City Beautiful in the US and Abroad
The western industrialized imperial powers sought to bring order and uniformity not only to their domestic metropoli, but to the economic centers of their colonies as well. British Imperial architect for New Delhi, Herbert Baker, writing to his co-planner Edwin Lutyens declared, “It is really a great event in the history of the world and of architecture – that rulers should have the strength and sense to do the right thing. It would only be possible now under a despotism – some day perhaps democracies will follow… It must not be Indian, nor English, nor Roman, but it must be Imperial. In 2000 years there must be an Imperial Lutyens tradition in Indian architecture…. Hurrah for despotism.” 1
Burnham’s 1905 plan for Manila removed much of the city’s existing form to impose highly ordered streetscapes with diagonal vistas. Similar to subsequent U.S. plans, Burnham placed governmental functions at the center of plans, emphasizing the importance of colonial control and segregating colonial administrators from the local population. Bernard Maybeck's 1912 proposal for Canberra was one of 137 plans entered into the competition for Australia’s new capital.
1Quoted in Hussey, Christopher, The life of Sir Edwin Lutyens [London?] : Antique Collectors' Club, 1984, c1950. p. 247.