Thus far I have talked only of the residential sections of Radburn. Radburn is planned for a population on the land now owned by the City Housing Corporation, of about 25,000 people. In a sense it is designed as a satellite city. It is not to be, according to plan, a mere dormitory for New York and for the neighboring cities of New Jersey, but is to have its own commercial and industrial sections, and to be, as far as is possible, a self-contained town in which workers may live near their work. At the southerly end of the town a definite reservation for industry has been made, although as yet only one establishment has been built there. The planners have been at pains to relate that industrial section to the other portions of the town by adequate highways and will provide suitable housing for workers not far away.
The commercial needs of the town are to be provided for in local community shopping centers, in sub-business centers, a part of one of which already has been constructed, and in a central business area related to the civic center of the entire town.
Definitive plans are not so far developed for this chief center as in the case of the residential portions of the town, but certain things are to be provided. One of these is open space, both in wide streets and in parks. Another is the convenient approach by traffic ways to local business places without interfering with rapid through traffic. And another is to find in a measure the soothful answer to that deep and passionate longing of the modern American; he who sings:
This is the place I long have sought, And mourned because I found it not: - A place to park!
Here again the use of the interior of the block in a new relation to its perimeter will, we believe*, be useful, economical and not ugly. The business blocks will have a central core of parking space or garage space, bringing parking close to the store, as in the residential area the green park was brought close to the home.
There is no zoning ordinance in the Borough of Fair Lawn, and therefore the use of the police power to control the uses of property is in abeyance.
In Radburn it is planned, for the present at any rate, to accomplish zoning by contract. The restrictions in the deeds of houses sold as residences and the restrictions to which the whole lands, park and otherwise, in the residential sections are subjected, forbid the use of the land for any but residential purposes.
Sites for industrial purposes have been sold and will be sold subject to certain restrictions as to the type of industry - excluding the nuisance types - and subject to certain architectural control and community obligations.
Commercial property - stores and the like - will not be sold but will be retained by the City Housing Corporation as an investment, and also because this is the only means that has been suggested for effectively controlling the number and type of stores.
Commercial property of other kinds - such as office buildings for public utilities and the like - will be sold subject to restrictions which in sum amount to zoning by contract. Such a system of use zoning requires, of course, much thought, and makes a heavy draft upon the pre-vision of the planners. On the other hand, it admits of a refinement of zoning that under the police power might very well be questioned in the courts as being too arbitrary.
So here again, in this field of zoning-by-contract, there seem to be possibilities for increased convenience, decreased costs and added beauty.