Despite the profession of planning being a relatively recent creation, Planning has existed in some form since the beginning of human settlement itself. Whether it is the ancient cities of the Old World or the global metropolises of today, every urban environments display some degree of planning in their design and function (Smith, 2007). However, just as cities have evolved over time, so to have the approaches taken to planning and the philosophies behind them. This evolution of Town and Country Planning forms a long and complex history which encompasses a wide breadth of ideas. Reflecting upon this history, several key movements can be identified: The origins of Planning in the 19th century, the Modernist era of the early 20th century and the Postmodernist era that followed. This paper will focus on these key movements.
During the 19th century, cities were subject to increasing industrialization accompanied by rapid population growth and urban expansion. This lead to overcrowding, congestion, slums and lack of sanitation (Hall 1992). Growing public protest in the form of protests and labour strikes in countries like Britain led to the implementation of various reform measures such as the Public Health Act of 1848 and the Labouring Classes’ Dwellings Houses Act of 1866. These went some way to relieving these pressures (Maginn 2011) by setting minimal standards for health and housing, resulting in for increased living standards by the century’s end. During this time, planning was used mostly by private companies as a tool to increase productivity by improving the health of the working population (Cowan 2010). The higher living standards and economic prosperity this created lead to planning philosophy changing its focus from providing housing and improving cities to beautifying them (Bluestone M, 1988). This City