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Architects were quick to address this rising culture. Le Corbusier was particularly taken by the forms and technologies of automobiles; his 1922 Ville Contemporaine city for three million proposed efficient movement of machines and democratic access to green space through vertical stacking of transportation infrastructure and uniform sixty-story skyscrapers that afforded little consideration for the human scale and removed pedestrians from the street (Ingersoll, 82). This “tower in the park� design was adapted in his later proposals, including La Ville Radieuse in 1935 which had pre-fabricated apartment units as the center of a more compact urban life than was offered by garden city suburbs. Ultimately none of his city scale plans were realized but Le Corbusier was able to respond to the changing city on individual unites (Ingersoll, 83). In Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City architecture and automobiles existed harmoniously. Wright first published the project in The Disappearing City in 1932, arguing that we should embrace technology and allow it to free us from the congested city. It was both a decentralized planning scheme and sociopolitical statement, in which each US family received one acre of federal land surrounded by roadways for ensured automobility and proximity to factories, skyscrapers, schools, and recreation, all fed by super-highways. Wright continued to develop the project until his death in 1959, and though it was never built, many elements were adapted in later planned cities such as Greenbelt, Maryland, and it remains significant as a moment in time

when architecture first attempted to reconcile the automobile.


Ville Radieuse section Ville Contemporaine sketch Broadacre City

Freed Parking: Towards a New Culture of Architecture and Automobility  

book completed for Thesis Preparation at Syracuse University School of Architecture, fall 2011