The Socialist History of the “Master Plan”

“Lewis Silkin, the Minister of Town and Country Planning in Britain’s postwar Labor government, argued that the only solution to urban chaos was for the government to nationalize land ownership outright.”

Nearly everywhere, and especially in the United States, these socialist planners were opposed by conservative coalitions of business interests and landowners. In New York City, their chief antagonist was Parks Commissioner Moses, who cast himself as a centrist guardian fighting a common-sense battle against the overreach of utopian bureaucrats. As the historian Mark Gelfand has written, Moses scorned Tugwell as “a dreamer in a world that called for hard-nosed, practical men.” Tugwell represented the “centralization of decision making,” while Moses “held that great deference had to be paid to politicians and public opinion.”

Read the full article here: Rexford Guy Tugwell and the Case for Big Urbanism