Hazard and resilience in the city
Take a moment to consider the above quotation and then try and guess in which year it was written. The observation is essentially concerning swift urban growth and urbanization, with particular reference to both the associated erosion of natural capital and the absence of a wider, strategic consideration of the impacts of the strategy on the resident population. Reflecting upon the information contained in earlier sections of the book, the timing is clearly post-Industrial Revolution, but retains a degree of contemporary resonance that challenges a strict temporal demarcation. The quote is actually contained within Raymond Unwin’s agenda setting 1909 book, Town Planning in Practice, one of the very first ‘planning’ books published. The longevity of the passage aptly illustrates that concerns regarding city growth, urbanization and the resultant social and biological impacts are clearly an enduring problem, and that seemingly modern issues may have had a surprisingly long history. Indeed, one of the interesting aspects to the excerpt is its lingering applicability – just why is the quote still relevant some one hundred years after it was written?