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

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

SIX
A "New City," a New Image: Planning, 1966-1973

T he newer ideas in planning introduced in the early 1960s were on the rise by 1966. A tentative reshaping of Omaha's image was also under way. Neither the new ideas nor a fresh image could push aside the traditional ideas and image, however; an economic crisis and broad social, economic, and political changes were necessary before significant transition could occur. Three factors helped to speed up the process in the late 1960s. First and foremost was economic change, symbolized by the nearly total collapse of the meatpacking industry. Concomitantly, the service sector gradually gained recognition as the driving force in the city's economy. Second, between 1966 and 1973, there were a tremendous number of changes in Omaha's leadership structure. This opened the possibility for changes in attitudes and ideas, and the possibility became reality with the introduction of the third important factor: a dynamic, influential leader with fresh ideas. Eugene Leahy, elected mayor in 1969, came to office with a number of innovative ideas for the city. His administration marked the beginning of an unprecedented level of prestige and influence for city hall and further equalization of the public-private partnership. Under his leadership, a new image of Omaha was firmly established. Although he was not directly responsible for all that happened, he proved to be the necessary spark to ignite many of the changes.

Within the context of economic change and new leadership, city planners and boosters began searching for new ways to promote the city. They needed to find other aspects of the city they could use to present its case to

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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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