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The Building of Cities

The Building of Cities: Development and Conflict

Copyright Date: 1978
Published by: Cornell University Press,
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    The Building of Cities
    Book Description:

    In this classic book that records a moment in the history of urban planning, the architect and city planner Harvey H. Kaiser examines the city-building process from the time when a proposal for urban development is first conceived to the early stages of construction. To illuminate the factors that underlie acceptance or rejection of community development, Kaiser focuses on the proposals for three towns in upstate New York-Lysander (near Syracuse) and Gananda and Riverton (both near Rochester). These were brand-new developments and municipalities, and thus quite different from other trends of suburbanization that attached development onto existing municipalities. Step by step, he describes what happened in each of these communities during the presentation of the initial proposal, how parties interacted with each other, and how the climate of the community influenced the actions of the parties.

    Basing his work on hundreds of interviews, attendance at public meetings, and a review of many articles and documents, Kaiser shows that in each case the emergence of controversy and degree of acceptance was influenced by the developer's leadership, the characteristics of the developer's organization, and the method of presenting the proposal to the public. Kaiser brings to his comparative approach a background in the rough and tumble of day-to-day project management and the development of plans as well as their administration. First published in 1978,The Building of Citiesremains an invaluable resource for developers, architects, public officials, and citizens involved in local government.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6932-9
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History, Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-8)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 9-12)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. 13-16)
  4. 1 Development and Conflict
    (pp. 17-38)

    The founding of new cities and the rebuilding or enlarging of the old have created some of the most exciting chapters in history. In preindustrial societies, communities developed physically, socially, and economically over decades and centuries . In contemporary societies , subject to industrialization and urbanization, the process of urban development is intensified. Individual and group interests tend to be sharply defined, and disagreement between parties can erupt into open community conflict that can be disruptive to the social and economic well-being of a community.

    The notion of building a “new town” is as old as recorded history. Biblical kings,...

  5. 2 City Building
    (pp. 39-67)

    The process of urban development and the ensuing emergence of community conflict are not phenomena unique to industrialized societies. However, the rate of urbanization in the United States in the past five decades has created greater stress on traditional relationships of the individual, the community, and land development than previously experienced. If the United States were a static or declining nation, the likelihood of controversies relating to land development would be minimal. The dynamic nature of an industrializing and urbanizing nation in a free-enterprise economy creates problems that prevail in communities throughout the nation in urban, suburban, and rural settings....

  6. 3 Lysander (Radisson)
    (pp. 68-102)

    By the end of 1973, three years after the passage of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970, fifteen new communities had been approved for federal guarantee under Title VII by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Lysander New Community was unique among this group for several reasons: the project was sponsored by a public agency and not a private developer; federal grant assistance was sought, rather than guarantees for land acquisition and development; and the site was acquired by purchase from a single source.

    Radisson (the name was changed from Lysander New Community in...

  7. 4 Gananda
    (pp. 103-134)

    During late 1968 and early 1969, when Logue was committing the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to the new community of Lysander, Stewart Moot began to formulate plans for a new town near Rochester. Moot felt that farmland in neighboring Wayne County could be assembled for development at lower costs than in Rochester’s rapidly urbanizing Monroe County. With little previous experience in land development, Moot set aside his law practice and committed himself to acquiring almost 10,000 acres of land, developing plans, and starting a project which could create an “ideal community” for 80,000 people when completed thirty...

  8. 5 Riverton
    (pp. 135-170)

    Our third case study is Riverton, a planned new community located in the town of Henrietta, nine miles south of Rochester along the New York State Thruway (Figure 5.1). It was the seventh development to receive a loan guarantee under provisions of Title VII of the 1970 Housing Act. The eventual population figure is projected to be ab out 25,000 for a development located on approximately 2,500 acres.

    The story of the planning phase of Riverton is closely tied to the background of Robert E. Simon and his experience in developing Reston, Virginia. Simon, who was president of Riverton Properties,...

  9. 6 Urban Development and New Communities
    (pp. 171-202)

    The developer of one of America’s most attractive and imaginative new communities regarded the planning and building of a new community as the most rewarding experience of his life: “The challenge … is heady wine, indeed.”¹

    This sense of conviction is a strong personal commitment, a commitment which is difficult to find in other forms of urban development, for example, in school building, highway construction, urban redevelopment, and land subdivision. These do not, in comparison, stir the excitement, nor evoke the involvement of the entrepreneur. Thus, we have a dramatic type of development, supported by a deep involvement of the...

  10. Appendix: Macedon-Walworth New Community District Zoning Ordinance
    (pp. 203-214)
  11. Index
    (pp. 215-217)