Planning a Town

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11255

Do cities just pop out of the ground like mushrooms? Of course not! Someone must plan for future growth and needs. How about a candy maker? Learn about urban planning and design your own future town!


Civics, People and Their Environment

learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Most people think chocolate brings a special kind of happiness.

You probably have not heard the story, though, of how the great chocolatiers of the early days wanted to use their chocolate riches to build dream communities!

People like Milton Hershey and John Cadbury didn't just want to merely hoard money; they used their wealth to create new towns where people could live happier than ever before.

There are many other examples, past and present, of amazing, imaginative designs for the cities of the future. Some people are building them at this moment. It's time you put forth your own design!

  • What kind of town would you design?
  • What problems would your design solve?
  • What challenges do we face in building better cities and towns?

Ever since humans left their nomadic lives behind and began to settle, they have been seeking ways to settle happily and comfortably.

As the population expanded over time, it became more urgent for urban planners to think more creatively and to come up with more dynamic concepts.

There were many examples of this innovative thinking in the history of the United States. Central Park in New York City was one attempt at contributing to the city of the future by making a greener, more livable city. Salt Lake City, Utah, was an effort by the early Mormon community at designing city roads on a grid system.

Few efforts and urban planning, though, match the vision of Milton Hershey. Yes, the Hershey of chocolate bar fame. Hershey's dream was to use his wealth to build the ideal town where people could live, learn, work, and raise their families.

Read about Hershey's efforts and, as you do, write down the information and ideas to answer these questions:

  • What choices did Milton Hershey make for his town?
  • Why do you think he made those particular choices?
  • What do you think about those choices?
  • How would you plan differently?

Read One Man's Vision: Hershey, A Model Town, by Pamela Cassidy and Eliza Cope Harrison, courtesy of Hershey Museum. After gathering the information and ideas, consider:

  • How do modern cities get planned and built?
  • What features do you really like about your town?
  • What changes would make your town a nicer place to live?

Everyone has their own ideas about the ideal place to live, and some people throughout history have attempted to make their ideas a reality. There are people today who are devising plans and building the cities of the future using some age-old ideas and some cutting-edge visions.

Continue on to the Got It? section to discover some of those ideas.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.