Greenbelt Project, United States Resettlement Administration

Rexford G. Tugwell was an economics professor at Columbia University who became an adviser to Franklin Delano Roosevelt during FDR's 1932 campaign for the presidency. As President Roosevelt, with Executive Order 7027, FDR created the United States Resettlement Administration as part of his plan for the New Deal. Tugwell was appointed the head of the new organization, the only director the RA ever had.

The RA had four divisions, Rural Rehabilitation, Rural Resettlement, Land Utilization and Suburban Resettlement.

One RA project was to build Greenbelt Cities, planned communities to be practical models for a future that never really arrived. The Greenbelt program acquired lands and planned communities were built in Greenbelt, Maryland, Greenhills, Ohio and Greendale, Wisconsin. There were many other communities that were assisted by the RA but the Greenbelt program consisted of those three communities.

Faced with crushing criticism for his bad management of the RA, Tugwell resigned in 1936 and on January 1, 1937, the Resettlement Administration was made a part of the Department of Agriculture.

(Probably the most memorable action of the RA was building relief camps in California for migratory workers. 95 camps were built, no where near enough for the massive amounts of people who were moving into California, looking for a better life.)


Greenbelt Historic District (Prince George's County, Maryland)
Greendale Historic District (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
Greenhills Historic District (Hamilton County, Ohio)