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EDWARD BASSET and LEE KOPPELMAN

FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY


INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTURE AND FINE ARTS PLANNING 241 AR0841 ARCH. WILKIE DELUMEN

NARITO, ARGEOLYN S. ESCASA, KATHERINE JOY H.

EDWARD MURRAY BASSETT


Born 1863 One of the founding fathers of modern day urban planning. Known as The Father of American Zoning Wrote the first comprehensive zoning ordinance in the United States, adopted by New York City in 1916

Basset is the son of merchant Charles R. Basset and Elvira Rogers Basset. He attended Hamilton College and Amherst College. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity. He attended Columbia University Law School, and taught at a private school in Brooklyn. Bassett graduated from Columbia and was admitted to the bar, and began practicing law in Buffalo, New York. He married Annie R. Preston in 1890 and had five children including inventor and engineer Preston Bassett and geologist Isabel Basset Wasson.

Most of his work, both private and on committees, concerned City planning Zoning Legal issues surrounding fields

Basset is credited with developing the freeway and parkway to describe a controlled access urban highway, based on the parkway concept but open to the commercial traffic.

The parkway concept, intended for recreational driving, embodied many design concepts that would be integral to expressways, including wide right-of-way, control of access, elimination of grade crossings with other highways, and separated highway lanes that were blended into the contours of the land.

In 1916, Bassett developed the first comprehensive zoning ordinance in the United States to regulate the use, height, and area of buildings. As a result, he was sometimes called "The Father of American Zoning." His public service included a brief stint in the House of Representatives (1903-1905), appointment by Governor Charles Evans Hughes to the Public Service Commission (1907-1911), and the posts of counsel to the Zoning Committee of New York, the Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs, and the City Planning Commission. A member of the Advisory Committee on City Planning and Zoning, Bassett was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover to serve as president of the National Conference on City Planning.

Bassett saw "freeways"--i.e., highways for the free flow of traffic--as adapting many of the parkway design concepts to serve transportation instead of recreation. Where parkways were dedicated to recreation, the freeway was dedicated to movement. To make the distinction, he delineated three kinds of thoroughfares:

A "highway" is a strip of public land devoted to movement over which the abutting property owners have the right of light, air and access.

A "parkway" is a strip of public land devoted to recreation over which the abutting property owners have no right of light, air or access.

A "freeway" is a strip of public land devoted to movement over which the abutting property owners have no right of light, air or access.

Everyone knows that new streets and highways that are intended to increase through vehicle capacity gradually become cluttered up at spots so as to make a limitation. This is caused by increase of cross streets, private driveways, new garages, gasoline stations, business places and parked automobiles. As traffic becomes more intense, the obstacles increase, with the result that the highway intended to accommodate a fast traffic flow is slowed down to much less than its original capacity. Even if important grade crossings are eliminated, the driveways, gasoline stations, garages, stores and parked cars cause a great limitation.

A parkway allows a freer flow of traffic, because side streets and private driveways cannot enter it, and gasoline stations, garages, and stores cannot front upon it. The abutting owner has no right of light, air and access over the parkway. To make this clear, one should think of a parkway as an elongated park. It is well known that the authorities can erect a fence or wall around a park, leaving appropriate public entrances. A parkway, however, is not for general use. As it is an elongated park, it must be used for recreational purposes, and consequently traffic is limited to pleasure vehicles.

Bassett's son and law partner, Howard M. Bassett, and City Planning Consultant Latham C. Squire explained the concept further in a 1932 article in The American City.[ The freeway, they explained, would be immediately practical for bridge approaches "where concentrated traffic should be freed from disturbances of unnecessary and parasitic uses." Freeways also would be practical for bypass routes allowing through traffic to circle shopping and business districts to relieve local congestion. The article summarized the advantages of the freeway concept:

1. The free flow of traffic is permanently guaranteed because no local access is permitted except at certain well-located points. Three or four traffic lanes would probably be provided in each direction, except where an extra lane is added at entrances and exits of freeway business centers and at highway intersections . . . . The freeway business center does away with the delay necessitated by driving off the roadway into a community business district to get food, supplies, etc.

2. The freeway is the safest possible kind of thoroughfare. Interference from local traffic is done away with entirely. The freeway business center in the middle of the roadway is not accessible to local traffic and is planned with the idea of safety, convenience and beauty.

3. The freeway enhances property values. The screen of trees and shrubs provided on both sides of the roadway provides the best possible medium for diffusing the noise of the traffic and hides the roadway entirely from view. In this way the bordering property is made very desirable for residence use. Close proximity to a freeway is a decided advantage.

4. Motorists on the freeway will, of course, need supplies of all kinds, as gasoline, oil, automotive parts, lunches, drugs, etc. [These] may be obtained in freeway business centers placed in the middle of the freeway on small streets at intervals ranging from three to ten miles along the route. They will be so designed that the stores and filling stations are made invisible from the freeway by proper landscaping, and arranged so that access from the freeway will in no way interfere with the free flow of the traffic. No local access is provided for these business centers. They are for the exclusive use of the freeway traveler.

LEE KOPPELMAN
Born 1928 Dominated planning on Long Island from the 1960s until his May 2006 resignation from the Long Island Regional Planning Board.

Koppelman drew up influential Master Plans for Long Island in 1969-70. Some of their most ambitious features remained on the drawing board such as

An instant city to be constructed in the general vicinity of the Long Island Expressways Exit 68 A major commercial airport serving the New York City market, to be located at the site of an existing military airfield At least one bridge across the Long Island Sound A new North Shore parkway running parallel to the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk Country

The first three were revived, and presented as brand-new proposals by the Long Island development lobby between 1988 and 1992.

The instant city, proposed anew by developer Wilbur Breslin became sprawling 2,100-acre (8km) mixed-use dream nicknamed WillyWorld, dominated by a giant shopping mall.

A proposal for an air freight facility at the US Navy / Grumman property in Calverton and a highspeed ferry between Wading River and New Haven, Connecticut were candidly described in L.I. Business News and Newsday editorials, as first steps towards the long-awaited major passenger jetport and cross-Sound bridge, both vehemently opposed by NIMBY.

These projects all remain in the proposal stage, early 2006.

Although primarily identified, in the public mind, with the schemes of the development lobby, Dr. Koppelman has also played a leading role in preserving open space, particularly in parklands purchased by Suffolk Country around 1970.

He identified road run-off (non-point-source pollution) as the leading cause of deteriorating water quality in local aquifers and estuaries, indicating an urgent need to limit the amount of paved-over area in coastal environments.

He publicly opposed the WillyWorld shopping mall proposal, on the grounds that enough other similar projects were already in the works.

Koppelmans environmental initiatives left a lasting legacy, while his major development proposals went nowhere, or were overwhelmed by the chaotic clutter of suburban sprawl.

Dr. Koppelman is regarded as the guru of a suburban growth coalition seeking to relocate economic and cultural activities, as well as population, from the boroughs of New York City to Long Island. The revival in New York Citys fortunes after 1980 tended to undermined the coalitions longrange strategy.

Dr. Koppelman is the author, with Joseph De Chiara, of standard texts on planning

Urban Planning and Design Criteria (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1982) Site Planning Standards (McGraw Hill Co., 1978)

Koppelman also serves as a professor in Stony Brook Universitys graduate program in Public Policy.

Dr. Koppelman seemed to follow the older planners footsteps in his own later years.

His reputation was shaken in 1992, when a civic activist discovered that a Koppelman-led feasibility study of the Calverton air freight proposal had claimed that Lufthansa was interested in opening operations at the site- on the basis of one cold call, answered by a random blue-collar employee, who had in effect merely agreed with the caller that Calverton sounded like a nice place.