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Thread: Historical planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Historical planning

    Can anyone recommend books, articles, websites that discuss historical planning? I'm guessing that this might be more European based discussions but that works.For the most part, this would be pre-Euclid but I am open to anything.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian kalimotxo's avatar
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    The Elusive City by Jonathan Barnett I found to be a pretty good historical overview of modern urban design. It's definitely Euro/Western-centric though, FYI.
    Process and dismissal. Shelter and location. Everybody wants somewhere.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Historically, planning came out of landscape architecture, architecture, engineering...etc. Planning, the profession as we know it today has only existed for 100 or less. I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know, but my point is you might have to look outside of traditional Planning-type books to find them ...the only one that comes to my mind is Garden Cities of To-morrow by Ebenezer Howard. You might see what you can find on Streetcar suburbs, many of which pre-date Euclid.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I was afraid of that. I was looking for the research already done and in an easy to read book form. I guess I was looking for what approximated how cities developed and what forces pushed them one direction or another, societal, cultural, or whatever. Thank you for the suggestions.
    Last edited by jkbrown; 24 Jan 2010 at 8:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jkbrown View post
    I was afraid of that. I was looking for the research already done and in an easy to read book form. I guess I was looking for what approximated how cities developed and what forces pushed them one direction or another, societal, cultural, or whatever. Thank you for the suggestions.
    I had a feeling that is what you were going for....might try to look at the history of certain cities, there are many books, writings, old maps, etc on the big cities, in the US, try Boston, NYC, Chicago, DC....that may lead you to where you want to go...best of luck!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The APA has - Pathways in American Planning History: http://myapa.planning.org/pathways/default.htm

    There is Journal of Planning History: http://jph.sagepub.com/

    Society for American City and Regional Planning History: http://www.dcp.ufl.edu/sacrph/
    Last edited by JNA; 24 Jan 2010 at 9:14 PM.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    I saw this book at Barnes & Noble -

    Five Cities that Ruled the World: How Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York Shaped Global History
    by Douglas Wilson

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Fiv.../9781595551368
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  8. #8
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    Three of many great books that treat this subject:

    1. Schaffer, Two Centuries of American Planning

    2. Sies and Silver, Planning the 20th Century American City

    Both are anthologies of well-written essays by various authors treating some aspect of early planning: engineering, land planning, parks, social reform, women's roles, regionalism, etc.

    3. Schultz, Constructing Urban Culture: American Cities & City Planning, 1800-1920.

    This book is a wonderful overview of the larger shifts in technology and culture that created and drove early city planning in the US.

    Enjoy!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for but based on your 2nd post, try googling Walter Christaller or Central Place Theory.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Don't ever forget Lewis Mumford's The City in History. It is the most prized book in my library. He was among the first to describe and use the word "sprawl".

  11. #11
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    Spiro Kostof, The City Shaped
    Spiro Kostof, The City Assembled
    Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City. (Don't let the 1960 copyright spook you - the concepts are not out of date.)
    John Stilgoe, Outside Lies Magic

  12. #12
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    Look for books by John Nolen. He wrote quite a bit about urban planning in the early 20th century, including a lot of work pre-Euclid, and edited a rather big book of urban planning strategies:

    Title : City planning : a series of papers presenting the essential elements of a city plan / edited by John Nolen.
    Call Number : 710 N79a
    Edition : 2d ed.
    Publisher : New York : D. Appleton and Company, 1929.
    Description : xxx, 513 p. : ill., plates, maps, plans, diagrs. ; 20 cm.
    Subject Heading(s) : City planning.
    Regional planning.
    Series Title : National Municipal League series
    Notes : Includes index.
    "Shelf of references for a city planning library": p. 497-501; Bibliography at end of most of the chapters.

    (taken from its listing in the California State Library)

    A few years after Euclid, but by then planning was already a fairly developed profession. Nolen wrote a few good books on planning, urban design and landscape architecture, including a lot of case studies and examples.

    I'd also recommend Eric Monkkonen's "America Becomes Urban" as a good urban history that covers some of this subject.

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