The Modern Metropolis: Its Origins, Growth, Characteristics, and Planning
"Today we must regain, by conscious effort, the essential unity of function and form. It is not a question of 'city beautiful.' It is a question of discovering the forms that will most clearly give expression to the function of our cities, as the form of the old towns reflected their way of living. The social life of men is the specific side of nature that the city builder's art reflects. His task is the same as any artist's; as Albrecht Durer put it: 'For, verily, art is inherent in nature; he who can extract it therefrom will hold it.' "
Hans Blumenfeld enjoys the highest reputation in the field of urban planning. It is no small testimony to his professional standing that almost every serious book on town planning makes reference to his work. At the same time his writing is clear and completely free from jargon. Hans Blumenfeld can handle the most complex issues of planning—from traffic to residential densities to locational theory—utilizing a light, captivating prose that makes his subject understandable to virtually any reader. His essays are an invaluable store of urban planning knowledge.
The purpose of this collection is to present a clear, comprehensible, and highly readable book on the growth of modern cities and their planning. The author's acknowledged expertise—his ability to offer profound insight—grounded in a practical experience extending over 45 years contributes toward making this an important book. His approach is historical, analytical, and, above all, practical. If the book is unique, it may be because it covers the whole range of planning problems but is not an academic exercise or textbook. It has grown out of Hans Blumenfeld's need for theoretical clarification of problems encountered in practice.
The Modern Metropolis is essential reading for professional planners, architects, landscape architects, transportation, engineers, planning officials, redevelopment officials, laymen, citizens' planning groups, corporation executives, utility company executives, and students.
"The Modern Metropolis is an amazing book; amazing even when it is conceded that in effect it took twenty-five years to produce. It consists of thirty-three articles, which span its author's American professional career from 1943 to the present day. Some of them...were long ago established as classics. Others first appeared in obscurer places, or are published here for the first time. Bound together into one book, they give for the first time a true picture of the extraordinary intellectual range of Hans Blumenfeld, establishing him definitely as one of the giants of twentieth-century urban planning."—Urban Studies Journal