Robert Moses defends urban sprawl. (January 1962)
No New Yorker has a longer or more distinguished record of public service than ROBERT MOSES. He joined the Bureau of Municipal Research in 1913, under Mayor Mitchell, became secretary of state for New York under Governor Al Smith, and as city construction coordinator, he has handled the hundreds of millions of dollars which have been spent on parks, public beaches, housing, and bridges. He is now president of the New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation.
Every motorist is aware of the monotonous new communities, the clusters of little pastel houses, which have mushroomed up overnight within a thirty-mile radius of most American cities. Have they been planned with forethought or simply with a rich profit in mind? Robert Moses, who puts the question, is an authority on parks, highways, housing, and municipal and state planning. In his thirty years of participation in New York's city and state governments, he has served every governor since Al Smith and both Mayors La Guardia and O'Dwyer. He has recently completed a report for the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on its needed public improvement.
No man in the United States has had more to do with public works than ROBERT MOSES. He has been head of the state park system of New York since 1924, park commissioner of New York City and chairman of the Triborough Bridge Authority since 1934. He was Secretary of State under Governor Smith. He is a member of the City Planning Commission. His guiding spirit has trebled the recreation facilities of his state and city, brought into being the great metropolitan parkways and bridges, Jones Beach, and play areas from Niagara Falls to Montauk Point. At the Atlantic's request he speaks his mind on that stubborn problem of slum clearance.