Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



In 1902 the first twentieth century new town of Letchworth Garden City was developed in England by Ebenezar Howard and the development corporation he established. It was not until 1928 that the first new town, Radburn, New Jersey, was attempted in this country, which fell far short of the new town characteristics as established by the English experiments. During the next three decades, the U.S. interest in new towns waned, while new town experi­ments spread in Western Europe. Not until the 1960's did the interest and need for new towns re-emerge in this country, as the problems associated with extended urbanism, a further population explosion, the crowded, decaying conditions of the central cities, and the environmental hazards of urban sprawl, seriously threatened the nation. This thesis attempts to show that, although there is public and private opposition to the development of a new town program in the U.S. and the U.S. new town experiments, thus far, have not been as successful as those in Europe, a new town program is feasible. In order to make the program successful, several conditions must be met:

(1) financial and legislative support from all levels of government is imperative.

(2) efficient land use planning must be developed.

(3) a central agency to administer and coordinate the workings of the new town program is necessary.

(4) a corps of new town and urban specialists must be assembled to provide the expertise in planning.

(5) an attitudinal change in the populace should be accomplished.

The approach begins with a historical contrast between England's early twentieth century new town experience, because it was the first country to embark on a new town program, and that of the U.S. A further comparison is developed between present-day new town models in selected Western European countries and several American new towns, looking at such features as financing, land-use, design, administration, and innovation. Analysis is made of the problems confronting American new towns and those confronting urban America unless extended urbanism is checked. Anthony Downs' five models of planned growth are applied to projections of U.S. growth patterns in the next thirty years to determine the need for new towns. U.S. resources are briefly discussed to show that the U.S. has the capabilities to begin and bring to fruition a new town program. The thesis concludes that:

(1) there is a need for new towns

(2) new towns are feasible given the resources of this country

(3) a new town program must utilize the experiences of Western Europe

(4) satellite new town development is more realistic than independent development although there is little technology

(5) transfer in new town experiments thus far, technology should play a more vital role in the planning and development of new towns.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Frank Steggert

Second Committee Member

John Mace Hunger

Third Committee Member

Nick Henry



Document Type