[excerpt] When almost all cities were fairly small and changed slowly, there was plenty of time for innumerable small adjustments to be made to each new development before the next new development was started. The profession of town planning was not born then and it was not needed. The scale of change was not great and architects had time to consider the subtle as well as the obvious consequences of their buildings upon the environment.
This state of affairs was knocked sideways by the rapid urbanization that occurred mainly in the nineteenth century. By the end of that century the major slum cities of the world had been created - and their problems are still with us.
Architects were among the first to cry out against this debasement of the way of life for the large new urban populations. The "City Beautiful" movement was launched and, early in this century, town planning was born as a profession. At the start, it was almost wholly composed of architects who, in their enthusiasm, turned out plan after plan of palatial avenues and magnificent vistas. These were often beautiful, but they seldom made economic sense and, although well meant, the "City Beautiful" phase cast a slur on the social responsibility of the architectural profession.
It had become obvious that visionary town plans must be preceded by painstaking and accurate surveys of actual conditions and trends. The profession of town planning changed its direction and especially after the Second World War, it became more and more engrossed in regional science, social statistics and public aadministration. Indeed "design" became almost a term of abuse. However, it became apparent that there was a lack of understanding between the planners who had prepared carefully worked out programmes of development and the architects who were undertaking physical construction. Just as the earlier visionary plans of the architect-planners had been admired and then rolled away into a drawer, the social and economic planners' impressive volumes of figures were admired and then put away on shelves.