Create a 5 pages page paper that discusses the city beautiful movement vs henry david thoreau. Transcendentalists’ role in urban planning was to sensitize America on nurturing the environment which was being threatened by urbanization. Their success was significant. Henry David Thoreau was one of the transcendentalists, and his influence sufficed during the Romantic Period. A little later, after the Romantic Period was born, the City Beautiful Movement was born. These two, apart from existing in almost similar time contexts, were common in that they pointed at nature as an integral element necessary in America’s emerging urban planning. In this study, Henry David Thoreau, representing the Romantic Movement, will be compared to the City Beautiful Movement with regards to their differences and similarities in defining America’s urban planning.
The Romantic Movement emerged at the end of the 18th century and is said to have been a reaction to the scientific rationalization of nature, the Age of Enlightenment, aristocratic norms, and specifically for this study. the Industrial revolution (Rodwell, 2008). The movement sought to create awareness of nurturing nature as an important part of man which, if he related closely, life [in the cities] would be more bearable. Thoreau as a key icon in this movement had lived his entire life relating closely with nature, and sought to extend the benefits he had realized with the world through Romanticism. Concisely, Thoreau transformed urban planning into more of recreation and conservation than it was in rural and estate design (Jackson, n.d.).
Similar to Thoreau, the city Beautiful movement of the late 18th century was born to advocate for a reform in the philosophies of American urban planning and architecture. It was originally affiliated to Washington DC, Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago, but was later spread across America (Schuyler, n.d.). Although its key objectives were monumental grandeur and beautification, the movement perceived of beautification through nature as an effective way of promoting social harmony as well as simplifying and improving the quality of human life (Burnham & Bennett, 1909). This movement was first elaborated in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago by architect Daniel Burnham. It was its first large-scale elaboration (Miller, 2013).