Throughout History plans and planning maps have shined a light on what different people thought was important, inevitable, likely, desired, or essential. From interesting, to funny, to frightening, many of these plans and maps provide insight into a world that could have been, but never came to be.
Like many planning professionals, as an urban planner I am fascinated by exploring the world that might have been had certain plans been implemented. Plans and maps are powerful, and looking back at what others have considered undertaking is an eye opening exercise that reveals the potential impact of our planning actions.
My stepson, who lives in NYC sent me a link to an article written by Matthew Tglesias of Vox. The article, 20 maps that never happened is great. An enjoyable and fascinating read…I loved it! In the article, Tglesias highlights 20 maps (plans) that were never implemented. Some more realistic and viable than others, they highlighted maps covering everything from war strategy to infrastructure in the Big Apple.
Read, enjoy, and think about the impact our maps have…even if never implemented. Who knows, 50 years from now someone may look at one of your maps and say “What the hell were they thinking? Thank God they never did that!”
Here are a some of my favorites…
Drain the East River (1924)
A Russian professor’s vision of US breakup
Late-1960s map depicts Robert Moses’ plan for the LOMEX (Lower Manhattan Expressway)