Rediscovering Thomas Adams
Rural Planning and Development in Canada
Rural depopulation, protection of natural resources, suburbanization, affordable housing, mass transportation, loss of fertile lands – these are modern problems, yet they are not new. Thomas Adams grappled with these same concerns nearly a century ago, when he wrote Rural Planning and Development, a comprehensive overview of planning issues at the time of the First World War.
Rediscovering Thomas Adams reintroduces a new generation to a text that quickly became a touchstone for planners and planning in Canada Updated with commentaries by Canada’s leading planners who hold up Adams’ text as a mirror to reflect upon contemporary planning issues, this richly illustrated book highlights Adams’ influence on the planning profession and the continued significance of his comprehensive, pragmatic vision for building better rural and urban communities. Chapter by chapter, from production and systems of surveying to government policies and legislation, the contributors not only place Adams’ text and Canadian planning in historical context, they also put forward a new vision of what planning and development can be.
First published in 1917, Rural Planning and Development continues to resonate as a broad vision for planning, one that moves beyond the demands of the moment to offer a long-term vision for a better future.
This book is essential reading for anyone interested in planning, the planning profession, or the history of urban and rural form in Canada.
This book makes a timely contribution to current debates regarding the nature of the profession, the need to consider urban and rural issues together, the need to think holistically across departmental boundaries, and the need to creatively consider the future of rural areas in the face of a declining population base, crumbling infrastructure, and energy crisis.
Thomas Adams’ book is a significant part of the history of planning in Canada … It tells us much about rural planning and development at a time when Canada first began to be transformed into an urban nation … The authors [of the commentaries] have seized upon its republication as an opportunity to explore contemporary rural planning and development issues.
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction / Wayne J. Caldwell
Rural Planning and Development by Thomas Adams with Commentaries
1 Introductory / Commentary by Jeanne M. Wolfe
2 Rural Population and Production in Canada / Commentary by Michael Troughton
3 Present Systems of Surveying and Planning Land in Rural Areas / Commentary by Hok-Lin Leung
4 Rural Transportation and Distribution: Railways and Highways / Commentary by Ian Wight
5 Rural Problems that Arise in Connection with Land Development / Commentary by Len Gertler
6 Organization of Rural Life and Rural Industries / Commentary by Tony Fuller
7 Government Policies and Land Development / Commentary by Jill L. Grant
8 Returned Soldiers and Land Settlement / Commentary by John Devlin
9 Provincial Planning and Development Legislation / Commentary by Gary Davidson
10 Outline of Proposals and General Conclusions / Commentary by Wayne J. Caldwell
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