“Thousands of small, separate deductions — made with little or no relationship to one another, nor to their composite impact — produce a major decision about the future of our cities and our civilization, a decision we’ve come to label suburban sprawl.” — James W. Rouse

How to Build a Whole New City from Scratch, National Association of Mutual Savings Banks May 17, 1966, James W. Rouse Papers, Columbia Archives

Rouse gave this speech a year before the opening of Columbia about what he hoped to achieve for his new city. He talks about the do’s and don’ts he has discovered when it comes to city building, as well as his vision for the future.

When James W. Rouse started planning Columbia, he knew it was necessary to plan every detail ahead of time. Fifty years after Columbia’s opening, James Rouse’s handiwork is still visible throughout the community. The schools, churches, shopping centers, and parks are all evenly dispersed and easily connected by roadways Wand sidewalks. In this quote, one can see Rouse’s distaste for suburban sprawl and the reason behind Columbia’s meticulous planning.