The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece
Chapter 1: Urban Containment: European Experience of Planning for the Compact City
Cliﬀ Hague INTRODUCTION The birth of land use planning as we know it today was the spread of the city and the industrialisation of transport in the nineteenth century. Urban growth, in terms of demography and land area, was the problem that built political momentum around the idea that some form of public regulation in the development process was legitimate. Urban growth could be halted with a green belt once a city had reached a certain size, and a new settlement should be started some close but safe distance away. This beguiling idea drew forceful advocates, many of whom had the power to put their ideas into practice. Some of the English examples were particularly inspirational. William Hesketh Lever relocated his soap factory and built Port Sunlight around it. Bournville outside Birmingham provided the space and clean environment that Cadbury’s sought to manufacture their chocolate products, and for decent living conditions that their Quaker consciences valued. This model of an industrial village in the countryside was an appealing alternative to the degraded conditions of slum-ridden cities, where the air was noxious and rivers were fouled by the sheer volume of industrial and domestic waste. Ebenezer Howard was aware of these rustic English experiments. He also knew, and was inﬂuenced by, America. He had personal experience of the Homestead Act of 1862, and the small town settlements it created across the prairies. He saw with his own eyes the re-building of Chicago after the ﬁre of 1871, when it was...
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