Joseph W. Lund

President of the National Association of REALTORS® - 1952

Urban planning topped Joseph Lund’s* list of priorities during his year as president of NAREB. Recognizing the growth in population in urban areas, he launched a campaign, “Build America Better,” aimed at developing coordinated mass transportation systems in cities and revitalizing run-down neighborhoods.

As he put it, the problems of urban growth in 1952 could be summed up in two words, “obsolescence and traffic…we must make the cities better places in which to live and work. Then we must make it possible for people to get in and out of the cities by mass transportation and highways…Mass transportation for cities over 50,000 is a must.

He warned against over-taxation of commerce and industry which, he said, supported many of the essential services in the city. He took a firm stance against public housing, saying it “did not house the needy but merely provided fair housing for the politically privileged at enormous costs to the taxpayer.” He predicted public housing “would form the slums of the future.” He vigorously fought federally imposed rent controls, stating that they promoted urban decay and blight.

Carrying the “Build America Better” campaign to the 1952 convention, Lund presented delegates with sessions on city planning, urban congestion, stabilization of business centers, rehabilitation of blighted areas, mass transportation and suburban development. He called for the skill, experience and cooperation of member boards everywhere in implementing city-saving ideas.

During his year as president, Lund led a delegation to the International Federation of Real Estate Counselors’ meeting in Brussels and was elected vice president of the Federation.

Summing up his year as president, he said: “We have developed a program which can keep REALTORS® in the forefront of the universal move to improve urban living…We must not lean on the federal government…It is our task.”

A native of Boston, Mr. Lund graduated from Harvard University and began his real estate career following graduation. He was chairman of R. M. Bradley and Co., Inc., Boston. Throughout his career, he lectured on real estate at the Babson Institute and Boston University. He has served as New England vice president of NAREB and as president of the Boston Board of REALTORS®.

After his presidency of NAREB, Mr. Lund continued to provide outstanding leadership to both his industry and community. He was past president of the Urban Land Institute and of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and was chairman of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. He was director of the Old Colony Trust Company of Boston for 16 years.

Committed to conservation, Mr. Lund held leadership positions with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources and Manomet Bird Observatory. His civic activities include past president of the Beacon Hill Civic Association and vice president of the Back Bay Committee for Community Development.

Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).