35 thoughts on “Blog Exercise Five

  1. Reblogged this on All for class and commented:
    These pictures depict three of America’s greatest achievements of the 1900s and possible in history. The Federal housing Act of 1949, Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, 1956 and advances in aviation transportation.

    The Federal Housing Act of 1949: “The general welfare and security of the Nation and the health and living standards of its people require housing production and related community development sufficient to remedy the serious housing shortage… The clearance of slums and and blighted areas, and the realization as soon as feasible of the goal of a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family…” (81st Congress, 1st session. Housing Act of 1949)
    The housing act was meant to provide clean and reliable housing for each and every American family. This idea had started previously with the Service Member Readjustment Act of 1944, or the GI Bills. This act provided funding for returning GI’s from WWII. This had a massive push in suburbanization, as seen in one of the photos above. The act provided funding for education, small business loans and low interest mortgages. There were specifications on theses mortgages, helping to move populations from an urban setting to the suburbs.

    A Interstate system had been in the talks/works for several years before Dwight D. Eisenhower was able to get the Federal-Aid Highway Act passed in 1956. Before Eisenhower, there had never been proposed way to pay for an interstate system. Eisenhower had returned from the war impressed by the German’s high speed large road system. Upon being elected president he immediately began working on act that would eventually create a 41,000 mile network of roads spanning the nation. “Its title is obscure, but its impact is not: [The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956] created the Interstate Highway System, which touched virtually every aspect of American life in the past 50 years” (Justin FoxFortuneJanuary 26, 2004). All in all the Federal Interstate system cost $128.9 billion, 90% paid by the federal government and the remaining by the States. The Interstate system is also owned by the States and they are required for general upkeep. The one exception is the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge (I-95/495) over the Potomac River in the Washington area (fhwa.dot.gov).

    Aviation: In the 1950s the American aviation industry grew dramatically. Airline companies had gradually adopted the technological improvements of World War II for their civilian planes, and commercial air travel became faster and more comfortable (encyclopedia.com). During the 1950s the aviation began to bomb! Not only did the private aviation industry have access to general aviation technology from the military. It had a seemingly endless supply of pilots and mechanics that had returned from the war already trained and qualified for work. With the lowering costs of flight civilians began to travel farther and farther from their home towns. Major companies began purchasing aircraft for business purposes. Even with the advent of the telephone many business deals were still conducted face to face. With the possibility of fast transportation companies would move factories to lower income cities to cut labor cost while keeping the administrative heart of the company in major cities such as New York and Chicago.

  2. Reblogged this on maybeokay and commented:
    These pictures reflect the changes associated with Borchert’s fourth stage of urban development: the auto-air-amenity epoch. Beginning in the 1920s, this era of unrbanization saw the transition from a primarily rail-based transportation system to unmistakably automotive spatial patterns. While the beginning of the automotive epoch began with Ford, it truly gained speed with the end of World War Two when “post-war demobilization, involvement of the federal government… and a dramatic change in demographics” led to the growth of extensive suburbs (Lesh).
    Post-war demobilization refers, of course, to the return of troops to the United States following the end of WWII. Involvement of the federal government, in turn, refers to various housing acts and the G.I. Bill which, cumulatively, provided “greater access to loans” and “the possibility of affording housing… for millions of Americans” (Lesh). These were joined by the 1956 National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, which coupled with the earlier 1944 Federal Aid-Highway Act to create 40,000 miles of largely government-funded roads connecting U.S. cities. Demographic shifts, finally, were several: the baby-boom, the Great Migration of southern African Americans to northern cities during wartime, and “white flight” to the suburbs. In a wider scope—moving into the 60s, 70s, and 80s—these factors were joined by the shift to a less manufacturing-, more service-based economy.
    The more widespread ability to afford housing, growing family sizes, expanding road systems, and exploding car ownership all contributed to the development of massive suburbs now synonymous with the 1950s. In the forty years ending in 1990 “metropolitan areas expanded from 208,000 square miles housing 84 million people to 585,000 square miles housing 193 million”—altogether metropolitan growth, but significantly a lessening of population density “from 407 to 330 persons per square mile” as the increasing population fanned out amongst the yards, roads, and often identical walls of housing tracts (Squires).
    As the population increased in mobility, so too did businesses. Roads and airplanes freed them from a stringent attachment to city centers while the ability to construct new buildings rather than repurposing old made movement to developing areas attractive. Also attractive was the promise of “tax abatements, below-market-rate loans, training grants, and other subsidies” offered to companies by new municipalities and, of course, the growing suburban population: young, wealthy, educated, and consumer-oriented—perfect buyers and workers, particularly as the economy began to shift away from manufacturing work and towards skilled and service professions (Squires).
    In the city center, the auto-air-amenity epoch had less splendid effects. Indeed, aside certain areas (namely the central business district), city centers had the inverse results of suburbs. Demographic shifts during wartime led to the migration (Great Migration) of many southern African Americans to urban areas where they were often left with limited jobs, deteriorating housing options, and growing poverty—at first due to segregation, then white flight and business movement to suburbs (in addition to segregation), and finally as manufacturing opportunities declined.
    The interstate system, so vital to spawning suburbs, also penetrated urban centers but often in negative ways, making public transportation (any, really) more difficult, dissecting cities into more easily segregated sections, and generating pollution. Government involvement was likewise bittersweet; the 1949 Housing Act provided funds for urban renewal programs and the development of low- and middle-income housing, but the results were far less widespread and successful than suburban development, often leading to greater segregation, financial hardship, and the demolition of alternative housing options. Within two decades “the program generally evoked images of destruction and delay rather than renaissance and reconstruction” (Teaford). The deterioration of city centers, like the growth of suburbs, was not a short-lived trend. Revitalization and gentrification have only relatively recently, and variably, began to shift patterns that date back to the 1940s. Yet these processes too are often more geared towards wealth and new buildings than addressing underlying disparities.

    Sources:
    Lesh, Bruce. “Post-War Suburbanization: Homogenization or the American Dream?.” . N.p.. Web. 1 Mar 2014. .

    Squires, Gregory. “Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences, & Policy Responses.” . Urban Institute Press, n.d. Web. 1 Mar 2014. .

    Teaford, Jon C.. “Urban Renewal and Its Aftermath.” . Fannie Mae Foundation, n.d. Web. 1 Mar 2014. .

  3. Reblogged this on Neverending Wanderlust and commented:
    This collection of images shows many of the factors that allowed for the postwar growth of cities in North America. The top and bottom images on the left show airplanes and airports, which were crucial in this process. Airplanes (especially jets) allowed corporations to change their basic structure. Along with the telephone, airplanes facilitated long distance communication, allowing corporations to integrate vertically by acquiring other firms at different levels of the production process. Additionally, corporate conglomeration caused most corporations to concentrate their headquarters in the largest cities, like New York or Chicago. Thanks to the development of roads like the Eisenhower Interstate System, people could live outside of the city in suburbs and commute to work. Only the most important jobs would be kept in the headquarters in the city center. Jobs like data entry, for example, would be relocated to the suburbs, where housewives could work for a lower salary in such pink-collar jobs. Similarly, research and development jobs were located on corridors between major universities, as workers in this field usually did not want to leave the university area. Eventually, these high tech corridors would become well known, like Silicon Valley.

    The North American postwar landscape was fundamentally shaped by certain policy actions taken by the US government. Suburban seas of homes, like the one in the top right picture, began to explode thanks to these policies and have now become commonplace across the entire continent. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 attempted to protect American farmers by raising tariffs on imported agricultural goods. However, all it really did was start a tariff war that caused foreigners to stop buying American goods, putting the US and the globe on course towards the Great Depression. The Housing Act of 1934 created the Federal Housing Administration, which attempted to decrease the number of foreclosures occurring and increase home ownership. For the most part, homes purchased through the FHA had to be new homes in the suburbs due to the strict requirements of the loans. New Deal projects like the CCC built critical infrastructure, like the Hoover Dam, which created a reliable water supply for cities in the southwest. This allowed massive urbanization in an area where it was previously impossible. At the end of World War II, many veterans qualified for low interest, low down payment VA mortgages. Housing acts in the 1940s and 1950s further expanded FHA loans. Combined with Federal Highway Acts in the 1950s, these housing policies encouraged rapid suburbanization in the United States. By getting people to own houses and thus be personally invested in the national economy, the US government hoped to prevent any spread of communism or socialism into the country. The government had witnessed the spread of socialism into Western Europe, and wanted to prevent it at any cost during this time of the Red Scare. Thus, it created these policies to encourage home ownership. Plus, when people buy a house, they need to fill it with lots of stuff, causing an economic boom.

  4. After World War II the United States was a pretty happening place. The west had prevailed in the epic battle of good versus evil, the economy was booming, and veterans were returning home in droves and producing the baby boom generation. The series of images above illustrate how the realm of transportation influenced the way we made cities during this period. Generally, central cities became decentralized and spread into low density suburban developments. Two main legislative factors influenced this development. The first was G.I. Bill of Rights (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) which provided benefits to the returning veterans. Among these benefits was one year of unemployment pay and guaranteed home loan financing. The caveat was that the home had to be a single family, detached unit. This provides much of the context for places like Levittown, PA. Levittown was the assembly line mode of production, popularized during the Industrial Revolution by the likes of Henry Ford, applied to mass housing. From 1950 to 1959 the population of central cities in the United States grew by six million people. The population of suburban areas grew by 19 million people during this same time period. (Gaber) The demographics of the United States flipped from an urban constituency to something other than urban. The second major legislative factor that influenced city decentralization was the Highway Act of 1956. In opposition of the Highway Act of 1954 which provided 50% matching subsidies for urban highways (connecting one high density core to another), the Highway Act of ’56 was signed within the rhetoric of the Cold War and literally went around cities. New highways were intended to aid the country in its effort to be combat ready in case of an emergency so every stretch of road had to have a portion of it that was perfectly straight (so a jet could land). (Gaber)
    And so the G.I. Bill coupled with a new expansive national highway system and a cheapening, more accessible automobile produced one of the greatest population decreases from central cities ever seen. The streetcar was an early form of suburbanization but the movement was fairly slow and subsequently the land adjacent to hubs was highly valued and dense. The difference with the post World War II automobile era is the distance that people could travel was far greater and allowed them access to cheap land on the fringes of cities. With cheap land and autonomy to move quickly where every they wanted, families and companies built sporadically and in low densities. The increase in air travel had a similar influence as new roads and automobiles. Air travel quickly and (relatively) cheaply connected people to cities and their suburbs across the United States. The suburban model has been the predominent type of development since 1950 – about the last 50 years or so. My generation, Gen Xers, are shifting the focus back to urban areas. As a society I believe we have, consciously or subconsciously, determined that the suburban sprawl model does not work as a way to physically shape the world we live in.

  5. Reblogged this on crainer2014 Urban Geography and commented:
    The evolution of the American city and the advent of the modern American suburb phenomenon have been molded by the development of 20th century transportation projects and the ever-encompassing need of new modes of transportation and the externalities that they present. The first image gives a prime example of American innovation in transportation technology, with an aircraft in the foreground flying over a city connected by a suspension bridge, which was a technological innovation of the late 19th century, but the two technologies juxtaposed seems to highlight progress and the possibilities of innovation, especially given how the use of aircraft opened up new possibilities of inner-connectivity and economic evolution that were limited by previous technology. This evolution in aircraft integration into our transportation system can be seen in the image of the airport terminal, which became essential to any city nationally and internationally that sought to provide economic growth for its citizens and potential citizens and immigrants who might otherwise have been unable to feasibly travel. These ever-growing airports changed the image of the modern cityscape, more specifically the images in larger cities that required larger airports to support the ever-increasing traffic due to the demand to travel by air. With these new travel hubs came the symbiotic associations we now see in modern cities, such as hotel accommodations for travelers, with some becoming iconic travel destinations themselves, and services and entertainment for travelers which became economic drivers for growing cities. Yet, with the new innovations in transportation came the possibilities of life beyond or away from the growing cities. This seemed to be the path which presented itself with the construction of the Eisenhower Interstate System, which changed the way in which we travel and where we live in the United States to this day. As Eisenhower had been the Allied Supreme Commander in Europe, he had witnessed the possibilities and potentials of a well developed and highly integrated highway system, as the Germans had developed in the 1930s on their path to war. This system of highways had proved essential to the full mobilization of the German military prior to and during World War II and fueled the resurgence of the post-Weimar German economy which built its way out of the world-wide economic depression. What we know as the Interstate System today was authorized in the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, ushering forth a new era of transportation and economic growth in the United States that would take over three decades to complete. The image of the quintessential “cookie cutter” suburb was a result of this new found freedom to travel, fueled by access to cheap cars, cheap gas, and affordable housing guided by the “American dream” of home ownership, white picket fences included. The end result of this evolution in American transportation can be seen in the last image, a typical highway with a green median, the highway being the connecting jugular to the side streets of cities growing along the main artery and the ultimate path to the other jugulars that crisscross the nation. The American transportation system has transformed how we move and live in the modern world in a relatively short span of time, yet if air travel or access to inter-connected highways were spontaneously revoked or denied our world would seem much smaller and the suburban pastures might not look so green.

  6. Reblogged this on esobrien and commented:
    City systems all over the world changed drastically in the time following World War II, but in very different ways in the United States compared with cities devastated in many European countries. As a definite result of developing technology, changes in public policy, politics, and the family structure American cities greatly experienced urban sprawl and further development of urban cities.
    Before the Second World War, American cities were already heavily developing as a result of the Industrial Revolution and advancing technology. City structures and Central Business Districts were changed dramatically because of the development of steel, telephones, and the elevator in the early 20th Century. The combination of these three innovations allowed city buildings to go upwards, and changed the profile completely of major cities, introducing the skyscrapers. After World War II, however, America begins to see the jet engine, which allows corporations to expand in several ways. The corporation itself can expand and buy up the chain of supply and distribution of competing companies, so we start to see larger corporations and the death of smaller ones. This creates more concentration of bigger companies in global cities. However, this corporation expansion leads to spacial dispersion as well, so people working for these companies, in whatever level of the production or distribution process, can spread out in different areas of America. This creation of jobs further allows and encourages urban sprawl.
    Before the 1920s, public policy was mostly based on the laissez-faire economic system, in which the government generally does not have much interference with the economic affairs of society. The Great Depression forced the American government to step away from this idea, seeing as they tried to let the business cycle fix the economy to no success. In the mid-1930s, the government began offering public works projects to create more jobs for the wide-spread unemployment all over the country, as well as improve the infrastructure of the country itself. A major project was the Civilian Conservation Corps, which created the Hoover Dam, leading to further urbanization in the Southwest because of their new reliable water supply. Another major government project was the Eisenhower Interstate System, implemented after World War II. This construction and restoration of a national connected road system in America helped further expansion across America now that automobiles were becoming more accessible to the common American, especially after Ford’s assembly line.
    Politics themselves played a large role in the way, or even the possibility, of city expansion and urban sprawl. After the Second World War, many feared, sometimes very irrationally, the spread of Communism all across the United States. This fear made the government want public housing to fail because it seemed to closely tied to ways a communist or socialist society might look. Their goal was to get as much of the population as possible to be financially invested in the economy so they would have a sense of ownership and connectedness to society. Their further involvement in the mortgage system with the Federal Housing Act of 1939 greatly impacted the amount of houses bought in America, and enabled urban sprawl to really take off, and suburbanization to grow. This tightly clustered, planned housing, as seen in the picture, greatly affected the American family dynamic, and vice-versa. The baby boom made it to where families needed bigger homes, so the urban sprawl formed. But the lack of public transportation in these suburban areas immobilized American elderly and youth, who now lived in a world of new technologies with nothing to do.

  7. Reblogged this on meshari86 and commented:
    Since the first goal for Architecture and Urban Planning lies in creating the right environment for a person through the system provides physical needs and have fun artistic and intellectual contemporary and the future. The planning and design of Architecture and Urbanism is to create spaces that provide for a person full filling its daily needs in housing, employment, entertainment, worship and other physiological and psychological comfort and social consensus with the needs of his time. Also, can be considered architectural, cultural or professional in nature and abilities that the Creator (God) gave it to him, is the one who can be an entire urban environment and that man lives its lively throughout the day, but throughout his life. The Orbiter of the rings of human history finds, that the real boom for humanitarian activities has made tremendous development in terms of quantity and quality. In the late eighteenth century, with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it was marked by the nineteenth century a number of important features that have left their mark on the writings of thinkers and scientists. Also, the architects and style their thinking and their attitude to life and their view of the future. The nineteenth century came in the wake of three major revolutions: the American Revolution and the French Revolution, then what is generally known as the “Industrial Revolution.”

    As shown in the image that shows the project ( Eisenhower Interstate System ), which occurred in June 29, 1956 , by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The law of the Federal Highway Aid Act 1956 ” National System of Interstate and Defense Highways,” which will be described greatest public works project in history. The project’s goals are the elimination of the roads unsafe, ineffective ways, traffic jams, and all the other things that got in the way of ” fast travel and intercontinental safe” at the same time. For all these reasons, the law of 1956 that created a construction of an elaborate system of rapid ” essential to the national interest ” and how it affects all of our daily lives, not only as a means of travel, but as part of our culture and the American way of life. This project has helped make the United States that country of safest mobile roads and highways in the world. And we honor the past, there is no higher calling for those of us in the current generation of officials from transportation to ensure continued Eisenhower Highway System to serve America for decades to come. (“The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System”)(“THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM”)

    Based on these following pictures, during World War II (1939 – 1945 AD) continued progress of work in the development of the Aircraft, which used the latest generation of fighter helicopter. At the beginning of the fifties of the twentieth century began jets of air travel on day trips to cross the Atlantic non-stop. Then, with the end of the fifties of the twentieth century became the jets play an important role in bringing all the countries making the transition between them easier and convenient, and the world seemed a lot smaller than it was a century ago. (Al-Moussawi )
    The Aircraft has brought with it many changes in the lifestyle of people. The Millions of people depend on the plane to check them comfortable transition. As are many factories to export their products by air. The plane offers its services to humanity in many other ways, ranging from import, export and carry emergency assistance.

    1- Al-Moussawi , Hashim. “Articulated jump in the history of urban planning.” . tellskuf.com, n.d. Web. 2 Mar 2014. .
    2- “The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System.” Federal Highway Administration. United States Department of Transportation , n.d. Web. 2 Mar 2014. .
    3- “THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM.” History . A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 2 Mar 2014. .

  8. Reblogged this on urban geographical issues and commented:
    The pictures depicts the growth of the United States before and after World War II in transportation, city structure in housing, and ultimately the so-called “American Dream.” After World War II, the United States sought to reinvent itself and put people back to work. All these things were guided by technology, public policy and a new form of politics from before WWII that sought to prioritize American economic values such as capitalism countering the threat of communism and socialist values. The following are the steps on how the American city landscape change and created a new form of solely of American values.
    The technology that gave root to the city growth of the post-World War II American urban world has its roots in the early 1910s. It was in this era that the assembly line was introduced that would shape on how the American urban and suburban landscape was to change. The assembly line made it easier for the society to switch to automobile based urban design of housing. “Car culture” therefore expanded the outward city expansion–urban sprawl. In addition, the assembly line also made household goods more cheaply and accessible for the new growth of the middle class working family. Finally, after World War II jet engines would have an impact on the city structure and jobs. As result of the jet engine, cities started to outsource its labor markets, many cities lost their core manufacturing jobs by shifting their sectors to cities “where everything was going on.” All these inventions would have an impact on how the American cities were to take form. Along with technology the post-Great Depression policies also helped in shaping the urban landscape.
    The Great Depression created vast unemployment and the rates of housing ownership plumed. In response to this, in 1933 just a little bit after becoming president, Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to put Americans back to work. The CCC implementation would lead to the mass urbanization of the Southwest and population shift from East to West. The program put more than three million of Americans at work (pbs.org). The Depression left the banking sector in a marginal state in which loans were difficult to be obtain. The National Housing Act of 1934, started the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that would backed banking loans federally and guaranteed working American a descent house. After WWII, this was backed again with the Housing Acts of 1949, 1954 and 1957. With the return of American soldiers the GI Bill also aided veterans in getting an education guaranteeing increase in income. In Addition, the GI Bill also aided veterans in housing. All these would lead to suburbanization. People started to purchased housing outside the city cores and buying cars. The Federal Highway Act of 1954, increased this phenomena even more by eliminating the need of public transportation.
    Finally, the politics of the era played a role in the whole development of this city structure. The ideals were that American families should own their homes. Special zoning areas were created for housing development that promoted a family based structure. The public policies and technology made it all possible to created the “American Dream.” As a result, changing the way cities were layout and how Americans saw themselves.

  9. Reblogged this on The Urban World and commented:
    With the conclusion of World War II, the United States work force swelled as servicemen returned to their homes to begin their lives anew after what was arguably the momentous events of the 20th century. The industries of America had changed with the war, however, and there were many veterans unable to obtain suitable employment. Eisenhower, borrowing upon principles from the ancient Roman Empire, set his soldiers to work constructing a vast interstate highway system to alleviate the problems associated with unemployed veterans, as well as expand the infrastructure of a changing nation. The advent of the jet engine had allowed rapid travel between cities, causing corporations to engage in spatial dispersion, with specialized facilities associated with their businesses spread out across the nation. The interstate highway system would further integrate these facilities, allowing quicker, more reliable movement of items essential to manufacture and finished products. It was with these ideas in mind that Eisenhower managed to serve both corporate interests, as well as unemployed veterans with his interstate highway system. Fear of socialism, gaining favor in many allied European nations, caused the government to rework the housing market to both provide living quarters for the newly employed veterans, as well invest the average citizen in capitalism via home-ownership as an integral aspect of “the American Dream”. With the expansion of the housing market pushing people away from living in urban environments, the expansion of the suburbs spurred the growth of the automotive industry, which was also poised to take advantage of the interstate highway system. Unfortunately, this left the urban housing to underprivileged groups, ostensibly being cared for by a welfare system providing public housing, but, in reality, was seen more as a system to provide corrupt politicians kickbacks with construction contracts at the work, and as extraneous wastes of money and time by public officials at best. More frustrating, the welfare system was organized so that the recipients would lose all benefits at once if they managed to get above certain thresholds of income, encouraging them to actually avoid gainful employment, and creating a nightmare of social class issues ranging from a lack of reliable role models for children, to reinforcing prejudices against the affected minorities, to expanding a real need for an informal economy to provide these people with external, unreported income, often in the form of drug trafficking, helping give rise to the drug culture that expanded so much through the ’60’s. Meanwhile, the children of the suburbs, stranded in suburbia with no reliable means of transportation for so much of their life, constantly combating boredom, when finally entering their rebellious years, would be provided with training to drive, encouraged to work towards obtaining their own vehicle, and there was the interstate highway system, ready to whisk them away to the urban market where struggling minorities were ready to provide them with drugs, and new forms of entertainment. Little wonder then, that the ’60’s developed in the manner they did. Indeed, we can still see similar things occurring even today in parts of the nation.

  10. Reblogged this on Uncharted and commented:
    Seeing America pre and post World War II is like looking at two totally different countries. Although pre World War II America is still developing in numerous ways but compared to after World War II it seems to be at a turtles pace. There are very important inventions that come into place such as, the telephone and automobile. Another feat before this era is the railroad system that is put in place all this with the industrial revolution being taken place. As far as the economy goes, it was suffering and barely there and when the Great Depression hit it was a severe spiral downhill. Needless to say World War II which was the main reason we got out of the Great Depression, helped jumpstart our economy as well as the growth of our country as well in all aspects. The winning of World War II gave people the confidence and optimism in themselves that they needed. One of the major events that took place was the event of “urban sprawl” or the spread of the suburban areas around the United States. The Federal Housing Administration was made into effect as a part of the National Housing Act in 1935. In a 1936 Bulletin the FHA took concepts from three people, Unwin, Perry, and Stein, and put them all together to come up with a concept of planning a neighborhood. Three forms were then laid out for a framework of residential street layouts; Curvilinear, Cul-de-sacs, and Courts. By 1959 this administration had helped three out of every five American families purchase a home and helped millions of families to repair their damaged homes. The FHA did not only help homeowners but banks, business establishments, farms, and building and loan associations. Another helpful attribute was The G.I. Bill of Rights that passed in 1945, helped veterans get money to go to school along with being able to afford and own homes. This helped the veterans want to further themselves after getting back from war and along with this start a family. In turn here comes the baby boom and population started to rise. With the added population and people buying houses, the economy started going up again with the necessity of needing/wanting to buy more goods for the house.
    One other very important invention post World War II was the jet engine, by Frank Whittle in 1928 but not technically used until 1941 when the air forces started using them. The first U.S. jet was the Bell P-59A Airacomet. Mostly jets were used in the war or commercial use but then followed for public use as well as delivering mail and cargo. This in turn became huge airports which created more job opportunities that put more people being able to contribute to the economy.
    Finally one of the most influential attributes to America that is pictured above is the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. On June 29th, 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act. This bill pertained to the elimination of unsafe roads, insufficient routes and all things that encompasses all troubles on roadways. This included a 41,000 mile of national systems of interstate and defense highways that linked a little over 90 percent of all cities with populations over 50,000. The cost of this act was distributed over a span of thirteen years that totaled a whopping twenty five billion dollars.
    With these aspects that furthered the American economy after World War II, we start to see an America that is unafraid and striving for improvement. The optimism and confidence that was found among Americans just kept getting stronger throughout the years post World War II. We see this by the wills in the people of America. People who are fighting for their rights as individuals, fighting to stay a “free” country. From African Americans fighting so bravely for their rights to equality to the all the women who stood up for what they believed to fight gender standards. As far as a community of people we have come a long way since before the Great Depression and these are some of the things that influenced these happenings.

    • I think that your take on how World War II affected the United States, such as the connection of how aviation became popular through the war, but then stayed popular under non-war circumstances through the function of transporting mail and cargo, was very insightful, along with related events such as jumpstarting the economy and the GI Bill. Also, this article very well expresses the sense optimistic patriotism during the Post WWII period.

  11. The first image that jumps out at me is the top right, the image of rapid post WW2 suburbanization. I am reminded instantly of the show ‘Weeds’. Now before you role your eyes, I am only talking about the main title theme. Specifically the line;
    “Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
    Little boxes on the hillside,
    Little boxes all the same.” (Malvina Reynolds, Little Boxes)

    The sudden development of suburbanized neighborhoods outside urban centers grew in the furor of post WW2 prosperity. The introduction of affordable personal vehicles as well as more affordable commercial flights spurs a rapid cultural and economic overhaul. Suburban neighborhoods of middle class (White) families become the image of American spirit and success. A comfortable house outside of the city, one car, a backyard, a dog, two and a half kids and a housewife in an apron. These large scale suburban neighborhoods sprung up almost virtually over-night. Real estate developers employed working teams of carpenters plumbers, and electricians to systematically build simple identical houses on measured areas of sub-rural land. These varied plots of different size and severity were able to attain such access to open land due to the support by the U.S government. G.I’s returning from the war were guaranteed a single family home as payment for their service. A single family car as well as Eisenhower’s highway system (left-middle image) allowed large populations of suburban vets to commute to jobs within urban centers.
    Interesting fact; Eisenhower created the Highway infrastructure as a military support system after being inspired by the German Autobahn. The need to transport troops and supplies to any region of the continental U.S would be vital in case of a military invasion, and the multiple highways could act as universal emergency evacuation routes as well as a pre-established refugee system in case of a say, a nuclear attack. The creation of interregional transportation routes would eventually grow into the complex system of highways and interstates we know today. A maze of concrete flyovers and dirt roads, forever straining marriages and helping lost tourists stay lost.
    Now it is important to note that all of these modernizations brought about great societal change in America. Today’s modern American cultural and political landscape was influenced greatly by this period of history. (Hell, look at Ukraine and Crimea. Can anyone say the Cold War REALLY ended?) These progressive technologies allowed for some amazing developments, the image of the early airport (lower left) brings to mind the luxuries and extravagance of 1950’s America. Pretty Pan-American stewardesses, live music, low light and cigarette smoke baby. Who wouldn’t want to wear a crisp suit or classy gown, enjoying an extra dirty martini while the band accompanies Dean Martin.
    But this period had many negatives. The sudden migration of large populations of people eroded the tax base of many American cities. The inherent racial segregation of the American middle class after WW2 meant that large populations of lower class Black Americans were abandoned to rapid urban degradation. A cyclical social repression created by the notion of “American Success” putting focus on the picturesque (white) family while simultaneously marginalizing the urban and lower class. The term ‘White Flight’ was coined to express the phenomenon of socioeconomic repression.

  12. Reblogged this on My Thoughts About Urban Geography and commented:
    In these pictures, I see a couple of things we talked about in our last lectures before the movie. First, are the airplanes and airports. From what we discussed in class, the airplane helped a great deal in the boom and expansions of cities, especially on an international level. This also led to a more “segregated” system of cities. I mean segregated as in the growth of the city hubs and the global cities. The airplane as a new from of public transit allowed for companies to expand in a variety of different ways. One way is that companies could set up a shop or industrial plant anywhere in the country yet have them headquartered near other important service functions like lawyers, bankers, investors, etc. in cities like New York or Los Angeles. Companies could have factories anywhere yet be managed by someone over a thousand miles away. This even happened on an international level. Corporations could be set up in foreign countries where the labor force was more abundant and cheaper than in the states like China. And also establish their help line call centers in places like India, as we all know too well. This also led to the rich becoming richer and also using airplane transport to not only keep an eye on their companies but also buy or rent homes in all desirable locations in and outside of the U.S. like we saw in cities like Dubai. Also in these pictures here are the suburbs that started popping up all over the states outside of the big cities. These came along with the creation of the Federal Housing Administration and the propaganda of the “American Dream” that every one needs/wants their two acres and a mule. To most people, the suburbs are a nice retreat from the city, which, at the time they kind of were. The city around this time was dirty, polluted, overpopulated, and unsafe. But to people who like and appreciate individuality or real architecture, these suburbs are horrendous just from the housing standpoint. Many suburbs were, and still are built by “builders.” Most of the time, that means that they are some sort of entrepreneur or investor and they hire a contractor and come up with a simple house design and repeat it all down the street, maybe flipping the plan to add some amount of diversity to the neighborhood. All these people care about is their bottom line and making as much money as possible. This problem even still exists today. Just yesterday, I was driving around Rogers looking at some houses and I drove down one street that every house for about ten of them were exactly the same two story, single family homes spaced about fifteen feet apart. Then, just a couple streets over, there was an entire street of another 15 duplexes that were all EXACTLY the same floor plan and elevations. The only differences between them to enhance the individuality of the person living there was the color of the siding.

  13. Reblogged this on carlylb and commented:
    In trying to bring people out of the Depression during the 1930s, multiple pieces of legislation (the New Deal) were passed including the National Housing Act of 1934 which created the Federal Home Administration (FHA) and the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. The FHA gave homeowners the ability to refinance homes as well as guaranteed that a mortgage will be paid. In the years following WWII there were major repercussions on politics, public policy, and family structure due to the impact of increasing production and ownership of cars, which in turn began to dramatically change the United States urban landscape. With the ability to travel longer distances in shorter time, among other reasons, many people seized at the opportunity to get out of the city and the car was that opportunity. At the end of the war, the GI bill was passed which offered veterans low down payment mortgages with low interest rates. There were 3 more housing acts, two of which (1949, and 1954) expanded veteran and FHA mortgage insurance and issuance and public housing construction. The last Housing Act (1957) restricted what one could buy for a mortgage loan to only modern houses and homes in place that create construction and road jobs, thus, encouraging suburbanization and discouraging renovation of old city houses. In efforts to get more people to buy cars, car industries influenced the taking down and prevention public transportation facilities. The public transportation of cities was sacrificed for mass auto-oriented suburbanization and mass producing interstates. Local city governments gave up control over development of local metropolitan freeways to state governments because they could not get enough funding through tax revenue to build the projects necessary to relieve the ever increasing traffic congestion in inner cities. Largely influenced by engineers who lived in rural areas, state government plans prioritized rural to urban migration over inner city travelling, and because of this, the city suffered by being dissected with freeways, displacement of homes and businesses, and lowering property values.
    The Highway Trust Fund was formed by politicians, federal highway officials, and members of industries such as construction to guarantee that the revenue of excise taxes such as fuel would be only spent on the construction and maintenance of freeways/highways. The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways gave incentive and financial support to the building of an interstate highway system during the 1950s. The federal government also matched the state spending on highways at a 9:1 ratio for the building of interstate highways which only encouraged a focus on interstate highway over other forms of transit. As to limit the amount of interstate highway from getting out of hand, the federal government put a limit on the amount of roads by capping the sum of their centerline mileage. This action encouraged wider more complicated road systems, which were overall bad for intercity driving compared to other options. However, by the 1970s, interstate construction boom was not ended because of revolt, rather because of a shortage of funding.
    The Baby Boom, which began in 1946, along with the ideal of the American Dream fed this mass suburbanization. The mass suburbanization along with redlining and white flight led to the decline of the urban city, and in the 70s 80s and 90s almost all that was left in many American cities were poor minorities with poor health, rampant crime, and drug problems. The picture of the airplane for this blog is of the airline, Canadian Colonial Airways, which was founded in 1929 and it offered the transportation of goods, mail, and passengers from Montreal to Albany to New York. Aviation became another dominate means of transportation in the late 20th century. In 1969 the invention of the Boeing 747 allowed affordable air flight to the masses. In 1970 he airport and Airway trust Fund was created to provide funding to the aviation system through excise taxes.
    Prime Soureces:
    https://www.boundless.com/sociology/population-and-urbanization/urban-problems-and-policy/suburbanization/
    http://www.uctc.net/access/35/access35_Paved_with_Good_Intentions_Fiscal_Politics_.shtml

  14. Reblogged this on parymayne and commented:
    The photos in this blog depict what many people think of as the glory days of America. In theory these times brought us enough wealth to the American people to allow the majority of Americans to buy their own detached house with a yard for their dog and 2.2 kids to play in. Eisenhower’s interstate system and jet plains connected America and helped corporations grow bigger leading to even further prosperity. But in reality what this time period did is allow American’s to take out loans more easily so that they could have a bigger stake in capitalism. This system of sprawl and expansion is how politicians made sure that the west won the cold war and democracy prevailed.
    Home building created jobs and finically empowered American spenders. It also helped the people who owned the home building companies to amass wealth. This was the intent of the Housing Act of 1949 and it received a lot of assistance from the G.I. Bill. Commercial air travel made all of America accessible within one day. This meant that a corporation could have branches with different functions in different cities where they were more likely to attract the work force that they needed to minimize coast and maximize innovation. This trend combined with the trend of suburbanization meant that the central business district was not really necessary anymore. Instead corporations put most of the jobs in the suburbs and business that provided goods and services to the people also shifted from the central business district to business highways that look like the one in the bottom right hand corner.
    America used advertising campaigns to develop America to look like these pictures of the American dream. Advertisements convinced Americans that not only did they need a house in a suburban subdivision, but a toaster, a refrigerator, a vacuum cleaner, air conditioning and every other household appliance that the people of the 21st century don’t know how to live without. Desires for these things fuelled capitalism and helped drive the trends of corporate expansion, interstate transportation, and suburbanization and sold the American people on the idea that this is what was best for the future of the country. The interstate system also helped the auto industry grow. American could find work easily and had plenty of money to spend, therefore they saw the benefits of capitalism and the government and corporations were able to inspire Americans to support the system of government and economics that was flourishing in every corner of America outside of the forgotten urban centers.
    Upper, middle, and many working class American’s were living in the “happy days”. Meanwhile the cities were being neglected. The interstates were not intended to connect the cities. The corporations relocated jobs, positioning them outside of the cities. It was the urbanites that felt the pain of sprawl in the form of blight. The suburbs and the interstates that connected them were safe and flourishing while the inner cities were crime ridden and deteriorating. But thanks to the innovations in these pictures those who could afford to could more outward and share in the American dream.

  15. Reblogged this on jennnyp123 and commented:
    The images above depict the means of a shift in the US city system in a post world war II society due to advances in technology as well as a change in government and citizen perspective. This period can be categorized as Borchert’s third transportation epoch and a combination of auto air amenities which revolutionized American’s day to day lives. These innovations along with government policy and changing social expectations allowed for major changes in city structure and the development of true suburbanization and corporate expansion.
    By the mid 1900’s technology had developed past that of a reliance on railway systems to the common place use and ownership of car in addition to aviation technology. Both of these advances had far reaching consequences for US economy, structure and culture. The use of automobiles and development of a highway system allowed massive waves of suburbanization in the face of a rapidly growing population as well as demographic and cultural shifts. Cars and the jet engine led to the possibility of very fast reliable transportation and as a result improvements in a struggling economy and revolutionized business interactions. Aviation technology was highly developed by the military during the war and many returning soldiers were already skilled pilots and mechanics allowing allowing a boom in the industry. Business could be conducted face to face without location being a limiting factor. Corporations could have offices or factories in different locations around the country, often where labor was cheaper, while remaining headquarters in the business districts of major cities such as NYC.
    Government involvement and legislation played a huge role in contributing to the development of massive suburbs all over the country. The National Housing Act of 1934, which was passed as a part of the New Deal during the Great Depression, provided affordable loans and mortgages to increase home ownership. Other legislation such as the GI bill had a similar effect in promoting the idea of affordable homes for every American and the clearance of slums and public housing. This is when we start to see a major shift from crowded urban centers to the suburbs, a change facilitated by other government action such as Eisenhower’s Interstate system. The development of highways connected suburbs to major cities and major cities to each other which contributed greatly to the development of the suburbs. New Deal projects built infrastructure which facilitated this change by doing things such as providing reliable water sources to these different communities.
    The government’s far reaching fear of communist and socialist ideas prompted such growth through an effort to move away from public housing and give citizens a stake in the national economy through home ownership. Changing public perspective and demographics also had a huge effect on the changing city system. Many African Americans in the South moved to Northern cities after the war and the issues of segregation and “white flight” effected both structural and social development for decades. Post world war II society saw the rise of the baby boomer generation in which the population began to grow rapidly. Families were getting bigger and as a result needed bigger houses with more and more stuff. All of these things have contributed to the development of suburbanization as we know it today and have had a profound effect on United States Culture and society. Although these changes had many positive effects on the issues of the time, such as a struggling economy and poor urban conditions, they have left us with numerous challenges in today’s society. We must now work to combat the issues of urban sprawl and the many problems associated with it in order to create sustainable communities in the face of a rapidly growing population and depletion of the natural resources available to us.

  16. After World War II the United States was a pretty happening place. The west had prevailed in the epic battle of good versus evil, the economy was booming, and veterans were returning home in droves and producing the baby boom generation. The series of images above illustrate how the realm of transportation influenced the way we made cities during this period. Generally, central cities became decentralized and spread into low density suburban developments. Two main legislative factors influenced this development. The first was G.I. Bill of Rights (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) which provided benefits to the returning veterans. Among these benefits was one year of unemployment pay and guaranteed home loan financing. The caveat was that the home had to be a single family, detached unit. This provides much of the context for places like Levittown, PA. Levittown was the assembly line mode of production, popularized during the Industrial Revolution by the likes of Henry Ford, applied to mass housing. From 1950 to 1959 the population of central cities in the United States grew by six million people. The population of suburban areas grew by 19 million people during this same time period. (Gaber) The demographics of the United States flipped from an urban constituency to something other than urban. The second major legislative factor that influenced city decentralization was the Highway Act of 1956. In opposition of the Highway Act of 1954 which provided 50% matching subsidies for urban highways (connecting one high density core to another), the Highway Act of ’56 was signed within the rhetoric of the Cold War and literally went around cities. New highways were intended to aid the country in its effort to be combat ready in case of an emergency so every stretch of road had to have a portion of it that was perfectly straight (so a jet could land). (Gaber)
    And so the G.I. Bill coupled with a new expansive national highway system and a cheapening, more accessible automobile produced one of the greatest population decreases from central cities ever seen. The streetcar was an early form of suburbanization but the movement was fairly slow and subsequently the land adjacent to hubs was highly valued and dense. The difference with the post World War II automobile era is the distance that people could travel was far greater and allowed them access to cheap land on the fringes of cities. With cheap land and autonomy to move quickly where every they wanted, families and companies built sporadically and in low densities. The increase in air travel had a similar influence as new roads and automobiles. Air travel quickly and (relatively) cheaply connected people to cities and their suburbs across the United States. The suburban model has been the predominant type of development since 1950 – about the last 50 years or so. My generation, Gen Xers, are shifting the focus back to urban areas. As a society I believe we have, consciously or subconsciously, determined that the suburban sprawl model does not work as a way to physically shape the world we live in.

    Gaber, Dr. John. “Post World War Cities.” Urban Politics. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. 2.18.14. Lecture.

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