Ben Franklin, Urbanist

According to an essay in City Journal by Jerry Weinberger, Benjamin Franklin liked to style himself a country mouse, but he was actually one of the nation’s first and most influential urbanists. In Philadelphia, he set up the first lending library; helped found the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society; organized the first volunteer fire department; helped pass legislation to build the Pennsylvania Hospital; redesigned the city’s streetlamps; and introduced a bill to pave all the city’s streets. Oh, and didn’t he have something to do with discovering electricity?

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