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To the Eidtor of the Crimson:
It seems to me that the subject of city planning deserves to be built up in this country. The Harvard School under Mr. Hubbard has made a good beginning and is today the most important focus of this subject in this country. I do not refer to planning in general. That is another thing. Nowadays all sorts of planning center in Washington,--social, economic, financial, etc. There ought to be an education center for city planning somewhere. If the subject is dropped out at Harvard, there will be no center in this country.
Look at it this way. If a thousand families are thrown together, they must plan their farms, gardens, houses, stores, shops, factories. But they must also do their city planning, i. e.,--streets, parks, sites for public buildings, public reservations, routes for public utilities, zoning districts, pierhead and bulkhead lines and deep channels. These are a separate field from planning private property. They are the work of the community for the community, and if we have them at all, they must exist under sanction of law. They are the difference between a civilized and an uncivilized community. A municipality, state or nation without these entities is uncivilized.
They compose a unit. City planning is the best word that we now have for this unit. These elements can be shown on a map because they are land qualities. That sort of planning that cannot be shown on a map is not city planning,--at least from my point of view. The fact that a highway can be made by a municipality or a state or a nation does not alter the fact that it is an element in city planning. No institution in this country has stuck so closely, to this vital subject as the Harvard School.
The smothering of city planning is going on rapidly in the country, Washington is doing its full share in spreading the word planning over all creation. What a fine thing it would be to continue the upbuilding of community planning at Harvard. Mr. Hubbard is grand. He is broader than I am. That is no hurt for the head of a college department. Yours very truly, E. M. Bassett
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