“It is the rational result of what can be rightly called the American Process, with local government, people in their neighborhoods, private business, state and federal government, all performing in their appropriate roles with diligence, imagination, and energy.” — James W. Rouse

Hamburg, Germany, Sept. 9-16, 1978, James W. Rouse Papers, Columbia Archives

Rouse discusses how the city of Baltimore was reimagined as a new city and fixed from the ground up. He discusses the problems the city had and how they were tackled. He says Baltimore was becoming a huge rundown slum and had since become the verge of being a great American city.

While James W. Rouse was an excellent developer, he was also a very intelligent businessman. Rouse knew he had to have private citizens willing to move there, businesses willing to work there, and the cooperation of the state and the federal government to successfully build a city. He had this mindset when he built Columbia, as well as when he improved Baltimore. Rouse saw the imperfections in Baltimore, but he also saw the potential and was able to improve the city without having to start from scratch.