New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

By Paul Zucker | Go to book overview

THE SOCIOLOGICAL BASIS OF FUTURE CITY PLANNING

By MAURICE R. DAVIE

To the sociologist the city is first and last a human community --a group of people inhabiting a definite geographical area who show a considerable degree of unity in meeting the more important concerns of life. The group is characterized by specialization and division of labor, accompanied by diversity in culture and in interests, and hence the unity that exists within it is a functional cohesion of unlike parts. Though in contrast to primitive groupings, villages, and rural communities it is not a personal or face- to-face type of association but a highly mechanical and impersonal one, it is, nevertheless, essentially a cooperative relationship. In fact, no other type of community exhibits such economic interdependence as the city, has reduced so many interests to a cooperative basis, or carries on so many processes collectively, even though the personal element is largely lacking and people are not generally conscious of the essential underlying cooperation.

The city thus is a functional association of human beings and human activities. In addition to the population, it includes, in its material and physical aspects, the geographic habitat and the material culture. From the sociological viewpoint, city planning involves the adjustment of the physical resources of the community to meet the needs of its population, present and future. The starting-point and the end of such activity, as of social organization,

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