Modern planning

Modern urban planning dates from the 1850s and the contrasting projects to update Paris and extend Barcelona. In 1852, Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann was commissioned to remodel the Medieval street plan of Paris by demolishing swathes of the old city and laying out wide boulevards, extending outwards beyond the old city limits. Haussmann's project encompassed all aspects of urban planning, both in the centre of Paris and in the surrounding districts, with regulations imposed on building facades, public parks, sewers and water works, city facilities, and public monuments. Beyond aesthetic and sanitary considerations, the wide thoroughfares facilitated troop movement and policing.[11] The plan chosen to extend Barcelona was a rigorous project based on a scientific analysis of the city and its modern requirements. It was drawn up by the Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerda to fill the space beyond the city walls after they were demolished from 1854. He is credited with inventing the term urbanization and his approach was codified in his General Theory of Urbanization (1867). Cerda's Eixample (Catalan for 'extension') consisted of 550 regular blocks with chamfered corners to facilitate the movement of trams, crossed by three wider avenues. His objectives were to improve the health of the inhabitants, towards which the blocks were built around central gardens and orientated NW-SE to maximize the sunlight they received, and assist social integration.[12] Ebenezer Howard's influential 1902 diagram, illustrating urban growth through garden city "off-shoots" In the developed countries of Western urope, North America, Japan, and Australasia, planning and architecture can be said to have gone through various paradigms or stages of consensus in the last 200 years. Firstly, there was the industrialised city of the 19th century, where building was largely controlled by businesses and wealthy elites. Around 1900, a movement began for providing citizens, especially factory workers, with healthier environments. The concept of the garden city arose and several model towns were built, such as Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, UK, the world's first garden cities. These were small in size, typically providing for a few thousand residents.[13] In the 1920s, the ideas of modernism began to surface in urban planning. Based on the ideas of Le Corbusier and using new skyscraper-building techniques, the modernist city stood for the elimination of disorder, congestion, and the small scale, replacing them with preplanned and widely spaced freeways and tower blocks set within gardens. There were plans for large-scale rebuilding of cities in this era, such as the Plan Voisin (based on Le Corbusier's Ville Contemporaine), which proposed clearing and rebuilding most of central Paris. No large-scale plans were implemented until after World War II, however. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, housing shortages caused by wartime destruction led many cities to subsidize housing blocks. Planners used the opportunity to implement the modernist ideal of towers surrounded by gardens. The most prominent example of an entire modernist city is Brasilia in Brazil, constructed between 1956 and 1960.