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Land Use, Transit, and Urban Redevelopment Illustrated (1933-1972): A walk through twentieth century maps from Cornell’s Map Collection

Maps have been central to practice of planning since its inception. They are tools that are used to inform, persuade, and regulate. Cartography is not merely a technical activity. Maps involve choices of representation, mode of communication, and intended audience. They are frames of reference for understanding the past. Planning maps provide selective views of society, places, and planning practice.

The maps in this exhibit were selected for their potential for discovery. Discoveries may relate to the cartographer’s choices, to the technologies of map-making before geographic information systems, or to a map’s wider implications for society or the practice of planning. In contrast to the other maps on display, the series of transit maps were originally intended for transit users.

All maps represent urban areas within New York and Massachusetts. Some of the maps were selected individually; others are displayed in thematic series for comparison. The maps in this exhibit were scanned and reprinted for display. The originals are available for viewing at the Map Collection Room in Olin Library.

The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Map Collection, Olin & Uris Libraries, and the Department of City and Regional Planning, School of Architecture, Art, and Planning. It contributes to further strengthening the ties between the Department of CRP and CUL and aims to encourage the faculty and students of the department to experience the reach resources of the library. It is curated by Jennifer Minner, Assistant Professor, CRP, and Boris Michev, Maps and Geospatial Information Librarian. The poster was designed by Boris Michev.

The exhibit was on display on the first floor of West Sibley Hall from December 1, 2013 – January 19, 2014. It can be viewed in two locations in Olin Library: in the Map exhibit cases on the lower level and in the display cases in front of Room 101, from February 1 – April 15 2014.