National Planning Landmark Award
The Planning Landmark Awards are presented by the American Planning Association's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), for projects at least 25 years old that are historically significant, initiated a new direction in planning or impacted American planning, cities or regions over a broad range of time or space.
As designated by The American Institute of Certified Planners: 1986-2014
District of Columbia
Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture
Federal buildings dot the landscape of cities and towns all across America, and are often the most visible interaction between people and their government. In 1962, Daniel Patrick Moynihan included in his memo on federal office space to President John F. Kennedy the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture. Moynihan championed good design and wrote, "The belief that good design is optional, or in some way separate from the question of the provision of office space itself, does not bear scrutiny, and in fact invites the least efficient use of public money."
Fifty years later, the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture are still inspiring and shaping the mission of the Public Buildings Service and have become the cornerstone of the General Services Administration's Design excellence Program. They have elevated attention to design and the integration of planning, architecture, public art and the landscape into a public realm of beauty and utility. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2012.
Housing Act of 1949
The Housing Act of 1949 was passed to help address the decline of urban housing following the exodus to the suburbs. The legislation provided governance over how federal financial resources would shape the growth of American cities. Components of the legislation aimed at reducing housing costs, raising housing standards, and enabling the federal government for the first time, to aid cities in clearing slums and rebuilding blighted areas. The program emphasized new construction. In addition to improving the available housing stock, the program made open space land, neighborhood facilities, and basic water and sewer facilities eligible for federal assistance. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2014.
The Salt River Project
The Salt River Project, best known for the Roosevelt Dam, was one of the first multipurpose projects under the National Reclamation Act of 1902. The entire project, the work of the federal Bureau of Reclamation, provided flood control, inexpensive electricity, and ample water for irrigation in the Phoenix area. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
Phoenix Mountains Preserve Plan
More than 30 years ago, the city of Phoenix set a national precedent for a fast-urbanizing metropolitan area when it protected 7,500 acres of open space in the Phoenix Mountains. The city's far-sightedness, by adopting the Phoenix Mountains Preserve Plan, set the stage for enhanced awareness of planning and preservation efforts that continue today, including the protection of another 20,000 acres of open space within the city limits. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2008.
The East Bay (San Francisco) Regional Park District
Founded in 1934, the East Bay Regional Park District acquired its first land two years later when the East Bay Municipal Utility District sold 2,166 acres of its surplus land. Today, the East Bay Regional Park District is the largest urban park district in the country with a network of 65 parks that cover more than 98,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
The San Francisco Zoning Ordinance
The San Francisco Zoning Ordinance of 1867 prohibited slaughter houses and hog storage in certain areas of the city, thus laying the foundations for zoning controls elsewhere in the U.S. This ordinance was one of the earliest applications of city land-use zoning powers in the country that separated dangerous and unsightly land uses from existing residential areas. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
The Bennett Plan of the City of Pasadena (1925)
Pasadena's 1925 plan was created by Edward H. Bennett, protege of Chicagoan and renowned planner Daniel Burnham. Bennett envisioned Pasadena as the "The Athens of the West." Pasadena residents heavily endorsed Bennett's plan in 1923 in a citywide election. Bennett's plan included architectural concepts and strategies to extend the landscapes of its east-west streets and boulevards and implementation of a zoning ordinance. Over eight decades, the city and its residents vowed to preserve its ten historic landmarks while pursuing various community rehabilitation initiatives.
Remaining faithful to its commitment, nearly $400 million in investments reopened its legendary Civic Auditorium, renovating the old police building to mixed-use housing, restoring City Hall, and the Central Library. In addition to maintaining its rich history, the city undid early mistakes and reopened the Garflied axis through a renovated Paseo Colorado shopping mall; and made architecturally compatible additions to the Plaza Las Fuentes, a hotel and office redevelopment project, and an expanded conference center flanking the auditorium. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2012.
Los Angeles County 'Master Plan of Highways' and 'Freeways for the Region'
Los Angeles County's Master Plan of Highways in 1940 set the pattern for the area's arterial highways. It was part of an integrated package of county-wide highway transportation plans that also included a land-use plan. The 'Freeways for the Region' master plan, devised in 1943, provided for a network of suburban radial freeways. This system of freeways predated the national interstate system by more than a decade. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
The Napa County Agricultural Preserve
Northern California's Napa County was the first agricultural preserve to be created in the state of California and the nation. Today covering more than 30,000 acres, the preserve is located in a valley of unincorporated areas between Napa and Calistoga Counties. The preserve has grown to more than 30,000 since it was first protected. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1995.
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission's Bay Plan
Established as a result of the 1965 McAteer-Petris Act to protect San Francisco Bay from unregulated filling, the San Francisco Conservation and Development Commission created the country’s first enforceable, multi-jurisdictional plan for a coastal area. The Commission's work, which preceded enactment of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, represents one of the country's earliest, large-scale environmental planning victories. The plan was designated a National Planning Landmark in 1999.
The Petaluma Plan (1971-72)
Suburban development pushing north from San Francisco in the late 1960s prompted the agricultural community of Petaluma to formulate a new tool designed to limit growth and maintain its small-town qualities. Stressing quality over quantity, The Environmental Design Plan for Petaluma proved that a city can manage residential growth to achieve other community goals. The plan is successfully controlling the rate, timing and location of residential development. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1997.
The Denver Parks and Parkway System
Denver's park system is based on a 1906 plan by Charles Mulford Robinson and a 1907 map by George E. Kessler. This 'windmill plan', relying on the city's grid system and its water resources, was implemented over the next two decades. Denver's park and parkway system, one of the first twentieth century urban park plans, encompasses more than 4,000 acres of city parks and more than 30 miles of parkways. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2003.
Speer Boulevard, Denver, Colorado
Speer Boulevard is a 5.4-mile parkway in the city of Denver, Colorado. This boulevard, designed by George Kessler, was built during the administration of Mayor Robert Speer, an influential promoter of City Beautiful ideas in Denver during the early 1900s. Speer Boulevard was designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
The Nine Square Plan of New Haven
When Minister John Davenport and merchant Theophilius Eaton founded New Haven as a new colony in 1638, they established the framework for the central-green, grid-street based village plan that went on to be used by hundreds of newly settled towns across New York, parts of New England, Ohio, and the western U.S. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2001.
City of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., U.S. Supreme Court
Euclid, Ohio was a tiny farming community on the outskirts of Cleveland when the village board approved the village's first-ever zoning code in 1922. The Ambler Realty Company responded to the code with a lawsuit, the first zoning suit to be filed in federal court. On November 22, 1926, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the zoning ordinance was constitutional. The six-to-three decision in Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. legitimized zoning as a way of controlling land uses. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
Federal Planning Assistance '701' Program
Enacted as Section 701 of the Housing Act of 1954, the '701' program provided more than $1 billion for professional planning work throughout the country until 1981. With matching funds from state and local coffers, the 701 program helped to stimulate the establishment of planning schools and departments that were needed to keep up with the demand for professionally trained planners in local and regional planning work that was left neglected since the Great Depression. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2003.
The 1791 Plan of Washington, D.C.
The Plan of Washington, D.C., with its wide and open avenues, circles, parks, and public squares, was designed in 1791 by Major Pierre L'Enfant, a French engineer and artist who had formed a friendship with President George Washington while serving in the Revolutionary War. L'Enfant requested the honor of designing a plan for the nation's capital, and President Washington agreed. The radial-and-gridiron plan was intended as the model for American city planning and a symbol of government power. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
The McMillan Commission Plan, Washington, DC
The McMillan Commission was appointed by Sen. James McMillan and charged with updating Pierre L'Enfant's plan of 1791 for Washington, D.C. The results of the McMillan Commission Plan of 1902 included a regional park system and a central area plan that extended The National Mall beyond the Washington Monument with an open space that was to be lined with museums about America's heritage. The Commission wrote what is often referred to as 'the nation's first comprehensive plan.' Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2001.
National Resources Planning Board, Washington, D.C.
In 1933, Congress created an agency whose main purposes were to coordinate federal programs and to stimulate city, state, and regional planning. Under guidance of chairman, Frederick Delano, the group, later known as the National Resources Planning Board, produced more than 370 reports on topics ranging from transportation to regionalism to the role of cities in the urban economy. The board was dissolved in 1943. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1996.
The First National Conference on City Planning, Washington, D.C.
Held at the Hotel Raleigh in Washington, D.C., May 21-22, 1909, the conference brought together the nation's leaders in urban affairs for the first time. Their discussions about issues facing America's cities led to the start of an organized city planning movement in the U.S. and a permanent organization that arranged subsequent annual conferences. The American Planning Association is the modern successor to this organization. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1999.
The Sanibel Plan, Sanibel, Florida
In 1976, the City of Sanibel took an innovative approach to comprehensive planning by identifying and establishing nine major ecological zones to help planners designate appropriate land uses, intensity, and performance standards for the island. The result was a comprehensive plan that has allowed Sanibel to grow yet not exceed the island's natural carrying capacity. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2007.
The Plan of Savannah
James Oglethorpe, founder of the Georgia colony, prepared the Plan of Savannah in 1733. The square-block layout in the plan allowed for more open space in Savannah than any city layout in history. The original ward system with a central square, created by Oglethorpe, was followed in later development. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
Hawaii's State Land Use Law
Hawaii's State Land-Use Law of 1961 zoned the state into three distinct districts — urban, agriculture, and conservation — and established a standing land-use commission. The law was the first such statewide zoning system in the U.S. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone, the nation's first and largest national park, was established in 1872 in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, with portions extending into Idaho and Montana. A carefully planned system of roads through the park's 3,472 square miles gives visitors access to Old Faithful and other attractions. The National Park Service's planning process for Yellowstone set the standard for the entire national park system. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1993.
The American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO), Chicago, Illinois
ASPO was established in 1934 as the first organization with full-time staff to serve the planning community. Located in a section of Chicago that was shared with some 20 other organizations serving state and local governments, ASPO facilitated daily interaction between planners, city and county leaders. ASPO helped professionalize the art and practice of community planning. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2003.
The Chicago Lakefront
In 1836, the founders of Chicago refused to sell lakefront properties when pressed by the state of Illinois to pay for a shipping canal. The Chicago region subsequently made a permanent commitment to keeping the lakefront open for the recreation and other public uses. The Chicago Lakefront established the importance of major public open space in the development of a region in America. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2002.
The 1909 Plan of Chicago
Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett's 1909 Plan of Chicago, sponsored by the Commercial Club of Chicago, was the first metropolitan-regional plan in the United States. The visionary plan was comprehensive in scope and addressed public housing, transportation, and parks for the entire region ” from downtown Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
The 1869 Plan of Riverside, Riverside, Illinois
Designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, Sr. and Calvert Vaux in 1869, Riverside, Illinois is one of the first planned communities built in the United States. The plan stressed rural as opposed to urban amenities. The village of Riverside, located approximately 12 miles from the Chicago Loop, is one of the country's earliest and best examples of rail-oriented development. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
'Local Planning Administration'
The Local Planning Administration, known as the 'green book', was first published by the International City Managers Association in 1941 and edited by Ladislas Segoe, an unwavering advocate of independent, professional planning. It was the most influential planning book in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
The Plan of Park Forest
Park Forest, Illinois, is a post-World War II planned suburb near Chicago. Philip Klutznick, president of American Community Builders, sought to create a new town along the lines of the prewar Greenbelt towns. The 1946 land plan is by Elbert Peets, one of the Greenbelt designers. Park Forest is known for its range of housing types and its central shopping center. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
The Merriam Center, Chicago, Illinois
In 1935, the Laura Rockefeller Spelman Fund agreed to sponsor construction of a building on the University of Chicago campus to house almost 20 public service associations, including the American Society of Planning Officials (ASPO). ASPO was one of the American Planning Association's (APA) predecessor organizations. The former home to APA's Chicago office, the Merriam Center was the first national center in the country for government administration and research on public issues. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1994.
New Harmony (1814-1827)
On the banks of the Wabash River in Indiana, New Harmony was a unique reflection of both the religious and secular 'communitarianism' that was popular in America between 1800 and 1860. Under British industrialist Robert Owen, the town became a remarkably advanced cultural and intellectual center before the experiment came to an end in 1827. New Harmony remains an early industrial-agrarian model for economic and cultural community development. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1997.
The Lexington Urban Service Area (1958)
The Urban Service Area of Lexington, Kentucky designated areas suitable for urban growth and areas that should stay rural. The boundary was part of a master plan supplement that was prepared in 1958 by the late Ladislas Segoe, Cincinnati-based consultant, and his project manager, Wolfgang Roeseler. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
The Plan of the Vieux Carre, New Orleans, Louisiana
A French military engineer, Adrien de Pauger, prepared the Plan of the Vieux Carre for the old city of New Orleans in 1721. The original grid plan, centered on the Place d'Armes, is still intact. In 1925, the neighborhood was protected by the nation's first historic preservation ordinance. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
Greenbelt (The Greenbelt Towns)
Greenbelt, Maryland got its beginnings in 1936 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture began the construction of three new planned communities known as the Greenbelt towns. Greenbelt was designed by Rexford Guy Tugwell, head of the United States Resettlement Administration. The other two Greenbelt towns that were built were Greenhills, Ohio, and Greendale, Wisconsin. A fourth town was planned but not completed in Roosevelt (originally Homestead), New Jersey. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1987.
The Plan of Annapolis
The Plan of Annapolis was created in 1695 by the governor of Maryland's colony, Francis Nicholson. The plan's radial street pattern and impressive open spaces clearly reflect Baroque town planning theories. Influenced by Christopher Wren's monumental plan for the rebuilding of post-fire London, the ambitious plan locates major civic buildings on the highest points and surrounds them with circular parks. The major avenues bisect these circles, providing splendid views. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
James Rouse's new town of Columbia, Maryland, became a national model for development by planned units. Robert Tennenbaum, AICP, a member of the original planning team, notes that Columbia was 'the region's first example of a community intermingling single-family houses, townhouses, garden apartments, and mid-rise apartments in one neighborhood.' Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1993.
Plan for the Valleys
In the early 1960s, the Green Spring and Worthington Valleys, a rural region of Baltimore County, Maryland, was facing intense urbanization pressure. The community had the foresight to realize that if uncontrolled, the growth would surely wipe out the historic character and natural amenity of the area. The Plan for the Valleys, prepared by WMRT (now WRT), is the first long-range development plan based on the application of principles of ecological determinism.
Ian McHarg developed a philosophic approach to the planning problem based on two assumptions. First, there exists an essential landscape quality which must be recognized and understood as a guide to the form and location of future growth. Second, planning is a process of posing alternatives, weighing them against each other and against a basic value system shared by the community.
The approach to ecological design and growth management represents a pioneering effort to direct growth away from sensitive ecological features such as the valley floors, steep slopes, woodlands, and fertile soils through a combination of growth boundaries, restricted sewer and water expansion, conservation design, and restrictive zoning that remains progressive to this day. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2010.
Founding of the Harvard University Graduate Planning Program (1929)
Harvard University offered North America's first collegiate programs in city and regional planning during the turn of the 20th century. In 1923, Harvard started offering a city planning option in its graduate landscape architecture program. In 1929, Harvard then developed a School of City Planning separate from the Landscape Architecture Department which shifted orientation from physical planning and city beautification toward a concern for the economic, social, and political welfare of cities. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
The 'Emerald Necklace' Parks, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston's 'Emerald Necklace' is a five-mile corridor of continuous parkland that was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., and based on a master plan that was adopted by the city park commission in 1876. The project inspired similar corridors throughout the country. Franklin Park, one of five parks in the 'necklace', is considered an Olmsted masterpiece. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
Billerica, Garden Suburb
Facing an influx of workers once the Boston & Maine Railroad's new repair shops were opened near Lowell, Massachusetts, civic leaders solved the workers' need for more housing nearly a century ago by creating a unique community. Incorporated June 30, 1914, Billerica became Massachusetts's first garden suburb, designed specifically for workers. The original community, with its cottage-style houses and curvilinear streets, is still recognizable today. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2005.
The Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Opened in 1959, the Kalamazoo Mall was the nation's first downtown pedestrian mall. It was based on a 1957 plan for the city by Victor Gruen and has been extended twice. The intent was for this pedestrian mall to invigorate the downtown area of the city and to compete with the movement of retail shops to suburban malls. In 2000, the mall was reopened to limited automobile traffic. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
Country Club Plaza, Kansas City
The Country Club Plaza, a group of leased stores planned as a unit and under single ownership, was created at the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. Designed in 1922 by Jesse Clyde (J.C.) Nichols, the Country Club Plaza became the nation's and the world's first automobile-oriented shopping center. Today, the plaza is a practical outdoor museum with over $1 million in artwork that includes monumental fountains and more than 30 statues throughout the 14-block shopping district. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
The Kansas City, Missouri, Parks Plan
The Kansas City, Missouri Parks Plan got its beginning in an 1893 report by August Robert Meyer and George Kessler that is considered the beginning of the City Beautiful movement in the U.S. Meyer and Kessler originally envisioned a 9.85-mile system of boulevards and 323.45 acres of parks. By 1920, the 1893 Kansas City Missouri Parks Plan was not only complete but had been expanded to 3,471 acres of parks and parkways, including 151 miles of improved boulevards. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
Founding of the American City Planning Institute, the ACPI
The American City Planning Institute (ACPI) was the first organization for professional city planners in the United States. ACPI was founded during the Ninth National City Conference on City Planning held in Kansas City, Missouri from May 7 to May 9 in 1917. ACPI changed its name to the American Institute of Planners (AIP) in 1939 after a major reorganization. AIP was later consolidated with the American Society of Planning Officials in 1978 to form the American Planning Association (APA). Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
'Radburn' at Fairlawn (1928-1929)
The 'Radburn' in Fairlawn, New Jersey, was designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright as the 'city for the motor age.' Developed between 1928 and 1929, it established the super-block with center-block paths as a model for residential site planning. The 'Radburn' was designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
The Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures Plan for Paterson
Created by Alexander Hamilton in 1791, The Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufacturers (S.U.M.) was America's first planned industrial center, located just 12 miles west of New York City. Hamilton appointed Pierre Charles L'Enfant to layout the town of Paterson and build raceways to supply water to the planned manufacturing mills. The 118-acre industrial site is a National Historic Landmark and the largest and best example of early manufacturing mills in the country. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1995.
Yorkship Village, Camden (1918)
Yorkship Village, now known as Fairview, is regarded as the best of the 55 housing developments undertaken by U.S. federal housing corporations during World War I. Guided by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., and Frederick L. Ackerman, this excellent public-private partnership inspired many private sector projects of the 1920s and positively influenced American housing and neighborhood design. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1998.
Mt. Laurel Decision (1975)
With this decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court created an unprecedented statewide fair share of affordable housing obligation, resulting in the elimination of exclusionary zoning barriers against low- and moderate-income households. In response, New Jersey created a State Development and Redevelopment Guide Plan and Council on Affordable Housing, and led other states in establishing affordable housing directives. The court decision was designated a National Planning Landmark in 2000.
The Laws of the Indies
Developed by the Spanish Crown to direct colonization in the New World, the Laws of the Indies contained instructions for site selection, layout, and construction of new towns. Issued by King Philip II in 1573, the law included 148 ordinances, influencing the physical form of Spanish settlements from Florida and the Gulf Coast, across the Southwest and into California. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2001.
New York State Adirondack Preserve & Park
New York State Adirondack Preserve and Park became the first state forest preserve in the country when New York State established it as a wilderness area in 1885. Covering some 6.1 million acres, Adirondack Preserve and Park is the largest state-protected park in the contiguous United States, the largest National Historic Landmark, and the largest area protected by any state in the U.S. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
The Regional Plan of New York & Environs
Drafted in 1929, the Regional Plan of New York & Environs provided a blueprint for guiding population growth in the New York City region until 1965. The plan was the world's first comprehensive metropolitan plan. It laid out the region's basic transportation and environmental infrastructure and led to the establishment of regional authorities in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state region. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
University Settlement House and the Settlement House Movement
Established in 1886, the University Settlement House in New York City was the first facility of its kind in the U.S. Settlement Houses are community-focused organizations that provide social services in generally underserved urban areas. Reforms that were generated by the settlement movement motivated early city planners to begin designing new neighborhoods with input from within the immigrant community in order to buoy the lives of individuals, families and the collective whole. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
Bronx River Parkway and the Westchester County Parkway System
The 24-mile-long Bronx River Parkway goes back to 1907 when the Bronx River Commission was established to acquire the necessary land and build the Bronx River Parkway as a joint undertaking between New York City and Westchester County. It was the first major highway in the U.S. to eliminate traffic lights and intersections. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
The New York City Zoning Code
The New York City Zoning Code of 1916 was the first comprehensive zoning resolution to be implemented in the U.S. Although the zoning resolution was a relatively simple document, it established height and setback controls for new buildings in residential and commercial corridors of the burgeoning city and paved the way for the tall, slender skyscrapers that would populate New York City's skyline for decades to come. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
Long Island Parkway & Parks System
The creation of the New York State Parks Council and the Long Island State Park Commission in 1924 led to plans for a Long Island Parkway System. Although other designers were involved, most notably Clarence C. Coombs, Robert Moses was the primary force and most influential person in the development of the plan to create an efficient parkway system to replace increasingly congested and unattractive local roads. The designs included bracketed-arm wood light post, turf shoulders, and stone-faced arched bridges. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, New York
Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, New York, begun in 1908, was the first 'garden suburb' in New York State. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., and Grosvenor Atterbury for the Russell Sage Foundation, it was the inspiration for Clarence Perry’s neighborhood unit concept. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
Sunnyside Gardens, Queens, New York
Designed by Clarence S. Stein and Henry Wright, Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, New York, was constructed between 1924 and 1928 by the City House Corporation as a model affordable housing community. The New York City Planning Commission has designated it a 'special planned community preservation district,' and it is on the National Register of Historic Places. Sunnyside Gardens was designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
First Houses, New York City
Built from 1935 to 1936, New York's 'First Houses' were the first municipally constructed low-income, public housing units in the U.S. The Lower East Side project, designed by Frederick Ackerman, also was the first undertaken by the New York City Housing Authority. The eight four- and five-story brick buildings, surrounding a landscaped courtyard, continue to be a source of pride to the housing authority. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
Founding of the American City Planning Institute, the ACPI
The American City Planning Institute (ACPI) held its first meeting on November 24, 1917 in New York City with 52 charter members present. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., was elected the first president. ACPI was founded during the Ninth National City Conference on City Planning held in Kansas City, Missouri from May 7 to May 9 in 1917. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
The New York State Commission on Housing and Regional Planning (1923-26)
The New York State Commission on Housing and Regional Planning, created in 1923 and chaired by Clarence Stein, was an early — and significant — regional planning effort. Its reports on affordable housing, which stressed the need for cooperative regional planning embodied in a state plan, had a clear influence on federal planning thought under President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
Grand Central Terminal, New York City
New York City's great Beaux Arts railroad station, Grand Central Terminal, was completed in 1913 and now occupies a central place in the city's transportation network. The 1903 plan for the terminal separated long-distance and commuter trains. After years of legal battling over air rights, the station's landmark status was confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978 in a ruling on the city's preservation law. The city's case was helped by a new planning tool, transfer of development rights. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1993.
Central Park, New York City
New York's Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., and Calvert Vaux in 1858, became a model for large urban parks throughout the country. Central Park encompasses 843 acres in the middle of the borough of Manhattan and became a National Historic Landmark in 1963. Today, it is the most visited city park in the United States. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1994.
Second Regional Plan of the Regional Plan Association of New York
In 1968, when suburbanization was still the prevailing pattern of development in the country, the Regional Plan Association, a private group concerned with 31 counties in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, took a contrarian view. The association's Second Regional Plan argued for 'recentralization' instead of decentralization of urban areas. The group’s publications were the first to observe that zoning, then in place, would create a 'spread city' settlement pattern and lead to a shortage of affordable housing, which occurred. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1995.
Niagara Reservation State Park, Niagara Falls
In 1883, New York Governor Grover Cleveland authorized the location and appropriation of land in the Village of Niagara Falls for a state reservation. The reservation became a state park two years later. Its approximately 400 acres encompass Niagara Falls, the gorge, and the adjacent escarpment. Niagara Reservation State Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., attracts some seven million visitors a year. The park was designated a National Planning Landmark in 2004.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Authorized for construction in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the Blue Ridge Parkway was the nation's first and longest rural parkway. The 469-mile long parkway connects Shenandoah National Parkway in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. With 27 tunnels cutting through the Blue Ridge Mountains, lasting standards for parkway engineering and design were pioneered here. It was designated a National Planning Landmark in 1989.
The Cincinnati Plan of 1925
In the early 1920's, Cincinnati used a comprehensive plan as part of a campaign to clean up its corrupt city government. A reform group, led by lawyer Alfred Bettman, helped the city hire the Technical Advisory Corporation of New York to prepare the plan. The document was the first plan to be officially adopted by a planning commission of a major U.S. city. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1988.
The Cleveland Group Plan of 1903
Prepared in 1903 by Daniel Burnham, Arnold Brunner, and John Carrere, The Cleveland Group Plan was the first City Beautiful plan outside of Washington, D.C. Eventually, a 100-acre section of the city was put under the control of the Cleveland Group Plan commission (Burnham et al.), which then became the nation's first municipal arts commission. This arts commission oversaw implementation of the Cleveland Group Plan. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
Cleveland Policy Plan of 1974
Equity planning seeks to move resources, political power, and participation towards lower income, disadvantaged persons who are often neglected in the more traditional planning process. The Cleveland Policy Planning Report of 1974 was a pioneering work that is the first example of equity planning being broadly applied in an American city. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2003.
Founding of the Ohio Planning Conference (1919)
The Ohio Planning Conference, originally the Ohio State Conference on City Planning, was the first statewide, citizen-based planning organization in the U.S. The organization was merged with the Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association in 1989. The Ohio Planning Conference was designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
Greenhills (The Greenbelt Towns)
Greenhills, Ohio, got its beginnings in 1936 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture began the construction of three new planned communities known as the Greenbelt towns. Constructed during the great Depression, Greenhills was designed to be surrounded by a 'belt' of wooded land. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides Greenhills, the other two towns that were built were Greenbelt, Maryland, and Greendale, Wisconsin. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1987.
The Plan of Mariemont (1922)
When Thomas J. Emery died in 1906, his widow, Mary Emery, undertook to erect a permanent monument to his memory in a new town intended to serve as a 'national exemplar' for suburban America. Ms. Emery engaged the services of John Nolen, Sr., whose plan for Mariemont became the first plan for an American new town designed to be an automobile-accessed suburb for industrial workers. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2001.
The Miami Valley (Ohio) Region's Fair Share Housing Plan of 1970
Miami Valley's approach to providing affordable housing in five counties in the region became the first 'fair share' housing plan in the nation, influencing the policies of the federal government. The results of the plan included the dispersal of low income housing on a regional basis and not limiting affordable housing to a singular designated area within a central city. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2001.
Oregon's Statewide Program for Land Use Planning
This extensive and innovative land-use planning program, enacted May 29, 1973, was the first of its kind to be adopted in the U.S. A comprehensive approach, Oregon uses state-mandated objectives to protect woodlands, farmlands and pristine coastal beaches and to encourage compact urban development. The program has been emulated by other states including Florida and Washington. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1999.
The Plan of Philadelphia (1683)
Philadelphia was the first large American city to utilize the grid street pattern, including an area intended to accommodate long-term future growth. After William Penn approved the siting of the city, the Plan of Philadelphia was created. It would take 150 years to populate the original street grid, and more than 300 years later Penn's successors remain faithful to the grid. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2000.
College Hill Demonstration of Historic Renewal Providence
The College Hill Demonstration Study of Historic Area Renewal, a 1959 plan for a neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island, was notable for integrating preservation concerns into a redevelopment plan. Locally, it led to the creation of the College Hill Historic District and a historic district commission. Nationally, it's cited as the first comprehensive study concerning historic preservation. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
First American Historic District, Charleston
The Battery neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina, was the nation's first designated historic district. The City of Charleston Zoning Ordinance ensures 'the preservation and protection of the old historic or architecturally worthy structures and quaint neighborhoods which impart a distinct aspect to the City of Charleston, the state, and the nation.' The Battery neighborhood historic district was established in 1931. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
Plan of Metro Government Nashville-Davidson County
The ideas proposed in the Metro Government Nashville-Davidson County Plan of 1956 and Charter of 1962, including urban service districts, became models for metro governments elsewhere in the U.S. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
The Tennessee Valley Authority
Created in 1933 by congressional charter, the Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation of the U.S. that provides electricity generation, flood control, navigation, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, covering most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. TVA was the first multi-jurisdiction planning agency of the federal government and continues as the largest. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1995.
The Town of Norris
Norris, Tennessee, created in 1933, was the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) first new town. Intended to provide housing for the construction workers building the Norris Dam, it was also seen as a demonstration of the greenbelt town idea. The design of the town was based on the English garden city movement of the 1890s. Norris was officially incorporated in 1949 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
The Paseo del Rio, San Antonio (1939-41)
Originally conceived as a flood control project, planners view San Antonio's Paseo del Rio (River Walk) as a masterpiece of pedestrian urban design. Designed primarily by Robert H.H. Hugman in the 1930s, the network of walkways along the San Antonio River was constructed in part by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1991.
'A Greater Fort Worth Tomorrow'
'A Greater Fort Worth Tomorrow' was Victor Gruen's ambitious 1956 plan for the city center of Fort Worth. His plan envisioned a traffic-free pedestrian zone at the heart of the downtown. A freeway loop would guide automobile traffic to large garages at the fringe of the central area. Although only partially implemented, many of Gruen's ideas, notably the pedestrian mall, were carried out in other cities including Boston. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
The Plat of the City of Zion (1833)
The plat of Zion, a city plan designed in 1833 by Joseph Smith, guided the construction of hundreds of Mormon and other communities in the western U.S. Designed around Latter Day Saint principles of agrarianism and community, the Plat of the City of Zion called for 24 temples at the city's center, reflecting the central role played by the church in the community. Brigham Young used the plat to guide development of Salt Lake City in 1847. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1996.
Monument Avenue Historic District, Richmond
Monument Avenue was conceptualized in 1887 both to provide an appropriate setting for a major memorial to Robert E. Lee and to encourage residential development west of downtown Richmond. Monument Avenue is an outstanding example of Beaux-Arts planning and the City Beautiful movement. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1990.
Jeffersonian Precinct, University of Virginia
The design of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville dates back to a letter by Thomas Jefferson in 1800 that called for planning a new college 'so broad and liberal and modern, as to be worth patronizing with the public support.' The campus plan reflected Jefferson's view of the university as a series of learning centers (the professors' pavilions) surrounding a colonnaded open space and focused on a central dominant structure, the library. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1992.
The New Town of Reston (1962)
In 1962, Robert E. Simon, Jr. purchased 6700 acres in northern Virginia where people of all ages, races, and incomes could live in the same community for all their years. To fulfill this vision, Simon persuaded the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to pass the nation's first Planned Unit Community zone. The Town of Reston offered a warm and welcoming community to people seeking social openness, citizen participation, and personal freedom. Reston breathed new life into the American new towns movement in the early 1960s. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 2002.
The Roanoke Plans
Well-aware of their town's rapid growth, Roanoke, Virginia's visionary leaders engaged the noted planner John Nolan early in his career to prepare an improvement plan for the city in 1907. The assignment was Nolan's first effort as a professional planner and it led him to recognize the need for unity as well as beauty in a plan. In 1928, Nolan was retained once again to prepare a new comprehensive plan for the city. Both plans provided the foundation for city planning in Roanoke and carefully guided decades of growth as the city flourished. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1997.
The Appalachian Trail
Envisioned by its founder, Benton MacKaye, as 'a series of recreational communities...from New England to Georgia...connected by a walking trail,' the 2,140-mile-long Appalachian Trail was proposed in 1921 and completed in 1937. Later, the trail, connecting Mount Katahdin in Maine with Mount Oglethorpe in Georgia, inspired the passage of the 1968 National Trails System Act. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1999.
Greendale (The Greenbelt Towns)
Greendale got its beginnings in 1936 when the U.S. Department of Agriculture began the construction of three new planned communities known as the Greenbelt towns. To create Greendale, the federal government bought 3,400 acres of farmland about three miles southwest of the city of Milwaukee. Besides Greendale, the other two Greenbelt towns that were built were Greenbelt, Maryland, and Greenhills, Ohio. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1987.
The Wisconsin Planning Enabling Act
As the first state statute to grant a clear right for municipalities to engage in city planning, Wisconsin's Planning Enabling Act of 1909 served as a national model, leading to the 1928 publication of the Standard City Planning Enabling Act by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The impetus for the state law was the preparation of a comprehensive plan for Madison, the capital. This plan was the work of landscape architect and city planner John Nolen. This law authorized cities in the state to create planning commissions and prepare city plans. Designated a National Planning Landmark in 1993.
Royal Town Planning Institute
2014 marks the Royal Town Planning Institute's Centenary. The organization has more than 23,000 members, including 1,000 members in 82 countries. RTPI is using the anniversary as a way to revisit its history and raise the profile of planning. Activities, classroom visits, white papers and podcasts are part of the year-long celebration. More than 100 RTPI members will be visiting schools in the UK and Ireland, introducing planning. RTPI has elevated the standards of ethical planning practice, and sponsored generations of pro bono services that exemplify the passion and commitment to excellence that inspires community builders in the UK and throughout the world.