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for this when the Housing and Town-planning Bill was going through the House, but could not get it. In many cases what can only be obtained through the necessarily cumbersome process of adopting the town-planning sections of the Act could be obtained at a mere fraction of the time and money if such a court of appeal existed. Bye-laws and regulations which are perfectly justifiable under one scheme and method of estate development become wasteful and stupid under another. It is not, therefore, enough to have a good model code of bye-laws; we must have elasticity, and the power to modify must be vested in some authority away from the local interests concerned. It is not in human nature that a local builder, a local land-speculator, or a local solicitor, who is a member of the Local Authority and interested in a competing building estate, should look with a friendly eye on any suggestion for modifying bye-laws or regulations at the request of a new competitor, notwithstanding the fact that the new competitor makes concessions which secure far more for the public than the bye-laws or regulations in dispute could possibly give. Such a matter must, if we are to have justice, be adjudicated on by a tribunal which represents the public interests, and the public interests alone.
It is not only in such matters as these that private interests in a public body interfere with healthy development; the same thing occurs in the relations of one public body to another. How often, in the matter of new drainage or new thoroughfare schemes, have members of one public body-against the public interests and at enormous cost to the ratepayers--prevented cooperation with another public body! The new Act depends for its success on the co-operation of adjacent public authorities. In Greater London, during the past thirty years, there have been built 550,000 houses. What a city we might have had if imagination, forethought and co-operation had prevailed, instead of the hand-tomouth unenlightened selfishness of which we are now the victims! It is not an over-estimate to say that we shall build at least as large a number of houses during the next thirty years round London. Will our local and central authorities, landlords and builders rise to the occasion and give us a Greater London of which we can
be justly proud ? We have heard much about thinking imperially. Give the people a truly imperial city to live in, and there is nothing more certain than that their thinking will tend to correspond. Give them a continuation of tbe shabby, featureless, undignified suburbs with which we are only too familiar, and their thinking will be of the same order.
The organisation of London and the urban areas around it is on this matter as unscientific as it could well be. Large sums of money, it is true, have been spent in preparing schemes for main roads, but there is no adequate authority to see them carried out. We have scores of authorities with conflicting aims and interests, each unconsciously-indeed, in some cases, it is suggested, consciously-frustrating whatever efforts at improvement the other is making. Take almost any main artery leading out of London. Look at the jumble of property which is being run up on each side of it. In twenty years from now these roads will be in many parts too narrow by from twenty-five to fifty feet for the traffic they will have to bear. For the most part they will be shabby and undignified. Widenings will cost more per hundred yards than they would have cost per mile ten years ago. The part which should have been dealt with, and ought at once to be dealt with, runs through districts which are being administered by perhaps half a dozen different urban public bodies. These have no plan to work to, and there is no central authority to impose any plan on them. Thus the efficiency, the comfort and the health of a city which in a few years will have a population of ten millions is being sacrificed. Give home rule to localities by all means, but let it be on matters which do not frustrate the good of the whole. For certain large questions which affect Greater London as a whole, including the planning of main and secondary roads, the securing of open spaces, and the general disposition of the area over which the population of London will spread in the next fifty years, there should be a central responsible body; and whatever the local authorities do should conform to its general scheme.
What applies to London applies also, in a greater or less degree, to several of the other great urban areas in the country. In the matter of roads, good planning does
not involve more land or more cost than the indifferent planning of to-day. On building estates round London macadamised roads from forty to forty-five feet wide are often insisted on, where a width of from fifteen to twenty-five feet would be ample if there were a reasonable limitation of the number of houses to the acre. On the other hand, the traffic on the main roads leading to such estates is throttled by their being far too narrow. The width of, and expenditure on the roads must be adjusted in a more intelligent way to the needs of the situation. Germany has made up its mind to act in this matter; and it behoves us not to fall behind her. There is much in Germany's housing policy which we should do well not to imitate; but in her clear recognition of the problem of planning and the execution of a consistent and definite policy for dealing with it we may well imitate her. In our attitude of mind on this question we stand midway between the stringent regulations of Germany and the unfettered licence of the United States.
In Germany the city authority is supreme. It controls the land-owner, the land speculator, and the builder in the interests of the community to an extent we have never known here. The land, even if privately owned, when it comes within the possible building area of the town in the matter of plan development, ceases to be private. It is part of the foundation of the town, and as such is subject to the most stringent public regulation and control. In the inner city of Frankfort, for example, buildings may cover from one-half to five-sixths of a lot and have a maximum height of sixty-five feet and six inches. Usually they are limited in height to the width of the street upon which they front. In the inner and outer zones of the residential section, not only is the space between the buildings regulated, but also the height of the buildings and the number of storeys. In Cologne the area which may be occupied by buildings ranges from 25 to 60 per cent., depending upon the location of the lots, the maximum being allowed in the business districts. These building regulations preclude the reappearance of tenement conditions and ensure harmonious development with a uniform sky-line in each zone of the city.
Within certain limits, German municipalities control the nature of suburban development. Factories which in any way offend the neighbourhood in which they are located may be required to move to the suburbs, on the general theory that a man must so use his property as not to interfere with a like use on the part of his neighbour. Municipal bye-laws also control the factory and industrial areas. German cities anticipate their future needs in a far-sighted, intelligent way. Before a new territory is opened up for residence, the city authorities acquire land for playgrounds and gardens, and sites for schoolhouses and other public buildings. The purchase of these lands, far in advance of the city's growth, saves it from prohibitive prices and the necessity of cramping the sites of public buildings. It also makes possible the most generous provision for recreation and open spaces; and in the new suburbs of German cities, playgrounds and gardens of great variety are found within easy walking distance of almost every home.
Referring to the conditions and particulars supplied by the Corporation of Düsseldorf to the competitors in connexion with the town-planning prizes offered by that city, the ‘Builder' for Sept. 29, 1911, says: Characterised by the scientific method and by that painstaking thoroughness for which the Germans are so distinguished, these conditions amount to a most interesting and valuable essay on the whole art and science of townplanning, as at present understood in Germany, emphasising the principal points to be observed in the lay-out and general conception of a modern industrial and residential city. The amount of information supplied to the competitors gives us some idea of the present advanced state of the art in Germany, and enables us to realise the enormous amount of statistical information which must be collected, analysed and properly related to the general subject by those who have the opportunity and the type of mind capable of dealing with facts and figures, before the actual planner—the man with the creative type of mind—can attain a grasp of the essential points of the problem and be in a position to tackle it with any hope of success. We doubt whether the officials of any English town are yet in a position to supply such exhaustive information and draw up such conditions.'
In the United States, opinion on the question is ripening rapidly, and town-planning schemes on a very
costly scale are being carried out in many of the great cities with a view to reducing the mischief wrought by past neglect. The Mayor of Philadelphia, in welcoming the delegates to the third and most important National City-planning Conference in May 1911, said: Two years ago we had a conference here of citizens of all classes and conditions. At this conference sub-committees were appointed; and for two years they have worked in order to lay before our people plans for the development of our city, some of which you have seen around the walls of this municipal building. We believe these plans will be followed out—not in this year, but for many years; and that a wonderful work will be accomplished for our city, and by the same ideas other communities will be benefited. I believe that, instead of being a burden, these plans for development can be accomplished without increased taxes, and that the city will be benefited not only in a financial sense, but by developing in the people the idea that the city exists not for a class but for all classes.'
At this conference it was resolved That the advancement of scientific city-planning in the United States is a matter of national importance depending upon fundamental principles, which are the same throughout the country; our understanding of the basic principles and of the methods by which they can be made practically effective is greatly confused by the perplexing diversities of constitutional and legal conditions in different localities.
That in the opinion of this conference it is desirable that the National Government and the several State Governments undertake an enquiry into the problems of city-planning from the national point of view, unprejudiced by the peculiarities of any State Constitution; and
•That the executive committee be directed to confer with the officers of the Federal Government and of the several States as to the practicability of such governmental inquiry't
In Canada the leading citizens are waking up to the necessity for prompt action. During my three months' tour in the Dominion last year, every public man I met admitted the gravity of the question. Canada has
* Report of the Proceedings of the Third National Conference on City Planning, at Philadelphia, May 15–17, 1911 (University Press, Cambridge, U.S.A.), pp. 1, 2.
† Ib. pp. 263, 264.