The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

About the Centennial

The Burnham Blog

This blog is about history, planning and the future.

It’s rooted in the recognition that we live in a world that is created by plans — and by the failure to make plans.  

This year, of course, is the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Plan of Chicago, co-authored by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett, a document that drastically remade the city and the region.  For the better.

Not all plans work.  Consider the construction of massive clusters of public housing, isolated from other neighborhoods, here and in cities around the nation.  For all the builders’ good intentions, those developments became dense concentrations of poverty where social problems festered.

This blog will look at the past to better understand the present — and to tease out what should be done in the future.  Or, at least, what should be considered.

I think of it as a sort of seminar.  I see my postings as opening statements.  My hope is that readers will jump in with comments and with comments on each other’s comments.

Planning, when done best, is about putting ideas on the table and seeing how they stand up to public scrutiny and how they fit into or help us craft our vision of the future.

We plan so we can see our visions become the future.

Patrick T. Reardon

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About the author

Photo of Patrick T. ReardonPatrick T. Reardon is a Chicagoan, born and bred.  He has been writing about the city, its region and planning issues, mainly in the Chicago Tribune, for nearly 40 years.  [MORE]

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