History and Theory of Planning, 34:970:501:01, Fall 2013, 3 credits
Wednesday, 1:10-3:50, Room 113, Civic Square Building, College Avenue Campus
Instructor is Frank J. Popper, Civic Square Building, Room 356, College Avenue Campus, 848-932-2790, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Instructor’s website is policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/popper.html, where more copies of this syllabus are available.
Office hours: Thursday morning, before or after class, or by appointment.
Readings: Leigh Gallagher, The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving (2013), Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century (2002, third edition) and Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities (1969). Hall and Jacobs are in paperback at the Barnes & Noble/Rutgers University Bookstore. There may be other, shorter readings as needed.
This course, intended primarily for MCRP students at any stage of their studies, explores the history and theory of city and regional planning over about the last century. The course’s goal is to give you a working knowledge of the field’s origins and underpinnings. The course focuses primarily on the United States, but not exclusively. The sessions will consist of presentations by me and then class discussions. You will do two take-home exams drawing on the assigned reading and other sources, plus a research paper at the end of the course
Of the assigned books, Hall gives a broad-brush planning history of the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France and elsewhere. Gallagher’s book looks at the past and future of the American suburb. Jacobs’ book, which is not her best-known, offers an original approach to economic development that is compatible with most planning practice. Thus the course moves variously through historical, practical, theoretical and predictive phases.
The course will have three take-home exams, which will draw on the assigned reading and other sources. But you only need to do two, which you choose, and you don’t have to explain to me. You will also do a research paper on any topic that you propose and I approve. Thirty percent of your grade comes from each of your two take-home exams, and thirty from the research paper. The exams and paper must use sources beyond the assigned readings and my class presentations. Ten percent of your grade comes from class participation and general conscientiousness, including getting work in on time.
For the exams and the papers you’ll find no shortage of material from which to choose topics and approaches. Hall, for instance, has a 75-page bibliography. You should use your imaginations to develop adventuresome analytic--not solely descriptive--subjects and treatments. The paper should be 12-15 pages, not counting notes, references and graphics.
To help class communications I’ve formed a closed Facebook group, “Planning History and Theory, Fall 2013, Popper,” which you should join. Go to it, ask me to let you in and I will. If you have a good reason not to join, perhaps because you’re uncomfortable with Facebook, please let me know, and we’ll make other arrangements.
All written work should be typed double-spaced. I want it to meet graduate-school standards of writing and will lower the grade if it does not. If your first language isn’t English, I may not hold you to this standard.
You should attend all classes and do the reading for them carefully. If you must miss a class, please get in touch with me.
I expect the exams and research paper to be original products written for this course only. I expect you to know, understand and meet Rutgers’ standards of academic integrity explained at academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/policy-on-academic-integrity. See also plagiarism.org. If you have a question about these standards, please get in touch with me. Rules of thumb: if you think may be doing something academically dishonest, you probably are because your conscience or sense of safety is telling you so. To avoid plagiarism, do original work.
Schedule September 4 Introduction.
September 11 Beginnings: the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: Hall, Chapters 1-4.
September 18 Early strength: the interwar period: Hall, Chapters 5-6.
September 25 Consolidation: the early postwar period: Hall, Chapters 7-9.
October 2 The contemporary period: Hall, Chapters, 10-13. First take-home exam handed
October 9 Exam due at class, which will discuss the approaches you took to it.
October 16 The American suburb’s past: Gallagher, pp. 1-113.
October 23 The American suburb’s future: Gallagher, pp. 114-end. Second take-home exam
October 30 Exam due at class, which will discuss the approaches you took to it.
November 6 Economic development theory: Jacobs, pp. 3-121.
November 13 Economic development practice: Jacobs, pp. 3-144. Third take-home handed out.
November 20 Proposal due at class, which will discuss the approaches you took to it.
November 27 Thanksgiving vacation.
December 4 Exam due at class, which will discuss the approaches you took to it.
December 11 To be decided.
December 18 Research paper due in instructor’s office at noon.
A note on sources
There are many sources on planning history and theory that you might use as starting points for your work on the exams and research paper, as well as in other courses. Alternative readings for this course might have been—in a few cases actually have been--Eugenie Birch (ed.), The Urban and Regional Planning Reader (2008), Michael Brooks, Planning Theory for Practitioners (2002), Scott Campbell and Susan Fainstein (eds.), Readings in Planning Theory (second edition, 2003), Michael Conzen, The Making of the American Landscape (2008, second edition), Alan Ehrenhalt, The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City (2012), Susan Fainstein and Scott Campbell (eds.), Readings in Urban Theory (second edition, 2002), Robert Fishman (ed.), The American Planning Tradition: Culture and Policy (2000), Alexander Garvin, The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t (2002) and The Planning Game: Lessons from Great Cities (2013), Thomas Harper and Stanley Stein, Dialogical Planning in a Fragmented Society: Critically Liberal, Pragmatic, Incremental (2006), Donald Krueckeberg (ed.), Introduction to Planning History in the United States (1983), Richard LeGates and Frederick Stout (eds.) The City Reader (fifth edition, 2011), John Levy, Contemporary Urban Planning (tenth edition, 2012), Seymour Mandelbaum, Luigi Mazza and Robert Burchell (eds.), Explorations in Planning Theory (1996), Robert Mason, Collaborative Land Use Management: The Quieter Revolution in Place-Based Planning (2008), Jon Peterson, The Birth of City Planning in the United States, 1840-1917 (2004), John Reps, The Making of Urban America (1965), Jon Teaford, The Metropolitan Revolution: The Rise of Post-Urban America (2006) or even Mel Scott, American City Planning Since 1890 (second edition, 1971). An impressive number of these writers have Rutgers connections.
Nearly every major American city has had a planning/environmental history written about it. This literature shows particular emphases on New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. (Note the regional balance.) Detroit, with its long-term shrinking population, empty spaces, diminishing services, racial tensions, innovative January 2013 plan and July 2013 bankruptcy, has drawn a good deal of attention; see, for instance, John Gallagher Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City (2011), George Galster, Driving Detroit: The Quest for Respect in the Motor City (2012) and more generally, Brent D. Ryan, Design After Decline: How America Rebuilds Shrinking Cities (2012). There are planning histories of the contemporary suburb–for instance, Robert Fishman, Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia (1987), Ann Forsyth, Reforming Suburbia: The Planned Communities of Irvine, Columbia and The Woodlands (2005), Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000 (2003), Suzanne Keller, Community: Pursuing the Dream, Living the Reality (2003), Kevin Kruse and Thomas Sugrue (eds.), The New Suburban History (2006) and Adam Rome, The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism (2001).
Planning histories of particular suburbs are more likely to appear in the specialized periodicals discussed below or in documents the suburbs’ governments produce. Planning histories of rural areas abound, but are rarely described as planning histories–for example, many of the books in the excellent Indiana University Press series on Midwestern History and Culture. Planning histories of particularly significant sites abound—for example, Alexander Garvin, Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities (2010), Timothy Guilfoyle, Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark (2006), Joshua David and Robert Hammond, High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky (2011), Gary Krist, City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago (2012), Sam Roberts, Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America (2013), Constance Rosenblum, Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope along the Grand Concourse (2009), Zachary Schrag, The Great Society Subway: A history of the Washington Metro and Catherine Tumber, Small, Gritty, Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World (2011). A fine planning-history site is library.cornell.edu/Reps/DOCS/homepage.htm. Do not overlook the publications and websites of state, city and county governments and historical societies.
There are large historical, theoretical and practical literatures on specific planning issues such as environmental problems, zoning, regional matters, public health concerns, globalization, gender experiences, Native, African and Hispanic American and other ethnic and racial problems, and urban, suburban or rural development. In particular, suburban sprawl has long attracted mindshare in Robert Bruegmann, Sprawl: A Compact History (2005), Alan Ehrenhalt, The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City (2012), Anthony Flint, This Land: The Battle Over Sprawl and the Future of America (2006), Dolores Hayden, A Field Guide to Sprawl (2004) and Robert Lang, Edgeless Cities: Exploring the Elusive Metropolis (2003).
Worthwhile biographical studies include Alice Sparberg Alexiou, Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary (2006), Hilary Ballon and Kenneth Jackson (eds.), Robert Moses and the Modern City, The Transformation of New York (2008), Anthony Flint, Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City (2009), Roberta Brandes Gratz, The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs (2010), Donald Krueckeberg (ed.), The American Planner: Biographies and Recollections (second edition, 1994), Mark Luccarelli, Lewis Mumford and the Ecological Region: The Politics of Planning (1995), Anne Matthews, Where the Buffalo Roam: The Storm over the Revolutionary Plan to Restore America’s Great Plains (second edition, 2002) and Witold Rybczynski, A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century (1999). Disclosure: I and my wife are the subjects of the Matthews book, one of four finalists for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.
More far-ranging and often international sources are Shlomo Angel, Planet of Cities (2012), Daniel Brook, A History of Future Cities (2013), Paul Goodman and Percival Goodman, Communitas: Means of Livelihood and Ways of Life (third edition, 1990), Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), James Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (second edition, 1988) and The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2010).
Any number of specialized periodicals can be useful. Among those with “planning” in their titles are International Planning Studies, Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Journal of Planning History, Journal of Planning Literature, Planning, Planning Perspectives, Planning Theory, Planning Theory and Practice andProgress in Planning. Then there are, among many others, American Historical Review, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Environmental Justice, Environmental History, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of American History, Journal of Geography, Journal of Urban Affairs,Journal of Urbanism, Opolis: An International Journal of Suburban and Metropolitan Studies, Urban Affairs Review and Urban Geography, plus place-specific periodicals (such as High Country News and Western Historical Quarterly for the American West) or disciplinary ones (such as those on air pollution, hazardous waste, housing or environmental economics).
Often the best source to find out fast about an American place is, oddly, the biennial Almanac of American Politics, put out by the National Journal. City and regional encyclopedias can be good places to start research, and in the last few years fine ones have appeared on, among other places, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York City, New Jersey, the Great Plains, the Midwest, the Northeast, the South and the West. Rachel Weber and Randall Crane (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning (2012) is excellent. Jordan Yin, Urban Planning for Dummies (2012) is good too, but probably unassignable in graduate school.
The nation’s best journalist on urban planning is probably Neal Peirce, whose columns and other writings are at citistates.com. New planning blogs, especially local ones, appear all the time. The American Planning Association (APA), the nation’s leading professional association in the field, offers a free membership to all first-year MCRP students. It publishes Planning, a monthly magazine, and the Journal of the American Planning Association, an academic quarterly, plus a variety of technical publications that appear on its website, planning.org. More disclosure: the instructor served two terms on its board. Useful sources are PlaNetizen.com and planninghistory.org, the latter run by the International Planning History Society.
Wikipedia, other encyclopedias, and dictionaries, on-line or off-, are good places to begin research and bad places to end it. Use them as jump-off points if you wish, but please don’t cite them. It always makes your work look bad.