlled

 Most people have adequate light and air

 Fire danger is controlled

 Disease is controlled

 Current planning practice has even more to do with protecting property values

 Urban growth continues to create unhealthy and dehumanizing environments (air

pollution, stress, isolation, lack of community, etc.)

 genuine planning is desperately needed

Is there Hope?

 Precedents:

 Cluster zoning & PUDs (dates back to Radburn, NJ, designed by Regional
Planning Association of America in 1923)

 New Urbanism & Neo-Traditional Planning

 Peter Calthorpe

 Leon Krier

 Congress for the New Urbanism

 Participatory Planning

 What else could planning involve?

Community participation


• At the end of this lesson, the leaner’s shall be able to:-

• Define a community

• Define community participation

• Discuss the aims of community participation

• Discuss the differences between community participation and involvement

• Determine the community participation process

• Identify factors that influence community participation

What’s a community?

• It is a social entity made of people or families who have the following characteristics:

• Live in the same geographical area

• Share common goals or problems

• Share similar development aspirations

• Have similar interests or social network or relationship at local level

• Have a common leadership and tradition

• Have common system of communication

• Share some resources-water, school, etc

• Are sociologically and psychologically linked.

Community participation

• Define

• A process by which a community mobilizes its resources, initiates and takes responsibility for its
own development activities and share in decision making for and implementation of all other
development programmes for the overall improvement of its health status.

• The key to the successful organization of PHC is community participation, through the process,
the people gain greater control over the social, political, and economic and environmental
factors determining their health.

Aims of community participation

• The community develops self-reliance

• The community develops critical awareness

• The community develops problem solving skills

• Types of participation

• Passive – (Manipulation)

• Active – (consultation)

• Involvement – (Community control)

• Passive participation

• In this type of participation, individuals or families are mere spectators

Active participation

• In this type of participation, they may be carrying out some tasks in a programme but are not
involved with the final decision making in what is to be done. The final decision in such cases are
made by people who are not members of the community in such situations, the community
does not develop a sense of self-reliance.

Community participation and involvement

• In this type of participation, the community is involved in all aspect of a programme. This type of
approach enables the community to participate willingly to improve its own health status.It is
important for a community to participate in every stage of the health programme for it to have
long lasting results i.e., thinking, planning, acting and evaluating.

• Community participation and involvement empowers or enables the community to make

informed decisions in matters affecting their health or development


• This entails involving the community in planning, implemention,management and evaluation of


• This is important because, it contributes towards a feeling of responsibility and involvement in

such a programme. In other wards we could refer to the process as that by which active
partnership is established between a developmental programme within the community and the
community itself. Thus community participation and involvement contributes to the attainment
of community responsibility and accountability over all development programmes. Therefore
preventing a community from alienating itself from such a programme. The community
develops self-reliance and social control over its own infrastructure.

• Dimensions of community participation

• Community participations has three dimensions;

• Involvement of all those affected in decision making about what should be done and how

• Mass contribution to the development efforts i.e to the implementation of decision

• Sharing in the benefits of the programme (World Bank, 1978).

• Community participation in different situations

• Top-down – approach

• Bottom-up – approach

• Top-down – approach

• IN traditional approach health care planning , the decisions are made by senior persons in
health services, the so called “experts”. Research may be carried out through surveys to what
the community thinks or believes to be the problem, but in the end it’s usually the health
workers who makes the decisions on what goes into the programme based on medically-defined

• Traditional education is often indoctrinating .We make decisions and expect them to follow. This
is always the case and you will need to look carefully to findout what is really going on. All the
decision-making and priorities are set by the external agency.

• Bottom-up – approach

• In this approach members of the community make decisions.

• Factors which influence the degree of community participation POSITIVELY

• Relevance and accountability

• Education status of the community

• Community infrastructure (including communication network)

• Economic factors

• Social and cultural factors

• The level of intersectoral collaboration

• Suppression of involvement and initiative by projects which create dependency

• Political stability

• Good leadership

• Motivated community

• A sense of ownership

• Locally available resources

• The participatory methods used in rapid assessment of situations

• Daily routine schedule

• Seasonal calendar

• Time trends
• Direct observation

• Transect walk

• Venn diagram

• Key informants interviews of individuals from the community

• Focus group discussion (FGD)

Benefits from community participation

• Justification for community participation come from a variety of sources, including lessons
learned from the failures of conventional top-down planning as well as the achievement of
community based programmes.

The need for a community approach

• The need to shift the emphasis from the individual to the community. This is because many
influences on a behavior are at the community level and not under the control of individuals,
these include;

• Social pressure from other people through norms,

• Shared culture and the local social economic situation.

• Even when the influences are at the national level, it is often through pressure from
communities that governments will change. Furthermore government budgetary resources can
be complemented by the efforts which can be made within local communities, but they go well
beyond this.

Drawing on local knowledge

• Communities often have detailed knowledge about their surroundings. It makes sense to involve
communities in making plans because they know local conditions and the possibilities for

Making programmes locally relevant and acceptable

• If the community is involved in choosing priorities and deciding on plans, it is much more likely
to become involved in the programme and take up the services.

Developing self-reliance, self confidence, empowerment and problem – solving skills.

• The enthusiasm that comes from community participation can lead to a greater sense of self-
reliance for the future e.g. communities are usually willing to participate in water a programme
because they see that benefits will come. The feeling of community solidarity and self-reliance
from participating in decisions over, their own future through a water project can lead to future

• Better relationship between health workers and community

• Community participation leads to a better relationship between the community and the health
workers instead of a servant master relationship, there is trust and partnership.

Primary health care

• The Alma-Ata declaration on PHC in 1978extended the notion of appropriate health care beyond
that of simply providing decentralized services, it also considered the need to tackle economic
and social causes of ill-health.

• Health education and community participation are essential ingredients of PHC (WHO).

• Types of community groups

• Self-help groups

• Run by people for their own benefits e.g. co-operatives, church saccos etc

Pressure groups

• A group of self-appointed citizens taking action on what they see to be the interests of the
whole community putting on pressure to improve the school, get garbage collected, do
something about a dangerous road etc.

Traditional organizations

• E.g Njuri Njeke in (Meru), these are well established groups, usually meeting the needs of a
particular section of the community, others rotary, club, mothers union parent-teacher
associations, and church groups.

Welfare groups

• Exist to improve the welfare of a group; merry go round, feeding programmes etc.