The arrival of the Americans in the early 1900s spurred
development in the City. The American Governor Luke E. Wright commissioned
Architect Daniel H. Burnham, a prominent Urban Planner to develop
a plan for a health resort where the American soldiers and civilian
employees could find respite from the sweltering lowland heat. This
plan, better known as the Burnham Plan greatly altered the original
mountain settlement and provided the first physical framework plan
for the City. It paved the way for rapid physical development, the
undertones of which are still visible up this date.
The physical framework as embodied in the Burnham Plan
integrates a road and park system into one. It envisioned evolving
a compact garden city for 25,000 to 30,000 people. Supporting this
development plan was the enactment of a charter approved on September
1, 1909 that provided administrative as well as managerial autonomy
for the city. Soon after the city's charter was enacted, scenic
Kennon Road was opened to vehicular traffic. This triggered the
mining boom in the surrounding areas in the early to mid 1930s.
Baguio City was the service and operations center for the mining
industry, and hence a direct beneficiary of the economic growth.
The events of the Second World War stalled all development, leaving
the city in total devastation. Fast paced development however ensued
following the war years. Such development trends transformed the
city into what it is today, a premier urban center north of Manila,
performing a multiplicity of roles, as an educational, trade, tourism
and administrative center.