City Planning in America: Between Promise and Despair

City Planning in America: Between Promise and Despair

City Planning in America: Between Promise and Despair

City Planning in America: Between Promise and Despair

Synopsis

This sure-to-be-controversial work examines the failure of city planning in America and the results of that failure as seen in the day-to-day lives of our cities. Hommann contends that, although desperately needed, by and large city planning has no effect on urban development in this country where developers are supreme. For the most part, local planners must deal with a daily fiction regarding their involvement in developmental decisions, a fiction that ultimately drives many into alternate pursuits. After tracing the history of American development and planning, Hommann argues that greed settled this country and continues to control economic and developmental decisions, accompanied in this century by criminal conspiracy. The result is the civic deprivation that debilitates millions of Americans culturally, socially, and economically.

Excerpt

City planning is the art and science of civilization, at least in developmental terms. Its purpose is the physical and economic improvement of cities, towns, metropolitan regions, districts, and neighborhoods in a manner that will serve the greatest number. When planning is doing what it should, each new facility brings major benefits to a variety of users, even when their goals appear to conflict. City planning is properly undertaken by people who are objective, whose principal interest is the public good, who are trained to solve urban problems, and who are capable of thinking in terms of the whole when attempting to solve a part. By and large, a planner operates either as a consultant, supplying planning services to more than one jurisdiction, or as an employee of a municipality or county, part of the local government. This book for the most part addresses the fortunes of the latter--the local planner.

City planning in this country is quite new--primarily a profession of the twentieth century. This may be why considerable numbers of quite normal people have no concept of the nature and scope of city planning, if they have even a passing acquaintance with its very existence. As a twentieth-century profession, planning deals almost exclusively with built-up places, owned by myriad property owners, occupied by numerous lessees, experienced by countless neighbors and visitors. Developmental change, even when it favors the good of the community, is an extremely complex undertaking. This unwieldy assemblage is nevertheless the universe of the local planner.

Difficult though it may be to accomplish, urban planning is desperately needed in America. Well-executed planning is of great value to society. The fundamental problem is in America's body of laws which fails to . . .

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.