Modernism and early Urban Planning (1870-1940)
Modernism began around the 1890’s when people started moving from regional areas to urban cities mainly for work and to be closer to ports and markets. Urbanisation didn't really begin in Australia until the 1910’s when there was a shift away from the bush to urban metropolises. This lead to the industrial revolution and modernist planning really took of being able to build much larger buildings then before (birth of the skyscraper). This shift saw cities populations boom between the 1860’s and 1910’s New York's population went from 479,000 to 5 million, Philadelphia’s population triples to 1.5 million and Chicago expanded from a modest 112,000 to 2.1 million. This influx of people quickly led to problems not only physical but psychological and mental as well. The physical problems cities encountered with this influx of people where transport, congestion, space, environmental decay and serious physical health issues from a lot of pollution and poor sanitation, psychological and mental issues related to peoples life styles due to being stuck in traffic people could spend less time at home with family, loss of green space meant it was harder for peoples recreation (sports), socialising and just the general beauty of these areas.
A solution to these problems of urbanisation and modernism came about through Ebenezer Howard in the early 1900’s who had a vision of spreading cities out and having gardens and green spaces for aesthetic, recreation and environmental reasons. This garden city vision began with Letchworth in the UK the first garden city. What garden cities provide is an all round higher stand of living and a much healthier life style, garden cities balanced urbanisation with green spaces and solved modernisms problems. People in garden cities are more spread out with better transport to solve congestion and pollution issues and the parks and open areas create a lot of areas for recreation and socialization. Quickly the garden city movement swept across Europe and then across the world.
Letchworth Garden City
Planning issues that came about after this swing from modernism to garden cities where modelling issues cities where being designed with 2D modelling programs on planners computers and without public consultation which lead to expensive mistakes. Streets were built without taking into account the topography and where to steep plus layouts didn’t mesh with peoples lifestyles in these garden cities this lead to infrastructure building becoming a lot more expensive and peoples lifestyles not fitting into these cities. This was until 3D modelling came about which was a huge technological leap forward in planning now plans could be drawn up using these programs taking into account topography and you could get a good idea if the plans would work and could show your plans to all interested parties/stakeholders and consult with them to improve the plans and get the best outcome for all involved.