buildings, cars, people on Halsted Street in Chicago in 1900

Introduction to City Planning 2: Modern Ideas of City Planning (1900-1939)

Explore the development of the city and city planning from 1900 to the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

  • English
  • 49 Mins
  • Published
What You Will Learn
  • Understand the evolution of contemporary planning by comparing previous movements and the origins of modern design, social reform, policies and politics. 

  • Identify key global shifts in the cultural, economic, political and industrial relationships and hierarchies between and across different cities. 

  • Recognize how city planning as a discipline emerged from the ideas of writers, politicians, architects, designers, and social reformers. 

  • Compare and contrast the ways that technology and innovations change cities and the way planners must plan for cities, from the aqueduct to the railroad and the automobile. 

  • Critically evaluate how historical planning movements were successful (and we still borrow from them) but also how they were failed, and how and why some cities rose and fell over time (and the relevance for cities today). 

  • Recognize and assess the relationships between planning, the economy, politics and society – the way that industrial innovation gave rise to revolutions and transformative social movements, and make links to the contemporary urban world.

This course explores the development of the city and city planning from 1900 to the outbreak of World War II in 1939. This was an era where modern ideas, technologies, and politics came together as planning and cities were dramatically reshaped by planners (as opposed to previous eras, where the place-makers had been architects and designers). Spatial planning is born—the marriage of physical form (architecture and design) with social, cultural, economic, and environmental aspects. The 1920s and 1930s produce a flurry of utopian ideas and visions, but darkness approaches as political divisions and extreme ideology plunge the world into conflict. The suburb is a new urban form, stretching cities in new ways.


This course is approved for .75 AICP CM credit.


This course is approved for 1 CNU-A credit.