Planning the Great Metropolis: The 1929 Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs

Planning the Great Metropolis: The 1929 Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs

Planning the Great Metropolis: The 1929 Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs

Planning the Great Metropolis: The 1929 Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs

Synopsis

This authoritative and detailed review chronicles the events leading up to the regional plan of New York, 1929 and assesses its significance and influence on subsequent developments of New York. No-one has yet written up this major episode in American planning. It will be of interest to planners, architects and historians.

Excerpt

Twenty-five years ago, I was Senior Planner for the non-profit Regional Plan Association and was involved in studies for an ambitious new Second Regional Plan for the New York Metropolitan Area. It was an audacious undertaking by this unique private research association which has been working for the better development of the New York Region since 1929. My involvement in the Second Regional Plan naturally stirred my curiosity about its predecessor, the Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs, published in 1929 by the Committee on the Regional Plan of New York, the forerunner of the Regional Plan Association. The files of the Committee on the Regional Plan of New York and the records and drawings of its staff rested in a storeroom near my desk in a mid-town Manhattan skyscraper. Occasionally, I would thumb through the old reports and papers to see how a previous generation of planners had approached problems not unlike those with which we grappled. After forty years, the first Regional Plan has, of course, long since ceased to be very useful as a source of concepts or proposals. But tantalizing questions remained: how had the 1929 Regional Plan taken shape? Who were the people behind the Plan? Whose interests were being served? And what impact did the Plan have on the subsequent development of New York and the surrounding counties?

It was not possible at the time to search out answers to those intriguing questions. Then, quite by coincidence, both I and the voluminous files and records of the 1929 Regional Plan of New York moved at about the same time to Cornell University: I to resume graduate studies in planning, and the papers to be deposited in the Olin Library Collection of Regional History. The opportunity to answer those questions proved irresistible. The questions, I hope, have been answered in this book. But in the chapters that follow, there is more than simply the fulfilment of a long-standing personal interest. I have sought to shed additional light on an important American experience, the thrust toward metropolitan reform, and more generally, on the

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.