100 Essential Books of Planning: Decade Three


The Depression shifted the focus of planning. Some planners took up the cause of adequate housing and the federal government emerged as driving force in the development of new towns and the building of national infrastructure.

Visionary planning continued as both European and American designers put forward their visions of the future.

The Disappearing City

Frank Lloyd Wright

In this publication Wright introduced Broadacre City, his visionary community form divorced from the city and suburban in concept. His was one of many conceptual new towns that were primarily architectural in character.

CIAM Manifesto

Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne

Members of the congress presented their analysis of comparative town planning at the famous 1933 congress. They were committed to a belief in collective action to create a thoroughly new and modern city that would replace the old and outdated.

Final Report: Status of City and Regional Planning in the United States

National Planning Board

The National Planning Board was a short-lived attempt at a national planning program with a focus on buttressing infrastructure, the economy, and creating jobs. This report was a based on a study "to determine what the role of the urban community is in national life."

Modern Housing

Catherine Bauer

Both an assessment and a political demand for a housing movement to support low rent housing, this book helped rally interest and concern in housing needs in America. It advocated for the role of government in assuring housing for all.

Regional Factors in National Planning and Development

National Resources Committee

A major study of regions in America, this work detailed how federal, state, and local government could undertake coordinated planning. The report addressed political frameworks, interstate cooperation, economic issues, regulations, waters rights, and examined the Tennessee Valley Authority as a model for regional planning.

Outline of Town and City Planning

Thomas D. Adams

Did the professional of planning arise in response to traffic congestion? Certainly, the automobile put tremendous pressure on the existing form of cities. This core idea and many more were consolidated into this book which served as one of the first textbooks on planning in America. The books was based on 11 years of lectures Adams gave at MIT.

Our Cities

Their Role in the National Economy
National Resources Committee, Urbanism Committee

This was in the words of the committee the "first major national study of cities in the United States ... where a large portion of the Nation's wealth ... and problems are concentrated." The work links urban planning to the economy.

The Structure and Growth of Residential Neighborhoods in American Cities

Homer Hoyt, U.S. Federal Housing Administration

From his experience in real estate, Hoyt examined how the structure of residential neighborhoods developed. He also explored how the real estate market worked to shape neighborhoods. His is known for the sector theory in urban development.

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