U.S. Open – First Major to Be Played on Hard Courts

US Open pic
US Open
Image: forbes.com

Daniel Hewes, an urban planning graduate of Columbia University, is an avid tennis fan. Daniel Hewes has played tennis since a young age and enjoys attending the U.S. Open in New York every summer.

A decade after hosting the richest tennis tournament in the history of the sport, the U.S. Open once again made history by holding the first major competition on a surface other than grass or clay. In 1978, the United States Tennis Association opted to distinguish their event from the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon by embracing a relatively new surface, Deco Turf II.

Bjorn Borg and Bob Hewitt played the first match in Stadium Court in Flushing Meadows, New York, on the evening of August 29. Borg progressed to the finals, where he fell to American Jimmy Connors. Connors was contesting his fifth consecutive U.S. Open final and, with that victory, became the only man to win the U.S. Open on grass, clay, and hard courts.

On the women’s side of the tournament, 16-year-old Pam Shriver was one of the first players to use an oversized racket and succeeded in reaching the finals, where she faced fellow American Chris Evert. The shift from clay to hard court did not trouble Evert, who overwhelmed the younger Shriver to win her fourth consecutive U.S. Open title.

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Arthur Ashe – Winner of the First U.S. Open

Arthur Ashe pic
Arthur Ashe
Image: biography.com

Daniel Hewes earned a BA in urban studies at Northeastern University and an MS in urban planning from Columbia University. Beyond his professional interests, Daniel Hewes enjoys staying active through tennis, which he began playing as a youth and continued competitively through college. He annually attends the U.S. Open in late August.

The initial U.S. Open was held in 1968 as one of the first major tournaments in the open era of tennis, which allowed both amateurs and professional athletes to compete for the sport’s most prestigious titles. Though some believed the professional players would dominate the competition, the inaugural U.S. Open was won by a 25-year-old amateur, Arthur Ashe, a lieutenant in the United States Army.

In defeating the Netherland’s Tom Okker 14-12, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, Ashe became the first African American to win a men’s singles title at the major level. As an amateur, however, he was forced to relinquish the $14,000 prize check and only received a $20 per diem. Ashe would reach the U.S. Open final once more in 1972, but won his second and third major titles in 1970 at the Australian Open and in 1975 at Wimbledon.

Free City Planning Curriculum From the American Planning Association

American Planning Association pic
American Planning Association
Image: planning.org

Urban planner Daniel Hewes recently attained his MS from Columbia University, where he focused on disaster planning in cities. Alongside his studies, Daniel Hewes joined and maintains a membership with the American Planning Association (APA).

The American Planning Association represents a network of 38,000 dedicated city planners, designers, and affiliated professionals. The organization works to improve American cities, using research and technology to make them safer, greener, and more livable.

The APA also provides a wealth of resources for teachers. It maintains a library of free curriculum in order to help educate the next generation of city planners and urban designers. One of these free resources is Metropolis, a multidisciplinary unit of study created by a third grade teacher. Metropolis teaches children about the fundamental parts of a city, and helps them understand how everything works together as a system. The curriculum includes relevant issues in health, art, and social sciences, allowing children to apply all of their learning to the study of communities.

Accidental Skyline by the Municipal Art Society of New York

Accidental Skyline pic
Accidental Skyline
Image: mas.org

Recent Columbia University graduate Daniel Hewes attained his MS in urban planning with a focus on community-led disaster planning. As part of his commitment to his chosen discipline, Daniel Hewes maintains an active membership in the American Planning Association as well as the Municipal Art Society of New York.

The Municipal Art Society of New York was established more than a century ago. Since 1893, its members have come together to bring lush parks, beautiful artwork, and useful public buildings to the streets of New York City.

The Art Society recently released a new project, dubbed the Accidental Skyline. This public awareness project seeks to include New Yorkers in conversations about new building projects in their city. The Society feels that many New Yorkers are surprised and sometimes concerned about sudden changes to their skyline.

Accidental Skyline will create transparency in the zoning and building process. Large scale projects will become subject to public review, and certain community members will be alerted to changes in their area. The project also creates safeguards for community venues like parks, ensuring that development does not spoil them for New Yorkers.