The design and development of capital cities was one of the defining tasks of twentieth-century urban planning. Capital cities were often the archetypical 'big plans' which required mobilization of political support, vast financial resources and the best urban design talent. Implementing these plans might take decades, as in Washington or Canberra. At the other extreme, Brasilia was first carved out of the interior in less than four years. This book examines the plans for sixteen important capital cities: Berlin, Brasilia, Brussels, Canberra, Chandigarh, Dodoma, Helsinki, London, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Rome, Tokyo and Washington. These case studies were selected using a typological framework developed by Sir Peter Hall and the chapters are extensively illustrated and written by authorities on the cities concerned. For anyone with an interest in urban and regional planning, urban and planning history, architecture and architectural history, urban geography, or simply capital cities and why they are what they are, this will be the key sourcebook for a long time to come.
David Gordon is Associate Professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning, Queen's University, Canada. He is the author of Battery Park City: Politics and Planning on the New York Waterfront and numerous articles on plan implementation and Ottawa planning history. As a practitioner, Dr. Gordon shared the Canadian Institute of Planners National Award of Distinction in 1991 and 1992.