Urban planning might have been born in Chicago, but that was more than a century ago, in a very different city. Today’s city is not the product of Daniel Burnham or Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. It’s the rust belt metropolis that shouldered its way onto the list of global cities. But what did planning have to do with it? Where did planning steer the city right, where did it fail, and where was it ignored? Most important, what does planning have to offer the city today?
In Planning Chicago, historian D. Bradford Hunt and urban planner Jon B. DeVries tell the real stories of the planners, politicians, and everyday people who shaped contemporary Chicago, starting in 1958, early in the Richard J. Daley era. Over the ensuing decades, planning did much to develop the Loop, protect Chicago’s famous lakefront, and encourage industrial growth and neighborhood development in the face of national trends that savaged other cities. But planning also failed some of Chicago’s communities and did too little for others. The Second City is no longer defined by its past and its myths but by the nature of its emerging postindustrial future.
Planning Chicago looks beyond Burnham’s giant shadow to see the sprawl and scramble of a city always on the make. This isn’t the way other history books tell the story. But it’s the Chicago way.
Scott D. Campbell of the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning calls their book “[o]ne-stop shopping for all that is Chicago planning: a remarkably wide ranging set of ideas and facts and history, both confirming what we know about Chicago’s planning and also surprising us too.”
D. Bradford Hunt is an associate professor of social science and history at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Jon B. DeVries is director of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University.
This program is free and no reservations are required.