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Old 12-28-2012, 06:01 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Well until water sewage became treated and drinking water became chlorinated outbreaks of cholera were common. However once those problems get fixed a new one shows up Polio(which ironically was caused by cleaning up...i.e. infants were no longer exposed to a weaker form of the virus and then got it later as children when they came upon contaminated water and had no immunity. )

Vaccination however puts an end to many human disease.
Sort of, but not quite with polio.

Polio History

Michael Underwood first described a debility of the lower extremities in children that was recognizable as poliomyelitis in England in 1789. The first polio outbreaks in Europe were reported in the early 19th century, and polio outbreaks were first reported in the United States in 1843.

History of Polio: Pre-Vaccine Era
For the next hundred years, epidemics of polio disease were reported from developed countries in the Northern Hemisphere each summer and fall. . . . .
In the immediate pre-vaccine era, improved sanitation allowed less frequent exposure and increased the age of primary infection. Boosting of immunity from natural exposure became more infrequent, and the number of susceptible people increased, which ultimately resulted in the occurrence of polio epidemics, with 13,000 to 20,000 paralytic cases reported annually.


Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Most of the buildings I've lived in have dated to the years between 1900 and 1930. They all have bathrooms and windows.

I still think the OP's original intention was not to debate whether or not we want to literally live in the 1920s, but rather whether or not we'd want a modern city that was not designed with the automobile in mind. I guess I assumed that in this hypothetical scenario (as the post said without all the bad stuff) we would be talking about buildings that meet modern safety and public health requirements. There are still a lot of late 19th and 20th century buildings around today; the interiors have been updated where necessary. The neighborhood form remains the same.
Despite what one reads in some New Urbanist and Urban Planning literature, many of the "slum clearance" projects of the 1950s/60s razed homes that actually were substandard by just about anyone's standards. I'm talking about homes without windows, bathrooms, indoor plumbing; homes with dirt floors, covered, if the tenants were lucky, with cardboard; homes without safe access/egress, etc. What remains is acceptable housing.

To give another personal example (!), my in-laws' house in "the city" had an add-on bathroom. My MIL said she thinks when the house was built (1936), the bathroom was outdoors.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post



Despite what one reads in some New Urbanist and Urban Planning literature, many of the "slum clearance" projects of the 1950s/60s razed homes that actually were substandard by just about anyone's standards. I'm talking about homes without windows, bathrooms, indoor plumbing; homes with dirt floors, covered, if the tenants were lucky, with cardboard; homes without safe access/egress, etc. What remains is acceptable housing.
I'd like to know whether many=most in the case of "slum clearance." When investigating its history in my city, it seems it was more a guise to displace people (usually black) for some measure of convenience to wealthy (white). There's a film about high-rise housing projects in St Louis called "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" that details many examples of conditions as you describe, however. The replacement truly was better than the original in that case, for a few years at least. It's possible that the differences in experience may be too wide to generalize for all cities.

Near me, master social engineer, commercial and retail developer James Rouse destroyed several square blocks of ca. 1880-1900 homes in the early 60s. The neighborhood was not as prominent as its neighbor to the west, thanks to redlining and de facto segregation, but to call it a slum was a stretch. Its labeling as "slum" allowed Rouse to sever the grid system to place townhomes (for whites only) with parking lots and grass and a medium-sized strip mall with chain stores and parking. Well, those townhomes now are probably worth about half as much as the 1880-1900s homes that surround them, the neighborhood is still severed (thanks to the truncation of the grid to acommodate them) and the parking lot serves as a number of uses rather contrary to that of those intended. In this case, "slum clearance" was a money grab for a developer and can be directly attributed to the languishing of surrounding neighborhoods.

Street artist Gaia had some commentary on this:

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Old 12-30-2012, 12:05 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
In Pittsburgh, the homes that were left in the area that underwent some slum clearance were pretty bad themselves. It's not too far a reach to think that the ones that were razed were worse. As a public health nurse, I was in some real dumps in Champaign, IL. I can tell you the housing projects there were better, from a POV of meeting minimum standards. I don't know if Champaign ever did any slum clearance.

I was mostly responding to someone who said she lived in old buildings and they all had bathrooms and windows. That doesn't mean there weren't buildings w/o those features. I gave an example from a book I read about Omaha, NE, and my MIL's opinion about their own house in that city. In that book, it says that in the 60s Omaha tightened up its building code.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,272,474 times
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^^ there is a PBS documentary series on New York, and in one episode, they focus on the harm thatwas done by the housing and urban renewal strategies, and how the complexes were built with the anti urban theories of men like LeCorbusier.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:37 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by pantin23 View Post
^^ there is a PBS documentary series on New York, and in one episode, they focus on the harm thatwas done by the housing and urban renewal strategies, and how the complexes were built with the anti urban theories of men like LeCorbusier.
Regardless, the homes that were razed were likely substandard. I agree some of those ideas from the 50s/60s didn't work. Some day, people will look back at some of the things being done today and say the same thing.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Regardless, the homes that were razed were likely substandard. I agree some of those ideas from the 50s/60s didn't work. Some day, people will look back at some of the things being done today and say the same thing.
Sure, but I think the negative effects of slum clearance on cities (many of which are unbeknownst to suburbanites who use, for example, the highway that tore through an urban area) are at least prolific enough to make the following statement untrue: "Slum clearance was great."
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:15 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Sure, but I think the negative effects of slum clearance on cities (many of which are unbeknownst to suburbanites who use, for example, the highway that tore through an urban area) are at least prolific enough to make the following statement untrue: "Slum clearance was great."
I would agree, and I never said slum clearance was great. I said the homes were substandard. It could have been done differently. Of course, you can say that about everything.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,272,474 times
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Actually many of the neighborhoods cleared were not slums. They talkef about this in the documentary, and how that word "slum" became an excuse for demolishing whatever was in the way of whatever new office park or highway.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,096,962 times
Reputation: 3117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I would agree, and I never said slum clearance was great. I said the homes were substandard. It could have been done differently. Of course, you can say that about everything.
Some homes were substandard. Others were simply in the way of the ruling class's "progress."
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:20 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by pantin23 View Post
Actually many of the neighborhoods cleared were not slums. They talkef about this in the documentary, and how that word "slum" became an excuse for demolishing whatever was in the way of whatever new office park or highway.
There's a lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacking going on there. I've lost faith in PBS' documentaries, ever since that one about Highlands Ranch, CO that was so biased.
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