Designing Modern America: The Regional Planning Association of America and Its Members. (Urban Life and Urban Landscape Series.) Columbus: Ohio State University Press by Edward K Spann

The Regional Planning Association of America (RPAA) was a small, loosely organized group interested in issues of city and region, including housing and community development, transportation, recreation, and conservation. Among its principals were architects Clarence Stein, Henry Wright, Charles H. Whitaker, and Frederick Ackerman, housing reformers Edith Elmer Wood and Catherine Bauer, economist Stuart Chase, conservationist Benton MacKaye, and Lewis Mumford, arguably the most influential writer about cities and regions in twentieth-century America. Collectively, RPAA members published an impressive array of books and articles promoting regionalism and other elements of their reformist agenda.

They have also attracted considerable scholarly attention since the publication of Roy Lubove's Community Planning in the 1920s: The Contributions of the Regional Planning Association of America (1963); Carl Sussman's edition of articles written by RPAA members, Planning the Fourth Migration: The Neglected Vision of the Regional Planning Association of America (1976); Daniel Schaffer's Garden Cities for America: The Radburn Experience (1982); Donald Miller's richly textured biography, Lewis Mumford: A Life (1989); Mark Luccarelli's Lewis Mumford and the Ecological Region: The Politics of Planning (1995); Robert Wojtowicz's Lewis Mumford and American Modernism: Eutopian Theories for Architecture and Urban Planning (1996); and Kermit C. Parson's magisterial edition, The Writings of Clarence S. Stein: Architect of the Planned Community (1998). Clearly, if the vision of the RPAA has been neglected in the built environment, scholars have not ignored the importance of its members and their ideas.