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Research in progress: the Radburn idea as an emergent concept: Henry Wright's regional city

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Abstract:

A member of the Regional Planning Association of America and architect on groundbreaking projects such as Sunnyside and Radburn, Henry Wright affirmed a communitarian regionalism that advocated new town development in a balanced region as an alternative to sprawling suburbs and congested cities. In his collaborative designs with Clarence Stein, he explored efficiency, aesthetics and quality of life issues, integrating superblock, hierarchical street systems, clustered housing, mixed uses and connected park systems. Yet Wright's subsequent adaptation of the Radburn idea offered a more complex, urban vision than the greenfield, suburban alternative. Reviewing archival material, journal articles from the period and more recent assessments of Radburn, this paper is a comparative study of Wright's interpretation of the regional city. Examination of this relatively little-known alternative vision offers new insights into the planned community and communitarian regionalism, which are of particular relevance given renewed interest in these concepts, most notably among the new urbanists.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02665430802102849

Affiliations: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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