Different ideas had transformed the city that we are living today. We often don’t recognize how much effort and concepts are being put into creating a city. There are many contributors that helped developed different concept to improve cities layout and structure. In this paper, I will discuss the authors’ ideas in the three articles which includes “Author’s Introduction” and “The Town-Country Magnet”, “A Contemporary City” from the City of Tomorrow and its Planning and “Broadacre City: A New Community Plan. ” After reading and summarizing these three articles, it help me grasped the concepts of how cities developed to benefits the community.
My first discussion includes “Author’s Introduction” and “The Town-Country Magnet” from Garden Cities of To-morrow (1898/1902) which was written by Ebenezer Howard. Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928) spent his childhood living in an over populated city, and was extremely polluted. His experience as a child will later help him developed his concept “The Town Country Magnet”. For “Author’s Introduction”, consideration of the very numerous causes may be the first step to solve the question how to restore the people to the land. “Each city may be regarded as a magnet, each person as a needle” in order attract more people, we must improve the city.
Town life and country life are alternatives regarded as two magnets, each striving to draw the people to itself which create a new form of life. The third magnet is the combination of energetic and active town life with the beauty and delight of the country. While the advantages of TownCountry are seen to be free from disadvantages, the chief advantages of the Town and of the Country are set forth with their corresponding drawbacks.
The advantages of Town magnet compared to Country magnet includes high wages, opportunities for employment and tempting prospects of dvancement; however, these are largely counterbalanced by high rents and prices. The disadvantages are excessive hours of toil, distance from work and isolation of crowds. The Country magnet is described as the source of all beauty and wealth while the Town magnet is described very dull for lack of society and very sparing for lack of capital. However, neither magnet represents full plan and purpose of nature which meant to be enjoyed together. Moving on to the third magnet, Town-Country magnet has opportunities of social interaction and beauties of nature may encompass and enfold each dweller therein.
Also, in Town-Country magnet, high wages are compatible with reduced rents and rates, opportunities for employment and bright prospects of advancement may be secured for all, beautiful homes and gardens and bounds of freedom may be widened. The town-country magnet is explained best as the center is a circular space containing five and a half acres. Larger public buildings including town hall, principal concert and lecture hall, theatre, library, museum, picture gallery and hospital are surrounding the garden in that center. The public park is encircled by the “Crystal Palace”. That park is the rest of the large space.
Because of this large space, it very easy to access of all the people. Houses are built either in the concentric rings or fronting the boulevards and roads which all converge to the center of the town. Public schools are occupied in Grand Avenue with their surrounding playgrounds and gardens. Houses fronting on Grand Avenue have departed and are arranged in crescents. Outer ring of the town are factories, warehouses, dairies which are all fronting on the circle railway passes through the estate. This arrangement is good to reduce a minimum loss from breakage and reduce the traffic on the roads of the town.
Second, I will talk about “A Contemporary City” from The City of Tomorrow and its Planning (1929) which was written by Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier (1887-1965) was known as the International Style in architecture. His first designs for a modern house-machine for living were strikingly original with the spared cubist minimalism. In 1922, Le Corbusier presented the public with his plan for “A Contemporary City of Three Million people. ” The use of technical analysis and architectural synthesis enable to draw up his scheme for this plan. Le Corbusier insisted that this was the city of today not the future.
The public noticed this “Contemporary City” proposal; however, Le Corbusier did not win many actual urban planning commissions. For the Contemporary Plan, “Le Corbusier’s object was not to overcome the existing state of things, but by constructing a theoretically watertight formula to arrive at the fundamental principles of modern town planning” . To do that plan, some rules of conduct and fundamental principles for modern town planning came up. Le Corbusier classified population into three divisions including citizen proper, suburban dwellers, and mixed sort.
The main reason for this division was to attack the most important problem in town planning. Le Corbusier also gave the ideas that “we must increase the density of the centers of our cities, where business affairs are carried on”. “We also must increase the open spaces and diminish the distances to be covered because the open spaces are the lungs of a city”. Beside the density of population, lungs and street, traffic also is talked about in this planning. When the traffic is not classified, it does not fulfill its function, so we classified traffic in three different kinds including heavy good traffic, lighter good traffic, and fast traffic.
These three kinds of traffic also needed three different kinds of road such as belowground roads for heavy traffic, ground floor level of the buildings for lighter traffic and arterial roads for fast one-way traffic. There is only one station located in the center of the city. In addition, basic principles for plan of the city are to decongest the center of our cities, augment their density, increases the means for getting about and increase parks and open spaces. Third, I will discuss about “Broadacre City: A New Community Plan” from Architectural Record (1935) which was written by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) is the greatest American architect. Broadacre City’s design supports Wright’s belief in American citizen social individuality and selfreliance and suppose to control sprawl and eventually do away with cities all together. For the “Broadacre City: a New Community Plan, there are three major inventions already at work building Broadacres including “the motor car stands for general mobilization of human being; radio, telephone and telegraph stand for electrical inter-communication becoming complete; standardized machine-shop production stand machine invention plus scientific discovery”“.
The meaning of this division of Wright is because he wants American citizens to rein habit rural areas, be self-reliant, and maintain communication by way of cars and phones. Also, the assumption as ideal of Broadacres of three inherent rights including his social right to a direct medium exchange in place of gold as a commodity, his social right to his place on the ground as he has had it in the sun and air, and the social right to the ideas by which and for which he lives will be citizen’s so soon. “.
With the elimination of cities and towns, the present curse of petty minor officialdom and government has been reduced to one minor government for each country. Also, coal is eliminated by burning it at the mines and transferring into power which make everything easier for arterials. The great arterials become great architecture. In addition, architecture would thrive when the county develop an individual its own. In the hands of the state, architecture is landscape which takes on the character of architecture by simple process of cultivation.
However, the traffic problem has been given special attention. His ideas of traffic was multiple-lane highways, no grade crossing, no signals or lamp posts. Trains were only used for long distance. Electricity, oil and gas are only popular fuels. The school problem is “solved by segregating a group of low buildings in the interior spaces of the city where the children can go without crossing traffic. ” There are too many details involved in the model of Broadacres to permit complete explanation.
Both Le Corbusier and Wright made compelling arguments for city planning. However, I like Howard’s vision for city planning the most. I really like the idea Town-Country magnet of Howard because when Town and Country magnet combined, a lot of advantages occur which make this place become the best place for people to live. Plus, Town-Country is located in the center with all the necessary buildings around, so this creation will help people save more time when moving from place to place. Besides saving time, this also help to reduce the traffic in the city.
Also, there are a lot of opportunities for employment since so many business buildings are around. This is also a good place for people to live when beautiful houses and gardens and a lot of public schools around. I think this vision would become the groundwork for all modern cities. Besides the Town-Country magnet, I also like the idea of how Le Corbusier classified traffic and road into three different kinds to reduce traffic when the density in the city increases because this is the place where business carry on.
Beside the ideas about traffic, I like how Le Corbusier divide population in three proper such as citizen for people who work in the city, suburban dwellers for people who only live in the garden cities, and the mixed sort for whoever work in the business parts. Even this town magnet idea with this idea kind of similar, but I still think the Town-Country magnet is better because in this cities, people can have more opportunities in finding the job. In another fact, I also like how Wright divide there major inventions so we can know the powers that over built the old cities.
Although I like a lot of facts in these articles, I still do not like the fact that there is only one station in Contemporary City of Corbusier because this is really inconvenient for people who could not afford their own transportation. But then, if we combined all of the advantages from these three ideas together, we can create the best urban cities where all the big houses, big buildings and stores are located in the center, plus more different kinds of road and traffic help us reduce the traffic when it come to the rush hour f this city not only for transportation, also for pedestrian. I think with this idea, the population will growth. In the end, after reading those three articles, I understand more about different ideas of city development. I know more about the advantages and disadvantages of different kinds of cities. From that, I can decide which city is better to live or to work. I also know which fact that I like the most in the articles. In addition, I can know more how people think about develop city back then.