Page:Old Towns and New Needs.djvu/57

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a time many owners of ground rents would be hard hit by the change, still the land-owners would in the long run be able to transfer much of that tax back again upon the tenants in the form of increased ground rent.

Let us consider what are the essentials in connection with town development, and in what way the town's growth may be assisted by a proper Extension Plan. If we were planning a new town the matter would be less complicated; we could begin from first principles; but in ninety -nine cases out of a hundred what we are called upon to do is to make a plan to provide for the extension of an existing town. Therefore, the town-planner must first be sure that he thoroughly understands the life and needs of the community for whose extension he has to provide: hence, the study of the existing town can hardly be too thorough if the best results are to be attained. Here we may learn something from other countries, notably from Germany, where town-planning has been practised for many years: we may see the grave mistakes that have been made in some of their early town plans for want of this careful study of the existing town and its economic circumstances. That this is now thoroughly appreciated is proved by the wonderful study which has been made of the town of Düsseldorf, and the careful series of plans which have been prepared, embodying the results of this great civic survey, for the purpose of conveying the information in an easily grasped form to town-planners, who have been asked by the municipality of that city to enter a great competition for the preparation of a new Extension Plan for Düsseldorf.