It is perhaps ironic that Burnham and Bennett admired the street plan of Moscow when one considers the notorious reputation of the Russian capital’s traffic today. The simplified diagram of Moscow’s main thoroughfares was one of several sketches of European arterial plans that they reproduced from Études sur les transformations de Paris (1903-1909) by the French architect and urban planner Eugène Hénard. Hénard was one of the first city planners to promote the development of street circulation patterns and features (such as the roundabout) that addressed the particular needs of automobile traffic. Burnham and Bennett admired Hénard’s ideas that stressed the importance of complementary systems of radial and circumferential streets. In the plan they pointed out that the destruction of old encircling city walls in cities like Moscow had created ready-made pathways for circumferential routes. They lamented that no such historical circumstance existed in Chicago.
Hénard, Eugène. Études sur les transformations de Paris, et autres écrits sur l'urbanisme. Paris: L’Equerre, 1982.
Wolf, Peter M. Eugène Hénard and the Beginning of Urbanism in Paris, 1900-1914. The Hague: International Federation for Housing and Planning, 1968.
Royal Institute of British Architects. “Town Planning Conference London, 10-15 October 1910” Transactions. (1911): 345-367. http://urbanplanning.library.cornell.edu/DOCS/henard.htm
Eugène Hénard, “Theoretical Diagram of the Streets of Moscow,” from Plan of Chicago (Chicago: The Commercial Club, 1909), pl. XCVIII. The Newberry Library, Case folio W 999 .182