City Planning and Environmentalism


This memo’s purpose is to summarize and reflect on two-course articles about the issues of city planning concerning such aspects as the main subjects and purposes of the works, their meaning for me, and their connection to the objectives of the current course.

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“Linking Planning Theory and History: The Case of Development Control” by Raphael Fischler

The article by Fischler attempts to establish the connection between the development of city planning, its theory, practice, and its history. The author specifically emphasizes that learning the history of city planning carries great educational value not only because it enables the analysis of the post-planning experiences, but also enlightens the learners about the planning practice and intention and its changes over time (Fischler, 2000). The article explores the main planning practices employed in New York such as positive environmentalism leading to attempts to improve the conditions of the poor to alter their lifestyle and quality of life.


The article by Fischler is highly informative and provides information about the tight connection between the philosophy of the city leaders and its planning. That way, the theory and practice of planning are deeply connected. Planning history is the source of theoretical knowledge illustrated by practical approaches. That way, studying one of these aspects always leads to learning about the other.

Connection to Course Objective

The article makes clear that the history of city planning should be studied environmentally taking into consideration the political, social, economic, and legal factors. Besides, the steps of a transformation of an idea into a policy teach the students about the importance of background environments serving as initial sources of city planning strategies.

“Housing and Planning: A Century of Social Reform and Local Power” by Alexander Von Hoffman

The article by Von Hoffman is focused specifically on the relation between the political, social, and economic aspects and the practice of city planning. Namely, the history of the housing reform is viewed as the background of city planning throughout American history. The author researches to reveal the strong connection between city planning practices and the local interests concerning social changes (Von Hoffman, 2009). That way, even the most positive intentions may be stopped by the communal unwillingness to accept the innovative way of living.


The work by Von Hoffman (2009) explores the strength of the ideological impact on the implementation of city planning practices. Decentralization and relative autonomy of the municipalities all around the United States has had a positive effect on a variety of spheres but city planning, on the contrary, was limited by it. Conservative moods of the local communities have stopped or slowed down several innovative housing policies, especially the ones that targeted the improvement of the living conditions of the minorities. The synthesis of information provided by Von Hoffman points out that even though democracy is deemed a progressive leadership model of power, it is based on the opinion of the majority that often may be counter-progressive.

Connection to Course Objective

The article is an excellent example of the influences of the social and political forces on city planning through the housing reforms and public opinion. City planning is based not only on the thoughtful and practical designs and construction but is intertwined with a variety of issues such as the local community composition and relations, ideological moods, culture, and authorities.

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Reference List

Fischler, R. (2000). Linking Planning Theory and History: The Case of Development Control. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 19, 233-241.

Von Hoffman, A. (2009). Housing and Planning: A Century of Social Reform and Local Power. Journal of the American Planning Association, 75(2), 233-244.

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StudyCorgi. "City Planning and Environmentalism." March 31, 2021.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'City Planning and Environmentalism'. 31 March.

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