Cover

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Contents

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Introduction: Revisiting Edmund Bacon’s Vision for the City

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pp. 1-7

When Philadelphia’s iconoclastic City Planning Commission director Edmund Bacon looked into his crystal ball in 1959—imagining his city fifty years in the future—he saw a remarkable vision, Philadelphia trans-formed into ‘‘an unmatched expression of the vitality of American tech-nology and culture.’’ In that year, Bacon painted a word picture in an...

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1. Philadelphia in the Year 2009

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pp. 8-18

The future of Philadelphia will be determined, not by technological advances but by the character of its leadership and by the strength and quality of the ideas it supports....

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2. Salesman of Ideas: The Life Experiences That Shaped Edmund Bacon

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pp. 19-51

Edmund Bacon wrote ‘‘Philadelphia in the Year 2009’’ just prior to what is generally considered the high point of his career. During the 1960s, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC), which Bacon directed from 1949 to 1970, would become known as one of the most...

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3. A Utopian, a Utopianist, or Whatever the Heck It Is: Edmund Bacon and the Complexity of the City

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pp. 52-77

In February 1965, University of Pennsylvania professor Paul Davidoff launched a withering attack on Philadelphia’s highly acclaimed city planning and urban renewal programs. Speaking before the Citizens’ Council on City Planning (CCCP), a local planning advocacy and...

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4. Staying Too Long at the Fair: Philadelphia Planning and the Debacle of 1976

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pp. 78-111

In 1682, 1776, or 1876, the optimism of Edmund Bacon’s remarkable 1959 vision for Philadelphia’s future—‘‘Philadelphia in the Year 2009’’—would have surprised no one. From its founding, Philadelphia’s unfolding futures were consistently dynamic, focusing the energies of colonial expansion, democratic governance, and industrialization in...

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5. Philadelphia in the Year 2059

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pp. 112-144

For nearly 300 years, Philadelphia had a brilliant run. From its founding in 1682 by William Penn as a proprietary colonial capital through the heady, federally funded urban renewal days at the end of World War II, Philadelphia was often at the forefront of national and international trends in city planning, public works, technology, industry...

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Afterword

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pp. 145-149

Edmund Bacon’s essay, ‘‘Philadelphia in the Year 2009,’’ offers enduring guidance in its first sentence, and it goes on to anticipate a glowing future for the City of Brotherly Love—it provides a vision that centers this book. Bacon’s words also exemplify his career—he was a leader and an ‘‘idea man.’’...

Notes

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pp. 151-170

List of Contributors

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p. 171

Index

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pp. 173-176

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 177-178

If you want to get a conversation started in Philadelphia, just start asking questions about Edmund Bacon and his legacy, his imprint on the city—people have strong opinions. I entered the conversation in 2006 while doing research for an article about cold war disaster preparedness in Philadelphia. While working one afternoon at the University of Pennsyl-...