Harland Bartholomew's Role In The City Planning Profession

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Harland Bartholomew is one of the original municipal planners that influenced the city planning profession from 1914 to present day. Bartholomew’s influence and notability in city planning has three distinct areas (Lovelace, 1993). These three areas include the education of planning professionals, civil service at both the city and national level, and his private practice and advancement of a systematic comprehensive plan (Lovelace, 1993). These three areas tell a story of an individual that had a profound impact on the city planning profession beginning from the start of his planning career in 1912 and still continues today (Lovelace, 1993).
Harland Bartholomew was born in 1889 near Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Brooklyn, New York (Lovelace,
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Bartholomew’s position as a professor, however, did add to his authority as a planner and created an opportunity to influence future planning professionals. Bartholomew attended the civil engineering program at Rutgers University but never graduated (Lovelace, 1993). It wouldn’t be until Bartholomew became an authority in his profession that Rutgers University would present Bartholomew with an honorary degree in Civil Engineering (1921) and a honorary Doctor of Science degree (1952) (Lovelace, 1993). Bartholomew’s lack of a degree did not keep the University of Illinois from offering Bartholomew a non-resident professorship after the death of Charles Mulford Robinson who had held the same position (Johnston, 1973). This position lasted from 1919 until 1956 (Johnston, 1973). Bartholomew would co-teach “Planning of towns and cities” with the resident professor Karl B. Lohmann, whom would later write Principles of City Planning (Johnston, 1973). Lohmann admitted that the book was influenced by Bartholomew (Johnston, 1973). Bartholomew impacted city planning by teaching future planners his theories of what city planning entails and directly influencing a textbook that would be used at various universities throughout the country to teach planning (Johnston, …show more content…
One of the criticisms of Bartholomew’s comprehensive plan is that the system leads to each plan looking similar to another city plan and that these plans are often not adopted (Krueckeberg, 1994). In The American Planner: Biographies & Recollections Krueckeberg explains that you could simply take the last plan and “change the name of the city throughout, and sell it to the next city” (Krueckeberg, 1994). An example of this is shown in the Vancouver 1929 comprehensive plan, where Elizabeth Macdonald finds that the comprehensive plan followed Bartholomew’s general systematic approach and was never adopted by the City of Vancouver (Macdonald, 2008). Another criticism is the approach of the rational comprehensive plan. Bartholomew’s comprehensive plans have been associated with rational scientific methods and, in general, academia has critiqued these methods for not using local planners, lack of citizen support, and limited focus on social values (Macdonald, 2008). Eldridge Lovelace disagrees with the general sentiment that the comprehensive plans where similar to one another and praises the way the firm tailored Bartholomew’s system to each individual city (Lovelace, 1993). Additionally, Norman Johnston praised the Bartholomew’s comprehensive plan for refining standards and providing a sense of system and cohesiveness to comprehensive city planning (Johnston,

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