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• Solomon bibliography for publications cited and discussed.

Three Eras


  • Era 1 and 2 — due September 25, 2008
  • Era 3 — due October 9, 2008

David Solomon, in Global City Blues (view on Island Press), page 40, observes,

"The whole evolution of American townscape [including cities] can be divided into eras —

  1. a first era that begins with the earliest colonial settlements and ends at World War II,
  2. a second that extends from the war almost to the present, and
  3. now a third era with the work of a current generation reacting to what was built on such a vast scale with such hubris, blind optimism, and distain for history in the fifty years after the war."


This assignment is preparation for discussion on this complex subject.

Identify three (3) specific, influential factors that help to best characterize each era.

To fix upon specific factors, consider at least some of the following influences:

  1. social considerations
  2. economics
  3. individuals
  4. publications
  5. declarations, manifestos, charters
  6. ideologies
  7. policies
  8. legislation
  9. programs
  10. funding directives
  11. organizations
  12. or other categories.

For each era carefully consider what kind of factors come in to play...as the factors, and their interelationship, will vary. Applying the principles of cause and effect, investigate how each factor provides the impetus for that which follows.

Briefly summarize each factor (a few paragraphs, plus citations).

Provide a tangible site-specific example to illustrate how each factor was manifested in our built/social environment.

You may use one site to illustrate up to two (2) factors.

Be ready to discuss.