THE AMERICAN CITY-A FORECAST

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION THAT PROMOTES THE CONVENIENCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR THE PROFIT OF THE ENTREPRENEUR QUICKLY FINDS ITS WAY INTO POPULAR CURRENCY AND EXECUTION. INNOVATION AND CHANGE FOR PUBLIC ENDS MOST FREQUENTLY OCCUR AS EXPRESSIONS OF WILL, AS SEEN IN THE HUSSMANN PLAN FOR PARIS, COMMISSIONED BY NAPOLEON III, AND THE NEW CITY OF BRASILIA, CONCEIVED BY PRESIDENT KUBITSCHEK. INITIATIVE IN DEMOCRATIC STATES TENDS TO REMAIN ON THE DRAWING BOARD OR TO HAVE LIMITED CURRENCY, AS SEEN IN THE FAILURE OF THE GREENBELT CITIES OF THE 1930'S TO FIND BROAD ADOPTION. IN THE PAST, THE BEST WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HOPE FOR HAS BEEN CONSERVATION AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO DESTRUCTION AND DETERIORIATION. HOWEVER, THE PRESSURE OF CHANGE NOW IS COMPELLING THE NATION TO DEVELOP ACTIVE, IN ADDITION TO PASSIVE AND DEFENSIVE, MEASURES FOR GUIDING ITS FUTURE. THIS PRESSURE SHOULD LEAD TO A FRESH ASSESSMENT OF THE "CONVENTIONAL WISDOM" OF URBAN SYSTEMS. FOR EXAMPLE, WE NEED TO REAPPRAISE OUR COMMITMENT TO LAND OWNERSHIP AND TO SEPARATE LAND FROM WHAT IS BUILT ON IT. THIS IS DICTATED BY THE CHANGE FROM AN AGRICULTURAL TO AN INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY. IN ADDITION, ZONING, EMINENT DOMAIN, TAXATION, AND OTHER IMPOSITIONS OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST HAVE DIMINISHED THE SIGNIFICANCE AND PERMANENCY OF INDIVIDUAL OWNERSHIP. URBAN LAND SHOULD BE VIEWED AS A "RECYCLABLE" PUBLIC UTILITY. A SECOND COMMITMENT THAT NEEDS REEXAMINATION IS HOME RULE, WHICH CONFLICTS WITH THE GROWTH OF METROPOLITAN ORGANISMS THAT IN THEIR MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS FUNCTION AS A WHOLE, WHILE THE VARIOUS ORGANS CONTINUE TO CLAIM AUTONOMY. THOUGHT MUST BE GIVEN TO THE PROPER AUTHORITY OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL JURISDICTIONS, AS WELL AS TO A NATIONAL POPULATION POLICY FOCUSING ON URBAN AREAS. A THIRD AREA REQUIRING CHANGE IS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, AND PARTICULARLY TWO DEEPLY ENGRAINED ASSUMPTIONS: TRANSPORTATION IS (1) A SERVICE TO THE CITY AS IS, AND (2) NECESSARILY ECONOMICAL AND SELF-SUPPORTING. IT IS TIME TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE SIZE OF THE CITY IS ACTUALLY A FUNCTION OF TRANSPORTATION: TRANSPORTATION HAS MADE THE CITY WHAT IT IS.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 30, No 9, PP 3-12, 2 FIG, 9 PHOT
  • Authors:
    • Contini, E
  • Publication Date: 1971-10

Media Info

  • Serial:
    • Urban Land
    • Publisher: Urban Land Institute
    • ISSN: 0042-0891

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00202019
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 15 1971 12:00AM