• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

how long has planning been around?

simulcra

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
just curious. has planning been around since the day of the romans? well, doubtful since the dark ages doesn't seem exactly like a let's-plan-our-tribal-camp type of period.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
yes... and before that. It may not have been called "planning"... but he Roman's planned their roads, aquaducts, civic halls...

Zoning...however hasn't been around nearly as long.....the APA website has a pretty good timeline of the evolution of planning/zoning in the US.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
An interesting thing to remember is that Chicago would not exist in its current form had zoning existed back then. The city was settled as a series of suburbs (which were eventually annexed), many created by developers as housing settlements for commuters. The lack of zoning allowed them to naturally become mixed-use and mixed-income over time.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
jordanb said:
An interesting thing to remember is that Chicago would not exist in its current form had zoning existed back then. The city was settled as a series of suburbs (which were eventually annexed), many created by developers as housing settlements for commuters. The lack of zoning allowed them to naturally become mixed-use and mixed-income over time.
This is not at all unusual. Read Streetcar Suburbs sometime. It describes the growth of Boston at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
29
Planning a young profession

Humans have been planning cities since they moved out of caves into semi-permanent structures, but planning as a profession didn't really develop until the effects of the industrial revolution were felt in the late 19th century. Early in the 20th century, schools began teaching class in planning and the terms we're familiar with came into use.

In many ways, city planning is just about 100 years old.

It amazes me how much what we do today is based on terms defined and ideas created a century ago. I think much of the challenge professional planners face today is using 100 year old concepts in a 21st century world.

Question to keep the discussion going:
If you, professional planner, were charged with creating (or re-creating) the profession today, what would you do? Would you develop "zoning" that resembles the classic Euclidean form? Would your "plans" be radically different from the most commonly-used ones of today? Would you have a "planning commission" like most state statutes require, or some other method for making planning decisions?
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
i would say that planning, as practiced today didn't exist until the late 60's at best.

In an office of over 100 people there's no one here over 40 who went to school to study planning. They're almost entirely engineers and may have, more recently, brought home a planning degree from grad school.

There's a completely different mindset between the planner planners and the engineer planners. Either way, engineering still dominates the field.
 
Top