The Changing Image of the City: Planning for Downtown Omaha, 1945-1973

By Janet R. Daly-Bednarek | Go to book overview

TWO
The Changing City: Omaha, 1945-1973

O maha changed between 1945 and 1973. There were demographic changes, a shift in the economic base, changes in the corporate identity, and changes in the relative strength of the local government that influenced the nature of the public-private partnership. The changes, in turn, prompted gradual reconsideration of the city's image. It changed, too, reflecting movement toward the idea of the livable city, one that emphasized, not its efficiency, but its ambience and potential for enhancing the quality of life. The many transformations during the three decades under study happened concurrently, but not necessarily in synch with one another. In the end, however, they produced a city that in 1973 was quite different from what it had been in 1945 and thought differently about itself.


Demographic Changes and the Shift in the Economic Base

Omaha's population grew sluggishly during the 1930s. Thereafter, between 1940 and 1970, came three consecutive decades of respectable--if not spectacular--growth. Between 1930 and 1970, the population increased from 214,006 to 347,328, and during the period of most rapid expansion, 1950-1970, the city maintained a fairly consistent ranking among all U.S. cities (see table 1).

Growth in the black and other minority populations contributed to the overall increase, but even though the black population more than doubled

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The Changing Image of the City: Planning for Downtown Omaha, 1945-1973
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • One - New Ideas and Changing Images 1
  • Two - The Changing City: Omaha, 1945-1973 41
  • Three - Setting the Agenda: Planning, 1933-1945 77
  • Conclusion 104
  • Four - Traditional Planning for a Traditional City, 1945-1958 107
  • Conclusion 147
  • Five - A City in Transition, 1958-1966 149
  • Six - A "New City," a New Image: Planning, 1966-1973 187
  • Conclusion 224
  • Epilogue 227
  • Notes 237
  • Bibliography 267
  • Index 277
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