Problems of City Life: A Study in Urban Sociology

Problems of City Life: A Study in Urban Sociology

Problems of City Life: A Study in Urban Sociology

Problems of City Life: A Study in Urban Sociology

Excerpt

The tenement-house problem first appeared in the large cities and there received its first attention. Neglect may be said to have created the problem: when conditions became intolerable, intervention occurred. This happened at about the same time in London and New York, the first cities in their respective countries to be affected by housing legislation. They present an interesting contrast in that each represents the best example of two different, and the two most important, methods of dealing with housing conditions.

LONDON

It was about the middle of the nineteenth century when the public- spirited citizens in London became aroused by the degradation and sickness resulting from the conditions in which a large proportion of the common people lived. The leader in the agitation for improvement and reform was the noted philanthropist, the Earl of Shaftesbury. In presenting his famous bill for the regulation of lodging houses, in 1851, he referred to a parliamentary paper dated 1842, which gave the results of a house-to-house visitation in St. George's, Hanover Square, reported by the London Statistical Society. In this survey 1,465 families of the laboring classes were found to have for their residence only 2,174 rooms. Of these families, 929 had but one room for the whole family to reside in; 408 had two rooms; 94 had three; 17 had four, and but 17 over four. This was the condition in one of the better parishes of London. The greatest evil of that time was, obviously, room-overcrowding.

Among other sources of evidence, Lord Shaftesbury quoted from the report of the London Fever Hospital in 1845 the following statement in reference to one particular room: "It is filled to excess every night, but on particular occasions commonly 50, sometimes 90 to 100 men are crowded into a room 33 feet 9 inches long, 20 feet wide and 7 feet high. The whole of this dormitory does not allow more space, that is, does not admit of a larger bulk of air for respiration than is appropriated in the wards of the fever hospital for three patients. As . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.