The Changes in American Society from the 17<sup>th</sup> to 20<sup>th</sup> Century Reflected in the Language of City Planning Documents

by David A Roberts

Institution: Youngstown State University
Department: Department of English
Degree: MAin English
Year: 2014
Keywords: American History; American Studies; Architecture; Area Planning and Development; Landscape Architecture; Language; Urban Planning; city design; urban planning; rhetoric of city planning; cities in early america; philadelphia; savannah; cleveland; chicago; american studies; early american history
Record ID: 2030762
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ysu1410888727


The study of the documents involved in the planning of these American cities allows for an understanding of the methodology behind the design. With some interpretation, it is possible to draw out of the documents the kinds of things Americans expected from their city. While urban planning was not a field of study until the 20<sup>th</sup> century, a great deal of planning went into many cities. This was especially true for American cities. As with anything, certain things change with time and changes can be evidenced from the design plans over the centuries in the United States. A great deal of the society’s wants and needs are embedded in these city plans as the designers of the city kept a keen eye on those requirements. With this consideration in mind, it is possible conjure an image of what each city’s citizens were like through the writings.This thesis focuses on the cities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Savannah, Georgia, Cleveland, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois, each representative of a different time in American history to allow for the similarities and differences of American society to be illuminated. The goal is to identify these societal changes over the 300 years that spanned the founding of Philadelphia to the redesign of Chicago through the plans for the cities themselves.