Welcome to the VERY UNofficial AICP Study Guide Podcast. We'll cover everything related to the American Institute of Certified Planners Exam in commute-sized chunks.
I walk a lonely road. Wait, no I don’t, because this City Beautiful movement brought the people out! As a reaction to the rapidly densifying and grimy industrialized cities, City Beautiful came with a promise for a city that we could all love and enjoy. Did it work?
Like normal gardens, Garden Cities needed a love and attention to grow, and they definitely got it. Garden Cities are maybe one of the more influential planning movements to date. As a reaction to the rapid industrialization of the city, the Garden City movement tried to make the best of all worlds. But how did it start, and how did it evolve.
Planning in the early 1900’s was really just a baby – a cute little planning baby. And we as planners, like to look back and remember all of the special “first” moments in the life of the little planning baby. So let’s take a look at the first baby steps of the First Comprehensive Survey, Permanent Planning Commission, Citizen Conference, and finally, the first city-wide Comprehensive Plan.
Time to take this thing regional. We’ve been focusing a lot on the individual cities, but our friend Patrick Geddes opened up the world of planning to this crazy idea that we should start thinking about our places in the context of other places, and Boston, Ohio, New York, and Los Angeles apparently got the memos. Mind. Blown.
Cities in Evolution:
Come on and get in the zone! More like, “Get out of the zone.” Since we started urbanizing rapidly, we got into the realization that somethings just don’t belong together – like residential houses and slaughterhouses. Finding a way to make those two get a long wasn’t always easy, and navigating these scary skyscraper things created their own challenges. That solution required taking this developing thing called zoning to new hei...
Whelp, it’s time to go back to school. We need to learn a little more about the first course dedicated to city planning, and we need a professor dedicated to teaching city planning, and we need a textbook dedicated to city planning. Can we get it all in one place? Nope, but we’ll look at the two colleges that started it all.
First Course in Planning:
Chicago? They don’t make little plans there - City of broad shoulders, City of big plans. At least, that’s what Daniel Burnham told them when he wrote up the 1909 Plan of Chicago with Edward Bennett. In fact, the plans were so big that Charles Wacker called up a guy named Walter Moody to write a textbook about it.
Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago:
Yeah…so I’m going to need everything you got on that case please? That’s how I imagine the U.S. Supreme Court asks a lower court for their files, at least. We kick off some case reviews in this episode with Mugler v. Kansas and The U.S. v. Gettysburg Electric Railway Company.
Mugler v. Kansas:
U.S. v. Gettysburg Electric Railway...
The U.S. has 99 problems, but water and forests are actually – as Teddy Roosevelt called them – “vital internal problems.” Unfortunately, our favorite conservationist President could only make so much headway. From reclamation projects to trying to counteract corruption and develop healthier waterways, he definitely embodied the sentiments of Progressive Era America.
US Reclamation Act of 1902:
Would someone finally do something about these tenements? Well, in 1901, New York did. From there, the focus turned to congestion of population and what to do about it because Vicks VapoRub isn’t going to clear this problem up. Enter Benjamin Marsh. If you don’t know who he is, you should, and you will.
New York State Tenement Housing Act of 1901:
Well, they're actually the same essays in the new format. If you got your applications in on time to submit the essays; good news. Shane and Alex from Planning Certification joined us to talk about the essays, what the review committee is looking for, and give a few tips on how to approach them. So crack those knuckles and buckle down. Don’t sweat it too much though, with their help, it’s easier than you think.
Congratulations! You decided to pursue an AICP Certification and join the group of people who put AICP after their name! Now comes the fun part of sorting out the eligibility requirements, navigating deadlines, and submitting your credentials. The APA adjusted the certification process this time around, so we’re to help you sort through the changes and walk you through the application process – and that’s before you’ve even signed...
From company towns to the 1893 World’s Fair and the birth of the City Beautiful Movement, to the birth of the Garden City Movement in the book Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, planning theory and ideology really started to take shape in the final decades of the 1800’s.
The end of the 1800’s marked a time when environmentalism was taking off like a jet plane (or maybe a steam engine). Advocates for the preservation and conservation of land for the public’s enjoyment started to emerge, and as timbering began threatening our most revered forests, ensuring the continued beauty of places like the Yosemite Valley became paramount.
General Revision Act
Hey Henry George, Show. Me. The Money!!! Oh, there isn’t any? Societal advancements are lifting up the wealthy and crushing the poor, you say? Land is being underutilized, thus stagnating wages due to property speculation which creates a disconnect between progress and poverty? Is there a solution to this problem?
We’re picking back up with the tenements. More importantly, how the first tenements evolved into the dreaded dumbbell tenement, and how an immigrant from Denmark helped start housing reform with a future president. Every man’s experience has to be worth something.
Tenement House Acts
We’re starting our little journey today NOT in 1869 when the transcontinental railroad was completed, but rather in 1862 when Lincoln signed into law the very aptly named, ”Pacific Railway Act of 1862.” From there, we’ll see how that impacted exploration, and more importantly, the effects of John Wesley Powell’s exploration of the Arid Regions.
1862 was a year filled with handing away land to promote settlement. We wanted everyone to benefit in this relatively new country and we wanted to make sure everyone had access to quality education. So how exactly did we go about doing that?
Homestead Act of 1862
Okay…so Civilization isn’t CRUMBLING - that’s a bit dramatic. BUT housing and living conditions sure did take a nosedive when tenements started being built. What caused this? When did it happen? Who did anything about it? And how did it affect the way communities were being planned? Well, that’s what we cover in Episode 9. Enjoy!
First Model Tenement:
Now that the land we won from the Revolutionary War got all sliced and diced and sold and given away, people started moving west. It wasn’t easy though. Getting out there was hard, and making a living was even harder. The Appalachian Mountains almost left the new western frontier out in the proverbial cold, but innovations in the National Road and Erie Canal made it all possible.
The National Road:
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