About this Collection

Water M. Phillips interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders on subjects related to Philadelphia city government and history between the late 1930s and the 1970s. Related collection: Walter M. Phillips, Sr. Papers (Acc. 527)

About this Interview

Urban planner Robert B. Mitchell begins by discussing urban development and the authority for redevelopment in Philadelphia. The City Planning Commission designated so-called "blighted" areas within which the redevelopment authority might operate. As part of the redevelopment project, a Better Philadelphia Exhibition was planned. Mitchell resigned from the City Planning Commission in 1948 to go into urban research. He worked as a professor at Columbia before beginning a school of city planning at the University of Pennsylvania. Mitchell took leave from the University of Pennsylvania for three years because he was asked to do transportation studies for the traffic and transportation board under Mayor Clark. He concludes by discussing the problem of urban sprawl and the deterioration of Black communities in Philadelphia.

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Biographical / Historical Note

Walter M. Phillips, Sr. (1912-1985) was active in Philadelphia civic and political life for over thirty years. He worked and volunteered in a variety of city and regional organizations. After retiring, Phillips initiated an oral history project, interviewing in the 1970s many individuals with whom he had worked.

Record Details

Robert B. Mitchell Oral History, March 12, 1975
City planning, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Mitchell, Robert B. (Robert Buchanan), 1906-
Personal Names:
Mitchell, Robert B. (Robert Buchanan), 1906-
Geographic Subject:
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Organization / Building:
City Planning Commission (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Repository Collection:
Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories
Oral Histories
Contact SCRC for the audio recording corresponding to this transcript.
Transcript Identifier:

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Transcript Note

This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview. The interviewee/narrator read the transcript and made minor corrections, but the reader should bear in mind that it represents a transcription of the spoken word.

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About This Collection

Walter Massey Phillips Oral Histories

Ohist cover
Walter M. Phillips initiated an oral history project, and between c. 1974 and 1980 interviewed over 150 civic and political leaders.
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