chapter  1
Town Planning Exhibitions
ByRobert Freestone, Marco Amati
Pages 18

In a summary timeline of key events in the emergence of modern urban planning, if forced to select just one iconic exhibition the choice would surely be that held in London in October 1910 in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Town Planning Conference. The exhibition was staged in three dierent locations: at the Guildhall with a display of maps and plans of London, at the RIBA headquarters hosting an extensive collection of historic plans and drawings, and at the Royal Academy’s Burlington House in Piccadilly where the main international and contemporary material assembled under the guidance of Raymond Unwin was on view. This latter exhibition was organised into mostly national galleries – British, German, American, French, Dutch, Belgian, Scandinavian, Austrian, Italian – plus a Colonial exhibit and a special room devoted to Patrick Geddes’s civic survey of Edinburgh. The ocial opening attracted a veritable who’s who of the modern planning movement to a showcase of world’s best practice bridging technical interest and popular appeal. There was general consensus about the standout displays: the American material dominated by Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett’s Plan of Chicago and the German regional and town extension schemes so boldly and condently rendered. If the conference sessions proved challenging exercises in multi-lingual communication, the exhibition provided a forum for a language that everyone could speak.