Robert Moses

Robert Moses
Robert Moses
  • Born: December 18, 1888
  • Died: July 29, 1981
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Urban Planner









Robert Moses was an American public official who worked mainly in the New York metropolitan area. Known as the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and was one of the most polarizing figures in the history of urban development in the United States. His decisions favoring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation despite his not having trained in those professions. Moses would call himself a "coordinator" and was referred to in the media as a "master builder".

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
According to some of the goo-goo's, we ought to negotiate with every individual until he's happy. Development & Growth
After all, Franklin [Delano Roosevelt] isn't very bright. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Before, the Negro in the South had always looked on the defensive, cringing. This time they were taking the initiative. Riots ;Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
Cities are created by and for traffic. Transportation
Critics never build anything. Miscellaneous
I believe in limited objectives and in getting things done. Management & Managing Government
I don’t care how many laws you have to break. I want the Guggenheim [Museum] built. Memorials, Monuments, Medals, Statues & Buildings
If the end does not justify the means, what does? Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
If you can't get along with the head of the government with which you are working, you won't get anything done—nothing! Management & Managing Government
If you elect a matinee idol mayor, you're going to have a musical comedy administration. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
If, instead of hiring half-baked revolutionary planners to fill our college undergraduates with ingenious schemes to disperse populations, split up big cities into little ones, go underground or into distant places to escape bombs and congestion, abandon large urban areas in favor of roadside villages, we were to publish reliable, simply written, common-sense information to control the building boom, what a country this would be! Development & Growth
I'm just a senior ditch digger. Public Works & Natural Resources
Our overbuilt cities with their congestion, their trend to high office buildings and apartments, their complete indifference to the most elementary principles of civilian defense, their slums representing past neglect and greed, can to a considerable extent be rebuilt on better principles if we are smart enough to look the facts in the eye and brush off the Babbitts who hold that wherever the dirt flies there is progress. On the other hand, cities can not be revolutionized and turned into garden villages or green belts. In the suburbs and near-by country, however, we still have a chance to do the right thing without stultifying compromises.... Development & Growth
People who call themselves [city] planners ... draw pretty pictures ... but they often don't get anything done. Development & Growth
The remedies are neither easy, nor cheap, nor immediately realizable. Housing
We’re not here to bring politics to our morality, but to bring morality to our politics. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
You don't have to be either. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Here the skeptic finds chaos and the believer further evidence that the hand that made us is divine.