Benjamin C. Marsh

Municipal Engineers of the City of New York, Proceedings, Paper No. 57 (1910):73-87

Benjamin Marsh was then Secretary, Committee on Congestion of Population in New York City, a position he assumed in 1907 after serving as secretary of the Pennsylvania Society to Protect Children from Cruelty. Marsh ( ? - ? )was born in Bulgaria where his father was an American missionary. After graduating from Grinnell College he undertook further studies at the Universities of Chicago and Pennsylvania. Attracted to the single tax theories of Henry George and the policies of the Fabian socialists in Britain, Marsh made social reform his life's work.

Preparations for his work in New York took him to Europe in the summer of 1907 to observe and study what had been accomplished in housing and city planning. In New York he and his associates organized an exhibit on New York City's housing conditions and wrote and lectured on the dangers of congestion and how it might be remedied by using some of the more advanced planning techniques and development control devices that had been accepted in Germany. In 1909 he wrote An Introduction to City Planning: Democracy's Challenge to the American City, a 158-page book whose first page carried the heading "A City without a plan is like a ship without a rudder." That May Marsh's committee and the Municipal Art Society produced an exhibit in New York on American and European city planning. The material in this exhibition was also on display at the first national conference on city planning held in Washington, D.C. later in May.

The essay that follows has a misleading title, for its real emphasis is not on the economics of urban planning. Instead, Marsh defines city planning as an endeavor that should address nine elements. He lists these near the beginning of his statement and then proceeds to provide details and examples of each component of planning. As the reader will learn, Marsh uses these points to argue for social justice and the equitable distribution of resources among all of the people of the city. Marsh may not have been the first advocacy planner, but he was certainly the most consistent and eloquent in advancing these arguments through his long career as social activist and lobbyist on behalf of the less fortunate segments of society.

It would be entirely inappropriate for me, neither an engineer nor an architect, to attempt to state in detail just the way by which a city plan should be made. I fear that I am presumptuous even in attempting to state what the economist and social worker would have accomplished by that somewhat indefinite term "City Planning." To clear the way, therefore, for a discussion of the subject I submit the following definition: "City Planning" is the orderly development of a city by which each section is arranged for the purpose for which it is best and most economically adapted, so that a harmonious entity is secured. This development must be for the common good and not for the individual's gain.

To secure this harmonious entity in American cities it is fundamental that we should have a wider extension and application of the police powers of the State under which are, of course, subsumed the health powers, the taxing powers and analagous[sic] methods by which the State controls the ambitions or cupidity of its individual members, when such ambitions or cupidity are in conflict with that greatest good of the greatest number which it is the primary function of government in its several capacities to secure.

A brief review of the development of the idea of city planning in this country and abroad will serve to emphasize the distinction between the connotation of the term here and there. Here it has been chiefly, though not exclusively, aesthetic and outward; abroad it has been more fundamental, utilitarian and economic.

The grouping of the public buildings, as in Cleveland and St. Louis, the broadening of overladen thoroughfares and the provision of vistas or a system of parkways have been the dominant characteristics of our American city planning until within a very few years. There has not been any co-ordinate conception of, nor emphasis upon the right of city governments to regulate the initiative and control the greed of citizens in the construction of private buildings or buildings used for quasi-public purposes such as offices, depots and factories. In foreign countries, however, notably Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, and recently England, the opposite side has been dominant, and while the artistic side of city growth and development has found fuller exemplification than in our own country, the starting point of city planning has been the health and efficiency of the individual family and the citizen.

The right of even the poorest family to a healthy home has been the starting point or the central objective of city planning, especially in Germany and Switzerland, and is the crux of the recent "Town Planning Bill" in England. The location of factories, the development of docks and means of carrying both passengers and freight have been determined in relation to the prime purpose of improving the homes of the working and professional classes of the city. With our apparently inexhaustible flood of immigration, we have not had the incentive nor compulsion to conserve the health, vitality and efficiency of our industrial and professional armies, which have been a most potent inducement in continental countries, where in addition a military army has demanded the highest grade of soldiers and of mothers to bear and rear soldiers.

We may enumerate the following features of a comprehensive city plan:

1st. Proper housing of the city's masses for a reasonable proportion of a fair wage, and within easy access of their work.

2d. Direct and adequate roads connecting the main business centers of a city with smaller roads of such width and construction as not to impose an unnecessary and burdensome cost upon the occupants of small houses.

3d. A proper system of water supply and sewage disposal pipes and wires.

4th. The economic location of factories and the prohibition of factories in districts where they will be an injury to the neighborhood, and, as a necessary corollary, the provision of means for carrying freight.

5th. The elimination of the cost of carfare, as far as possible, to the working population.

6th. The decentralization of the city's business, pleasure and educational interests.

7th. The provision of adequate parks, playgrounds and open spaces, with space for public buildings to furnish not merely sites hut settings.

8th. Such control over the location and volume of buildings for manufacturing and office purposes as will enable the city authorities to anticipate and provide adequate means of carrying passengers.

9th. The control of the development of new and unbuilt sections of a city, and the incorporation of adjacent areas so that their development may similarly be controlled.

We take up these features in order.

1st. Proper housing of the city's masses for a reasonable proportion of a fair wage and within easy access of their work.

Admittedly this seems to involve two questions, or determinations: (a) What is proper housing for the city's masses, and (b) What is a fair proportion of a reasonable wage for rent?

We are fortunately turning some attention now to the problem of proper housing as distinguished from proper warehousing of a workingman's family and the distinction is of great importance to the city planner. Upon the definition of proper housing will depend to some extent the rate of wages which labor unions and other organizations seeking to secure and maintain a good standard of living will adopt as fair wages. In this connection we must note that the principles of city planning are pretty generally applicable, and that we do not and must not think in terms of the development of Manhattan, The Bronx, and Brooklyn.

The standard for the English workers is pretty clearly indicated in the "Town Planning Bill," to which reference has been made, under the terms of which a city may determine the number of cottages that may be constructed per acre, and, even more, the number of rooms and volume or cubage as well as floor space of each cottage, and also the garden area for each one. Ordinarily the cottages or houses are expected to be 14 to an acre with a maximum of 20. It is the intention to have these rent for from one-fifth to a maximum of one-fourth of the average workman's wages. Manifestly such a standard is impossible for most sections of Greater New York, but it is possible to restrict tenements so as to have not over thirty families to a net acre and by so doing to give each family an opportunity to have at least a small garden, and at a rental of $10 to $14 a month. The cost of land for this must not, however, exceed 40 cents a square foot ready for building, with roads, sewers sidewalks constructed. The nature of the roads will, of course, be largely determined by the character of the district. Assuming that we attempt to restrict the number of families to thirty to a net acre, each family house of four or five rooms to have a separate entrance and an individual yard, should the street frontage be wide or narrow? In districts where it is desired to furnish homes of this character for rentals of $10 to $14 a month it is extremely important that the frontage be the minimum possible to save the tenant the cost not only of construction, but also of maintenance of roadway, and this same necessity of keeping down the rent dictates that since sewer and water connections must be made with the mains in the street the garden in front of the house should be shallow. With a width of 17 ft., 30 lots, on a block 510 ft. between corner buildings, can be secured having a depth of 86 ft., which is ample depth to give a small garden in front so as to permit the widening of the street subsequently at a minimum expense and still afford a large enough garden in which to raise a good assortment of vegetables.

In one of the first-class cities of the State a large real estate owner is improving 1,000 lots 40 by 120 ft. with four, five and six room single houses which will rent for from $12 to $13 per family. Fortunately, however, his land is worth only about 10 cents per square foot, while some of the houses are rather ornately designed, but intended for Germans and Italians. Economy in construction of houses can also be effected of course by having closed buildings only two rooms deep around a general open space with open fences to protect each garden or space.

One of the most interesting experiments in the planning of such districts is Hampstead Heath on the borders of the City of London and within twenty minutes' ride by the tube of Charing Cross. This model suburb comprises 320 acres, 80 vested in the London County Council and 240 in the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust, Limited. Not more than an average of eight houses to the acre is permitted, but they are of various sizes and rent with gardens, to which is devoted over half of each plot, for from $144 to $240 a year. That this plan involves a departure from the system in New York City is no more patent than the necessity for this departure from New York City's development to date.

The Lex Adickes of Frankfort-on-the-Main is an interesting illustration of the exercise of the police power on behalf of economic development of a district or tract of land. Under the terms of this law, when over half of the owners of over half of the land which is badly subdivided petition the municipal authorities the land may be compulsorily thrown into a common tract and then redistricted or replotted the original owner being assigned as Nearly as possible lots in the same location after the lots have been arranged to afford suitable sites for building and 30% of the area dedicated to the city for streets.

The value of the land redistricted must be at least equal to that taken or the city must make good the difference. This rearrangement may also be done at the instance of the city authorities. Compare this procedure with that fine flower of democracy known as "House Planting," of which we have had so many conspicuous illustrations in New York City.

A plan is now being developed to house 1000 families in single houses of four rooms and a bath with large gardens for each family for a rental of $14 to $15 per month within walking distance of Manhattan across the Queensboro Bridge. Such accommodations should be furnished within a short distance in Queens for $12 a month at the maximum.

2d. Direct and adequate roads connecting the main business centers of a city with smaller roads of such width and construction as not to impose an unnecessary and burdensome?net cost upon the occupants of small houses.

Professor Stübben, one of the most practical students of City Planning in the world, observes regarding roads and the general relation to a city plan:

"Success in town planning is more likely to be attained by seeking out the natural topographical conditions. A full consideration for the levels, roads and boundaries must be the basis upon which all schemes must rest, and these considerations can only be left out of account if they become antagonistic to the legitimate requirements of traffic and town extension, or for economic or aesthetic reasons. The closer a town plan adheres to the natural conditions, the more original and attractive it will be. The filling in of the secondary roads to the main network and thoroughfares should be approximately rectangular, because the rectangular is the most convenient form of building block, and for the actual traffic requirement the diagonal system can always be resorted to. The radial form of arrangement is advisable for important focal points, town gateways, railway stations, the approaches to bridges and similar situations. Curved streets adapt themselves as a rule better to hilly ground than straight ones; for wide vistas, distant perspectives, and grand monumental effects the straight line asserts itself. The day has gone by for the unqualified employment of definite systems; henceforth they should not play a ruling but a subsidiary role."

The width of various thoroughfares in prominent cities is indicative of the requirements. The width of Avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris, is 230 ft.; Unter den Linden, Berlin, 190 ft.; Ringstrasse, Vienna, 185; Whitehall, 120-145; Holborn Viaduct, 90; Broadway, 70 to about 100 ft., while we have few avenues in New York over 100 ft. wide. It seems disloyal to revert in this connection to our own failures, but it is in fact only loyalty to the possibilities and necessities of the future to mention that we seem to have inverted the usual procedure of civilized countries and to have adopted the rule "the narrower the street the higher the building," as illustrated by the buildings on Exchange Place, Nassau Street, and that labyrinth of passageways designated the Wall Street section.

The first feature in most city planning has been the determination of the main streets or primary arteries of traffic. When these have been determined the other or minor streets can be planned and constructed with reference to the needs of the locality.

The London Traffic Commission suggest in their report that new or widened streets should be divided into five classes:

Main Avenues 140 ft.

First-class Arterial 100 "

Second-class Streets 80 "

Third-class Streets 60 "

Fourth-class Streets 40-50 "

This difference in width of streets is an important factor in keeping down rents and it is entirely feasible to construct roads only 15 to 24 ft. wide provided space is left on either side for subsequent widening. "In a street planted with trees," says Mr. H. Inigo Triggs, in his volume on City Planning, "the width should be not less than 70 ft., and in this case a good proportion would be 17 ft. to each footway and 36 ft. to the road. If it is desired to introduce trees in streets narrower than 70 ft., they might be planted on one side only, preferably the sunny side, or in the middle of the street."

Traffic requirements naturally demand that all streets should be as flat as possible. The law in Germany limits gradient of public streets to l in 50, and it is suggested that whenever practicable in secondary streets of any length, a grade of 1 in 40 should be aimed at. The French Administration des Ponts et Chaussées admits the limit of 1 in 33, for the inclination of a route royal, and 1 in 20, for a chemin vicinal de grande communication.

Importance should also be attached to the direction of streets. We have been accustomed to so much hideousness in our streets that we do not realize the possibility of having streets as well as houses, that are restful. One of our charitable societies is organizing expeditions to introduce children to the parks. Not only by providing parks generously and generally, but by proper arrangements of streets we can do much to make such an introduction unnecessary. Streets Should be so arranged that the maximum view and variation may be secured from each house. Mr. Triggs makes a strong plea from illustration of the value of curved streets instead of the formal regularity which enables one to judge in anticipation just what will smite his eye when he rounds a corner. Sweeps like Regent Street, the Thames Embankment from Westminster Bridge, the Arno Embankment at Pisa, and the Ring Strasses of many German cities and Riverside Drive are not necessarily more expensive, but vastly more harmonious and restful than the Puritanical austerity of Fifth Avenue in front of the Library to be, or the tremendous stretches of some of our speedways and public drives.

The aim of the city planner should be not merely to furnish a few aesthetic stores in the way of development, but "to brain out," if I may coin the term, the artistic possibilities of every factor of the city plan and part of the city and furnish it at the minimum cost available to the man and woman who must toil, who will respond to the beautiful near home, but who will be deprived of any opportunity to respond to the beautiful if inaccessible. Art must literally be domesticated and not merely be imported or visited as one visits a shrine on a pilgrimage.

The limits of time preclude any lengthy discussion of how greater service may be secured from streets or how congestion of streets may be avoided, but we cannot forbear referring to Mr. Halsey Ricardo's suggestion that on narrow streets, when the expense of widening would be practically prohibitive, the first story should be set back and the higher stories, if necessary, slightly projected. I would suggest, too, that in view of the general possibility of utilizing vaults under the present sidewalks, the city might compromise in giving the use of this city property to the owners of abutting property in return for their giving the use of part of their ground floor to the city. We can readily see, for instance, what a saving this would mean in Fifth Avenue, Nassau Street, and some of the crosstown streets.

3D. A proper system of water supply and Sewage disposal pipes and wires.

The need for providing adequate sewer systems would be superfluous for me to dwell upon when you all know of the damage suits the city has had to pay for flooded homes, that there is a district of 30,000 inhabitants in the city with hardly a sewer, and our propensity to turn our rivers--the bathing places of the city--into open sewers. So, too, when we have to guess where pipes are under our streets, and when we realize that there were seven years of open streets below Chambers Street for repairs to substructures in one brief year, we admit that "City Planning" involves a departure from the primitive methods of prospecting for gold to get to the pipes in our overburdened streets.

4th. The economic location of factories and the prohibition of factories in districts where they will be an injury to the neighborhood, and, as a necessary corollary, the provision of means for carrying freight.

Economy in production has been sufficiently emphasized in successful corporations, but the historian of civilization in the 19th and 20th centuries will probably ask why New York, the seat of several universities with chairs of economics, the proud possessor of a Chamber of Commerce, and a Merchants' Association, as well as a Taxpayers' Association wherever two or three citizens are gathered together in economy's name, should have adopted a system of manufacturing on the principle of that famous king who "With twice ten thousand men, marched up a hill and then marched down again." This has been and is our method of manufacturing. Every additional handling of freight means an additional cost, which, as Mr. Brisbane has recently informed us in the inspired editorial columns of the Vox Populi, "Somebody has got to pay." A prominent manufacturer has estimated that the cost to the citizens of wear and tear upon the streets due to the needless handling of freight back and forth is at least $30,000,000 a year.

We have permitted the construction of our great factories right in the midst of our congested island of Manhattan. In 1906, one-twelfth of all the workers in factories of the Greater City were located in the old Sixth Assembly district in one-eleven-hundredth of the city's area, and this patch of land almost equidistant from both rivers, on which they should have been located. Consider the river frontage; 93 out of 99 of the buildings on the Hudson River Piers from the Battery to 134th Street are two stories or less in height, while even on the opposite side of the marginal street about half of the buildings are three stories or less high. In the center of the island, eight, ten and even twelve story loft and factory buildings are common, and sixteen to twenty story loft buildings are springing up around the Union and Madison Square Districts, I presume to keep the Metropolitan Tower from getting lonely. "The long and short haul" has of course little to do with this subject. The essential point is that with factories away from lines of freight we go through four superfluous motions in getting goods from floats to lofts and back to floats. Contrast the development of the Brooklyn side of the river with the piers and harbor which Frankfort-on-the-Main is constructing, the docks of Havre, Liverpool and Hamburg, the scientifically planned factory districts of Vienna, Cologne and many other foreign cities, as well as the plans of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and then ask why we haven't developed factory districts along the score of miles provided by Providence in The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, for those who have eyes to see and courage to direct a city's growth along economic lines and in the interests of the citizens who are not the owners of land in central Manhattan.

Deeply as we deplore "Death Avenue," it is partly due to the City's failure to provide or compel the railroads who enjoy sufficient franchises as a condition of those franchises to run their lines where they will be of practical service in developing natural factory sites, instead of reducing the City's congestion in an unnatural way, by the slaughter of innocent children and adults.

5th. The elimination of the cost of carfare as far as possible to the working population.

There seems to be a general idea that the workingman, whether his hours be from eight to five, or the more usual hours for the unskilled wage earner, from seven to six, is very anxious to spend an hour and a half six times a week, underground if possible, riding to and from his work. This involves of course in the latter case that his wife must have the comfort of getting up before five in the morning, and she can't get the house cleaned up till after eight at night when the wandering husband has had his evening meal. Subways under every avenue and in every direction is the great solution for unhappy housing conditions, we are told, and New York citizens aspire in the words of Browning, morning and evening, "to ride, ride together."

We need to get over the attack of "transititis" which is mostly largely induced by the germ, "land speculitis," of which New York is the paradise, and realize that the consumer of goods, who is to-day keenly aware of the increased cost of production, is paying the freight for these joyless rides, and that this cost benefits no one but the investor in transit lines, is not productive, but is a leakage in economical production. Even reduced fares will only reduce the leakage. We have nearly 700,000 workers in factories. A minimum of $30 a piece for carfare means $21,000,000 a year. The total wages paid in 1905 in all manufacturing concerns in the city was only $248,000,000, about eleven times what the ten cents a day carfare of the factory workers in the city to-day would cost. Moreover, the waste of time is a most important loss since city planning, if you will concede the correctness of my contention, promises the logical development of a city for the greatest good of the greatest number, because it robs the working population of that leisure and opportunity for becoming something besides an efficient producing machine, which is the inherent right of every man.

To construct fifteen or twenty story flat-level buildings for work in one borough, and five or six story flat-level tenements in the other three so as to give people the privilege of spending one eighth of their working day in rushing from one to the other, is hardly an evidence of unbiased sanity. Clearly then, some future restriction is needed upon this massing of people in two separate parts of the city twice daily. People should live near their work, if possible within walking distance, especially those with over a seven-hour day. To ensure the possibility of good homes at reasonable rents for unskilled wage earners, within walking distance of their work, will unquestionably require new emphasis upon that part of the constitutional amendment which declares that no man can be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law. It will probably equally require an extension of the public powers of the state, both in respect to restrictions upon the use of land, and the exercise of the democratic art of taxation. To deny the possibility of such control over the American city's development, as has been successfully achieved in foreign cities under monarchical forms of government, is to acclaim the superiority of monarchical over our alleged democratic form of government.

6th. The decentralization of the City's business, pleasure and educational interests.

Only by decentralization of the office and factory districts as well as by the scattering and more reasonable location of theatres, music halls, lecture halls, etc., can the economy referred to in carfare be effected. Coney Island, Gravesend and Flushing are a long distance from the Great White Way, and the reasonable and instructive features of drama, music and pleasure places must be located so that the enjoyment thereof will not involve for each time one-third to one-fifth of the price of admission. Munich has an interesting scheme, proposed by Henrici, for the creation of 18 civic centers. It was proposed at first to create each center as far as possible around some existing building and center of interest. As an economic factor, as well as in securing a better standard throughout the city, it is appropriate to call attention to the power in Germany of compulsory expropriation of land for purposes of Town Planning, nor must we permit ourselves for an instant to forget that in Germany many of the municipalities own from 10 to 50% of the land within their boundaries, while their systems of taxation are such as to give the benefit of improvements to those whose presence creates the demand for these improvements and virtually constitutes the effectiveness thereof.

7th. The provision of adequate parks, playgrounds and open spaces, with space for public buildings to furnish not merely sites but settings.

It is universally admitted that parks are the lungs of a city, and the emphasis upon the prevention of consumption which is so marked a feature of present day social effort, has emphasized not only the necessity for proper lungs, but for proper functioning of lungs. The city without adequate park area and playground area is like a human being with part of his lungs lost through the ravages of the tubercular bacillus.

The Playgrounds Association of this city have estimated that there should be at least an acre of park for every 250 citizens. We may, however, in the built-up sections of the city assume a more conservative condition for health, and yet the condition in New York City makes it clear that we are in a very unhealthy state. In 1909 Manhattan had a population per acre of park area of 1589; Brooklyn, 1268; The Bronx, 83; Queens, 211; Richmond, 1127. The total park area of Greater New York, mapped in 1909, was 7221 acres. The normal park area, allowing one acre of park to every 250 people, would have been 15,944. New York City, therefore, lacks to-day 8,723 acres of having a normal park area. The reason for this shortage, as expressed by the City Planning Commission of 1807, is. typical of the attitude of many cities on parks and playgrounds. "When, therefore, from the same causes the prices of land are so uncommonly great, it seems proper to admit the principles of economy to greater influence than might, under circumstances of different kind, have consisted with the dictates of prudence." We can, therefore, in planning a city make this provision before it is too late. New York City has paid as high as $5,000,000 per acre or $114.80 per sq. ft. for park land, while Diker Beach Park in Brooklyn cost but 3.6 cents per square foot and Silver Lake Park in Richmond but 4.6 cents per square foot.

Whether a city should buy parks itself or the property benefited by parks should pay for them is practically another way of putting the question, Shall the city increase rents or not? Of course it is impossible in built-up sections of the city to furnish at reasonable expense a sufficient park area to supply the needs of the neighborhood, but such provision can be made in new sections of the city, and anyone who has seen the New Public Library to be, can appreciate the necessity of not merely having a building, but of having a setting for it. It is as true that a building fitly set is like apples of gold in a picture of silver, as that a word fitly spoken may be similarly characterized, and it is of supreme importance that we should not merely put up any public building where there is a breathing space, but that wherever this can be done without taking life blood and food out of the mouths of poor citizens, we should provide reasonable and effective spaces and aesthetic and harmonious surroundings. This can be better done where land is not worth three-quarters of a million dollars an acre, and the economic bearing of "City Planning" is seen, since a dollar in time often saves not nine, but nearly nine millions.

8th. Such control over the location and volume of buildings for manufacturing and office purposes as will enable the City authorities to anticipate and provide adequate means of carrying passengers.

The office district below Chambers Street, in Manhattan, would accommodate in a recent year about 127 000 people, taking a reasonable factor of rentability and allowing 110 sq. ft. for each occupant. On the other hand, if we make this district exclusively an office section and permit all buildings to be a flat level of twenty-five stories, we should have over a million people accommodated in offices in the island's tip. With the number of people who daily visit these offices the total would probably be about a million and a half.

We will all agree that no city has yet evidenced ability to create transit lines to handle such a problem as is created by our skyscrapers, and no city has the right to permit a citizen, acting from self-interest, to create conditions which could not reasonably be granted to every other citizen. We must recognize that a skyscraper is a quasi-monopoly, just as a street privilege is, and should be paid for as is any other franchise.

9th. The control of the development of new and unbuilt sections of a city, and the incorporation of adjacent areas so that their development may similarly be controlled.

This last point is one which has been especially well discussed by Mr. Nelson P. Lewis, in the City Planning conference at Rochester. We would also call attention to the fact that foreign cities have found it necessary to incorporate adjacent areas so that their development may similarly be controlled. The duplication of conditions in Manhattan, where we permit the poorer classes to be farmed out for exploitation by real estate speculators and tenement sweaters, must not be permitted in the other boroughs. That such conditions should be permitted in new sections of any city both Mr. Lewis and Commissioner Tomkins have vigorously denied, and it would seem logical to admit that because a city has permitted one wrong it is therefore not obliged to permit a continuance or duplication of that wrong. However, most cities now have at least the opportunity to enforce the better standard of housing for this working population, in the new sections of the city, and the City is unquestionably justified in refusing to sanction the duplication of unhealthy conditions merely because these conditions have grown and been condoned, if not sanctioned, by existing government in old sections of the city.

Berlin, Frankfort, Cologne, London, Paris, and Vienna, as well as many of our American cities, are showing the democratic tendency to preserve for the citizens normal conditions in their new districts. The laws of many foreign countries forbid any developer to lay streets unless in conformity with the plan already conceived by the government of the city. This means that the city is determined to plan its new districts, and that it refuses to abdicate its sovereign rights of government in favor of the real estate speculators or the jerry builder and tenement sweater. Although this survey of city planning is necessarily very brief, it may be stated again that it is a recognition of the fact that the city is for the citizens, and not for a privileged few. This recognition is essential to a proper consummation of city planning, and while we are free to admit that the details and the carrying out of the plans must principally devolve upon the engineers and architects, the formulation of the purpose of city planning is in the hands of those directly responsible for the conduct of the city. They must determine whether the plan is to be for the general good, or for the individual's gain; the engineer can practically carry out their decision. . 

Selected, scanned, edited, provided with headnotes, and formatted as a web document by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Department of City and Regional Planning, West Sibley Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. Tel: (607) 255-5391, Fax: (607) 255-6681, E-mail: 
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