The TVA Regional Planning and Development Program
The Transformation of an Institution and Its Mission
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a world-renowned model for regional planning and development. Based along the Tennessee River and its series of hydro-electric power stations, dams and reservoirs, the TVA development program envisioned a broad regional planning program. The program focused on development opportunities and problems around the array of TVA dams and their reservoirs. It also created new 'model' towns and pioneered land-use planning bringing together federal, state, and local agencies, farmers, foresters and industrial firms to further the economic, social, and physical conditions of what had been one of the most seriously lagging regions of the U.S. This book is based on the memoirs and experiences of Aelred J. Gray, former planner with the TVA, who saw the 'big picture' and introduced much of the pioneering work of the agency. Gray worked as a staff planner at the TVA for nearly 40 years including a decade as its chief planner, overseeing numerous changes and developments to the Authority's program. As well as building up the regional industrial development and the foundation of state parks, he also had a strong interest in the region's cities. In the 1950s he introduced TVA's landmark Flood Prevention Program, which became a national model. His review of how this innovative and influential regional development agency functioned and changed through the decades will be of value to all those interested in planning practice, planning history, and regional politics.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: the emergence of regional planning agencies in the United States; The first twenty years: the formulation of the TVA approach to regional planning and development, 1933-1953; TVA's second twenty years: the search for new directions in the regional planning and development program, 1953-1973; The rise of the corporate image and the managerial elite: effects on the regional development program, 1973-1994; Some reflections on TVA's experience as a regional development agency; Postscript; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
David A. Johnson is Professor Emeritus at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.
’In an age when America's sprawling suburban landscape has become a permanent, yet ever-expanding, feature of U.S. society and culture, it is good to remember a time when alternative development strategies seemed possible. David Johnson's The TVA Regional Planning and Development Program, which draws on the experience of long-time TVA planner Aelred J. Gray, speaks to a time when the nation's endless suburban landscape had not yet been set in a sea of cement and split-level homes. It is well worth a look for readers interested in learning more about an era when planning and vision were not mutually exclusive terms.’ Daniel Schaffer, Trieste, Italy, Author of Garden Cities for America: The Radburn Experience