Town Planning Review

Scientific cloak/romantic heart: Gordon Stephenson and the redevelopment study of Halifax, 1957

Town Planning Review (2012), 83, (3), 319–336.

Abstract

In 1957 Gordon Stephenson prepared an urban renewal study for the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He epitomised the foreign professional expert hired to diagnose urban ills and prescribe solutions. This paper examines the tension between humanistic moral values and rational scientific approaches in Stephenson's study and seeks to identify some of the influences on his thinking and methods.

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ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON RECONSTRUCTION (1944), IV. Housing and Community Planning, Final Report of the Subcommittee, Ottawa, Edmond Cloutier. Google Scholar

ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE URBAN RENEWAL STUDY (1956), Urban Renewal: A Study of the City of Toronto 1956, City of Toronto and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Google Scholar

AIP (AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNERS) (1950), ‘Criteria used in delimiting redevelopment areas: a symposium’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 16, 109-21. Google Scholar

AIP (AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNERS) (1954), ‘Statement of policy on urban redevelopment’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 20, 53-6. Google Scholar

ALEXANDER, I. and GREIVE, S. (1997), ‘Modernist town planning and metropolitan planning: reflections from Gordon Stephenson’, Urban Policy and Research, 15, 225-33. ‘Modernist town planning and metropolitan planning: reflections from Gordon Stephenson’ Urban Policy and Research 15 225 33 Google Scholar

ARONOVICI, C. (1951), ‘Towards humanism in community planning’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 17, 23-8. ‘Towards humanism in community planning’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 17 23 8 Google Scholar

BETTMAN, A. (1945), ‘To the Honorable Chairman and Members, Sub-committee on Housing and Urban Redevelopment, Committee on Postwar Planning, U.S. Senate’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 11, 5-10. ‘To the Honorable Chairman and Members, Sub-committee on Housing and Urban Redevelopment, Committee on Postwar Planning, U.S. Senate’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 11 5 10 Google Scholar

CHERRY, G. (1994), ‘Preface’, in G. Stephenson, Compassionate Town Planning (ed. Hugh Stretton), Liverpool, University of Liverpool Press, pp. i-ii. Compassionate Town Planning i ii Google Scholar

CITY OF HALIFAX (1950), 10 Year Development Plan or Official Town Plan, Halifax. Google Scholar

CIVIC PLANNING COMMISSION (1945), Master Plan, Halifax, City of Halifax. Google Scholar

CLAIRMONT, D. H. and MAGILL, D. W. (1987), Africville: The Life and Death of a Canadian Black Community (rev. ed.), Toronto, Canadian Scholars' Press. Africville: The Life and Death of a Canadian Black Community Google Scholar

COLLIER, R. (1974), Contemporary Cathedrals, Montreal, Harvest House. Contemporary Cathedrals Google Scholar

CREIGHTON, R. L. (1956), ‘The scope of housing renewal’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 22, 30-4. ‘The scope of housing renewal’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 22 30 4 Google Scholar

CROLL, D. A. (Honorable, QC, Senator) (1956), ‘The objectives of redevelopment in Canadian cities’, Community Planning Review, 6, 144-6. ‘The objectives of redevelopment in Canadian cities’ Community Planning Review 6 144 6 Google Scholar

DIX, G. (1997), ‘The compassionate planner: an appreciation of the life and work of Gordon Stephenson’, Town Planning Review, 68, iii-xiv. ‘The compassionate planner: an appreciation of the life and work of Gordon Stephenson’ Town Planning Review 68 iii xiv Google Scholar

FALUDI, E. G. (1947), ‘Planning progress in Canada’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 13, 9-13. ‘Planning progress in Canada’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 13 9 13 Google Scholar

FEISS, C. (1956), ‘City renewal in action’, Community Planning Review, 6, 147-56. ‘City renewal in action’ Community Planning Review 6 147 56 Google Scholar

GRANT, J. (1994), The Drama of Democracy: Contention and Dispute in Community Planning, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. The Drama of Democracy: Contention and Dispute in Community Planning Google Scholar

GREGORY, J. (2010), ‘Scoping Stephenson: the formative influences’, paper given at the 10th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference, University of Melbourne. ‘Scoping Stephenson: the formative influences’ Google Scholar

HUNT, A. J. (1952), ‘Urban population maps’, Town Planning Review, 23, 238-48. ‘Urban population maps’ Town Planning Review 23 238 48 Google Scholar

MCHUGH, F. D. (1946), ‘Broad specifications for urban redevelopment’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 12, 17-30. ‘Broad specifications for urban redevelopment’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 12 17 30 Google Scholar

MUMFORD, L. (1938), The Culture of Cities, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company. The Culture of Cities Google Scholar

MUMFORD, L. (1949), ‘Planning for the phases of life’, Town Planning Review, 20, 5-16. ‘Planning for the phases of life’ Town Planning Review 20 5 16 Google Scholar

PACEY, E. (1979), The Battle of Citadel Hill, Hantsport, NS, Lancelot Press. The Battle of Citadel Hill Google Scholar

PATERSON, M. (2009), Slum Clearance in Halifax: The Role of Gordon Stephenson, Master's research project, School of Planning, Dalhousie University. Available online at http://architectureandplanning.dal.ca/planning/research/moptheses/downloads/PLAN6000-2009/MP-Independent_Project.pdf Google Scholar

POTVIN, G. (1957), City of Saint John Urban Renewal Study, Toronto, Garden City Press Co-operative. City of Saint John Urban Renewal Study Google Scholar

RODWIN, L. (1995), ‘Book review’ of G. Stephenson, ‘On a human scale: a life in urban design’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 61, 523-5. ‘Book review’ of G. Stephenson, ‘On a human scale: a life in urban design’ Journal of the American Planning Association 61 523 5 Google Scholar

ROSE, A. (1958), Regent Park: A Study in Slum Clearance, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Regent Park: A Study in Slum Clearance Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, F. and STEPHENSON, G. (1942), Community Centres: A Survey, for a Joint Committee of the National Council of Social Service, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Housing Centre, London, Percy Lund, Humphries and Co. Community Centres: A Survey, for a Joint Committee of the National Council of Social Service, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Housing Centre Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1949a), ‘Town planning: contemporary problem of civil design’, Town Planning Review, 20, 125-43. ‘Town planning: contemporary problem of civil design’ Town Planning Review 20 125 43 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1949b), ‘Editorial notes’, Town Planning Review, 20, 185. ‘Editorial notes’ Town Planning Review 20 185 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1953), ‘Design in its relation to economic factors’, Town Planning Review, 33, 280-91. ‘Design in its relation to economic factors’ Town Planning Review 33 280 91 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1956-57), ‘The Canadian opportunity for urban renewal’, The Town Planning Institute of Canada (report), Toronto, 3-5 (typescript). Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1957), A Redevelopment Study of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. A Redevelopment Study of Halifax, Nova Scotia Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1958a), ‘Human values and urban growth’, Community Planning Review, 8, 4-10. ‘Human values and urban growth’ Community Planning Review 8 4 10 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1958b), ‘Some thoughts on the planning of metropolitan regions’, Papers in Regional Science, 4, 27-38. ‘Some thoughts on the planning of metropolitan regions’ Papers in Regional Science 4 27 38 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1992), On a Human Scale: A Life in City Design (ed. C. DeMarco), South Freemantle, Freemantle Arts Centre Press. On a Human Scale: A Life in City Design Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1995), Compassionate Town Planning (ed. H. Stretton), Liverpool, University of Liverpool Press. Compassionate Town Planning Google Scholar

THRIFT, E. (1957), ‘Review, "A redevelopment study of Halifax, Nova Scotia 1957"’, Community Planning Review, 7, 182-3 ‘Review, A redevelopment study of Halifax, Nova Scotia 1957’ Community Planning Review 7 182 3 Google Scholar

WINTERS, R. H. (Honorable, Minister of Public Works, Canada) (1956), ‘Appendix I: Amendment of the National Housing Act’, Community Planning Review, 6, 78-82. ‘Appendix I: Amendment of the National Housing Act’ Community Planning Review 6 78 82 Google Scholar

ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON RECONSTRUCTION (1944), IV. Housing and Community Planning, Final Report of the Subcommittee, Ottawa, Edmond Cloutier. Google Scholar

ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE URBAN RENEWAL STUDY (1956), Urban Renewal: A Study of the City of Toronto 1956, City of Toronto and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Google Scholar

AIP (AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNERS) (1950), ‘Criteria used in delimiting redevelopment areas: a symposium’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 16, 109-21. Google Scholar

AIP (AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNERS) (1954), ‘Statement of policy on urban redevelopment’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 20, 53-6. Google Scholar

ALEXANDER, I. and GREIVE, S. (1997), ‘Modernist town planning and metropolitan planning: reflections from Gordon Stephenson’, Urban Policy and Research, 15, 225-33. ‘Modernist town planning and metropolitan planning: reflections from Gordon Stephenson’ Urban Policy and Research 15 225 33 Google Scholar

ARONOVICI, C. (1951), ‘Towards humanism in community planning’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 17, 23-8. ‘Towards humanism in community planning’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 17 23 8 Google Scholar

BETTMAN, A. (1945), ‘To the Honorable Chairman and Members, Sub-committee on Housing and Urban Redevelopment, Committee on Postwar Planning, U.S. Senate’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 11, 5-10. ‘To the Honorable Chairman and Members, Sub-committee on Housing and Urban Redevelopment, Committee on Postwar Planning, U.S. Senate’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 11 5 10 Google Scholar

CHERRY, G. (1994), ‘Preface’, in G. Stephenson, Compassionate Town Planning (ed. Hugh Stretton), Liverpool, University of Liverpool Press, pp. i-ii. Compassionate Town Planning i ii Google Scholar

CITY OF HALIFAX (1950), 10 Year Development Plan or Official Town Plan, Halifax. Google Scholar

CIVIC PLANNING COMMISSION (1945), Master Plan, Halifax, City of Halifax. Google Scholar

CLAIRMONT, D. H. and MAGILL, D. W. (1987), Africville: The Life and Death of a Canadian Black Community (rev. ed.), Toronto, Canadian Scholars' Press. Africville: The Life and Death of a Canadian Black Community Google Scholar

COLLIER, R. (1974), Contemporary Cathedrals, Montreal, Harvest House. Contemporary Cathedrals Google Scholar

CREIGHTON, R. L. (1956), ‘The scope of housing renewal’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 22, 30-4. ‘The scope of housing renewal’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 22 30 4 Google Scholar

CROLL, D. A. (Honorable, QC, Senator) (1956), ‘The objectives of redevelopment in Canadian cities’, Community Planning Review, 6, 144-6. ‘The objectives of redevelopment in Canadian cities’ Community Planning Review 6 144 6 Google Scholar

DIX, G. (1997), ‘The compassionate planner: an appreciation of the life and work of Gordon Stephenson’, Town Planning Review, 68, iii-xiv. ‘The compassionate planner: an appreciation of the life and work of Gordon Stephenson’ Town Planning Review 68 iii xiv Google Scholar

FALUDI, E. G. (1947), ‘Planning progress in Canada’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 13, 9-13. ‘Planning progress in Canada’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 13 9 13 Google Scholar

FEISS, C. (1956), ‘City renewal in action’, Community Planning Review, 6, 147-56. ‘City renewal in action’ Community Planning Review 6 147 56 Google Scholar

GRANT, J. (1994), The Drama of Democracy: Contention and Dispute in Community Planning, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. The Drama of Democracy: Contention and Dispute in Community Planning Google Scholar

GREGORY, J. (2010), ‘Scoping Stephenson: the formative influences’, paper given at the 10th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference, University of Melbourne. ‘Scoping Stephenson: the formative influences’ Google Scholar

HUNT, A. J. (1952), ‘Urban population maps’, Town Planning Review, 23, 238-48. ‘Urban population maps’ Town Planning Review 23 238 48 Google Scholar

MCHUGH, F. D. (1946), ‘Broad specifications for urban redevelopment’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 12, 17-30. ‘Broad specifications for urban redevelopment’ Journal of the American Institute of Planners 12 17 30 Google Scholar

MUMFORD, L. (1938), The Culture of Cities, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company. The Culture of Cities Google Scholar

MUMFORD, L. (1949), ‘Planning for the phases of life’, Town Planning Review, 20, 5-16. ‘Planning for the phases of life’ Town Planning Review 20 5 16 Google Scholar

PACEY, E. (1979), The Battle of Citadel Hill, Hantsport, NS, Lancelot Press. The Battle of Citadel Hill Google Scholar

PATERSON, M. (2009), Slum Clearance in Halifax: The Role of Gordon Stephenson, Master's research project, School of Planning, Dalhousie University. Available online at http://architectureandplanning.dal.ca/planning/research/moptheses/downloads/PLAN6000-2009/MP-Independent_Project.pdf Google Scholar

POTVIN, G. (1957), City of Saint John Urban Renewal Study, Toronto, Garden City Press Co-operative. City of Saint John Urban Renewal Study Google Scholar

RODWIN, L. (1995), ‘Book review’ of G. Stephenson, ‘On a human scale: a life in urban design’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 61, 523-5. ‘Book review’ of G. Stephenson, ‘On a human scale: a life in urban design’ Journal of the American Planning Association 61 523 5 Google Scholar

ROSE, A. (1958), Regent Park: A Study in Slum Clearance, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Regent Park: A Study in Slum Clearance Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, F. and STEPHENSON, G. (1942), Community Centres: A Survey, for a Joint Committee of the National Council of Social Service, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Housing Centre, London, Percy Lund, Humphries and Co. Community Centres: A Survey, for a Joint Committee of the National Council of Social Service, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Housing Centre Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1949a), ‘Town planning: contemporary problem of civil design’, Town Planning Review, 20, 125-43. ‘Town planning: contemporary problem of civil design’ Town Planning Review 20 125 43 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1949b), ‘Editorial notes’, Town Planning Review, 20, 185. ‘Editorial notes’ Town Planning Review 20 185 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1953), ‘Design in its relation to economic factors’, Town Planning Review, 33, 280-91. ‘Design in its relation to economic factors’ Town Planning Review 33 280 91 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1956-57), ‘The Canadian opportunity for urban renewal’, The Town Planning Institute of Canada (report), Toronto, 3-5 (typescript). Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1957), A Redevelopment Study of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Toronto, University of Toronto Press. A Redevelopment Study of Halifax, Nova Scotia Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1958a), ‘Human values and urban growth’, Community Planning Review, 8, 4-10. ‘Human values and urban growth’ Community Planning Review 8 4 10 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1958b), ‘Some thoughts on the planning of metropolitan regions’, Papers in Regional Science, 4, 27-38. ‘Some thoughts on the planning of metropolitan regions’ Papers in Regional Science 4 27 38 Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1992), On a Human Scale: A Life in City Design (ed. C. DeMarco), South Freemantle, Freemantle Arts Centre Press. On a Human Scale: A Life in City Design Google Scholar

STEPHENSON, G. (1995), Compassionate Town Planning (ed. H. Stretton), Liverpool, University of Liverpool Press. Compassionate Town Planning Google Scholar

THRIFT, E. (1957), ‘Review, "A redevelopment study of Halifax, Nova Scotia 1957"’, Community Planning Review, 7, 182-3 ‘Review, A redevelopment study of Halifax, Nova Scotia 1957’ Community Planning Review 7 182 3 Google Scholar

WINTERS, R. H. (Honorable, Minister of Public Works, Canada) (1956), ‘Appendix I: Amendment of the National Housing Act’, Community Planning Review, 6, 78-82. ‘Appendix I: Amendment of the National Housing Act’ Community Planning Review 6 78 82 Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Grant, Jill

Paterson, Marcus