The Urban Environment

Martin V. Melosi

in The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199589531
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

The Urban Environment


This article discusses how environmental problems in the nineteenth century — difficulties in sanitation, water supply, pollution, and waste disposal — created by large-scale city growth helped generate new professional and municipal services, new concepts of social justice, and decisive medical outcomes, including falling mortality rates. Just as environmental issues served to galvanize urban governance in Europe and North America before World War I, it shows that mounting environmental pressures in the fast growth cities of Asia and other developing countries are engendering serious strains but also emerging solutions, often but not invariably borrowed from the West.

Keywords: environmental problems; urban development; cities; social justice; municipal services; sanitation; water supply; pollution; waste disposal

Article.  9373 words. 

Subjects: History ; Environmental History

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