Ideologies on the Green Corridor Plan (1975): the City Beautiful Movement

McMillan Plan of 1901 for Washington (Source: National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, DC.)

 

Watercolor rendering of the proposed Washington Monument Gardens. Watercolor by Charles Graham for the United States Senate Park Commission in 1902.

City Beautiful Movement is an urban planning ideology to increase the quality of life and maintain social order through introducing beautifications and monuments.  Among all, McMillan Plan is best to illustrate the ideology.   National Mall is a monumental Washington city core and it is where the wide boulevards extend outwards. On the axes, connecting to the governmental office buildings and memorials monuments on another end, there are public parks – East Potomac Park and West Potomac Park.  Throughout the city, there are recreational facilities and neighborhood parks. (Davis, 2008) The landscaped urban parks provide citizens a natural leisure environment and fresh air, and promote a positive social life.  The monumental architecture in the central part of the city marks the city center and signifies the political power of one state. Under City Beautiful Movement, it is believed that beauty and utility benefits to city development – to a balanced, harmonious and efficient city. (Morrison, 2016) To cater the enormous population growth and the developing urban life, Ulaanbaatar imposed a master plan on 1975, which possess similar characteristics of those in city beautiful movement – civic center, axial streets, and a large scale of green.  Sükhbaatar Square is the city center of Ulaanbaatar and all the zonings start at and surround it. Governmental Palace, fronted with a colonnade monument of great Khan of Mongol Empire and Sükhbaatar’s Mausoleum, is located at the civic square to make a spectacle of Mongolian state. The Green corridor at the central axis, the pedestrian-only park on east-west axis and the open parklands spread out throughout the city served as beautification for Ulaanbaatar and recreation for the citizens. Because of the resemblances of the two, it is believed that the 1975 Ulaanbaatar plan is under certain influence of City Beautiful Movement.

 

Bibliography

Davis, Timothy (2008). “Beyond the Mall: The Senate Park Commission’s Plans for Washington’s Park System”. In Glazer, Nathan; Fields, Cynthia R. The National Mall: Rethinking Washington’s Monumental Core. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press.

 Morrison, Tessa (2016) Unbuilt Utopian Cities 1460 to 1900: Reconstructing their Architecture and Political Philosophy. Routledge.

1 Comment on “Ideologies on the Green Corridor Plan (1975): the City Beautiful Movement

  1. Hi Sherry, you’ve given extensive description of Soviet influence over Mongolia, expressed as soft power through the use of urban planning and architecture. What is the significance of this “certain influence” of the City Beautiful Movement from the West, in relation to Soviet-style planning?

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