Geography/Planning 379: “Urban Growth & Development”
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Geography/Planning 379: “Urban Growth & Development” Lecture 2: The Evolution of Urban Form Historical Urban Transportation & Development Eras: The Pedestrian City (1607–1830) The Omnibuses and Early Railroads First Innovations to Increase Mobility (1830–1860)

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  • Geography/Planning 379: “Urban Growth & Development”

  • Lecture 2: The Evolution of Urban Form

  • Historical Urban Transportation & Development Eras:

    • The Pedestrian City (1607–1830)

    • The Omnibuses and Early Railroads

    • First Innovations to Increase Mobility (1830–1860)

    • 3. The Horsecar Era (1860–1895)

    • (Cable Cars: A Transitional Mode, 1870s–1900)

    • 4. Streetcar Suburbs (1895–1949)

    • 5. The Demise of the Streetcar: The “Great Transportation Conspiracy” (1930s & 1940s)

    • 6. The Freeway Age (1950–?)

  • Reading

  • Required: Kaplan et al. TEXTBOOK, Ch. 3, 58-70;72-82 (skip “Central Place Theory” section)

  • Supplementary: Yeates & Garner

  • www.u.arizona.edu/~plane/geog379.html


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Just how rapid is recent Population Growth in the Tucson Metropolitan Area?

By comparison, World growth rate: 1.3%


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How ‘Sprawled out’ is Tucson? Metropolitan Area?

  • Approximate City of Tucson Population Density: 5 People per Acre (3,338 People per Square Mile)

  • By Comparison: New York City back in 1850: 136 People per Acre

  • Per Person:

Tucson, 2000:

91’ x 91’

NYC 1850: 18’ x 18’

  • In 1850, the largest city in the World was London…

  • …Its density: 117 People per Acre

  • New York City’s approximate density today: 39 People per Acre


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The Pedestrian City (ca. 1607-1830) Metropolitan Area?

  • Why begin with the year 1607?

  • Structure of pre-Industrial Revolution cities in U.S. like in Europe

  • Where were cities located & what were their functions?

  • Early manufacturing locatedonly on waterfront or took place in craft shops in homes

  • Simple land use map would show three zones:

    • I Waterfront

    • II Homes of Well-to-do and public bldgs

    • III General population & craftshops & stores

I

III

II

Harbor


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The Pedestrian City (ca. 1607-1830) Metropolitan Area?

  • Riding to work too expensive until the 1860s for average person; had to live nearby in walking distance

  • Irony: land was essentially “limitless” from the perspective of the Colonists, but people in the cities lived packed together.

  • Nation was overwhelmingly a rural one: 1790, only 5% of the population was living in ‘urban places’ (recall definition!)

  • Why weren’t there more people in the cities?

  • Concept of ‘Agricultural Surplus’


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The Pedestrian City (continued) Metropolitan Area?

  • Land for urban growth was constrained by water (see sketches: Philadelphia & NYC)

  • Rowhouses – solid blocks of housing units as was common in Europe

  • Conclusion:Tremendous Population Pressure >>> Need for transportation


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Omnibus and Early Railroads: First Innovations to Increase Mobility (1830 – 1860)

The Omnibus invented in France, ca. 1826

  • First U.S. lines in 1830s

  • Cart drawn by 2 horses

  • Only carried 12 passengers

  • Started many traditions of U.S. public transportation: traveled fixed routes with designated stops and a flat-rate fare

  • This was first real public transportation…The only for-hire transportation before this:

    • hackney coach(like horse-era taxi cab)

    • prohibitively expensive except for the wealthiest


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A 19 Mobility (1830 – 1860)th Century Paris Omnibus

Wikipedia (public domain photo)


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Omnibus and Early Railroads: First Innovations to Increase Mobility (1830 – 1860)

1830s – 1850s: Era of the Omnibus

  • 1830s: 70 omnibus lines in NYC; 683 lines by 1853

    Not yet mass transportation

  • Fares were too high

  • Inefficient to have 2 horses and a driver to carry 12 passengers

  • Who rode omnibus lines? Not average worker

  • Fares were pushed down due to competition

  • 12 ½ ¢ in 1830s to 5 ¢ in 1860s

  • But average laborer made < $1 / day


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Omnibus and Early Railroads: First Innovations to Increase Mobility (1830 – 1860)

  • New transportation increased social separation

  • Wealthier business people could escape congested central areas and ride to workplace

  • They did a lot of riding -- they went home for lunch, so 4 trips per day

  • Still true today that higher income people travel more than lower income

    • Top 20% income group accounts for 33% of travel

    • Bottom 20%, only 9%


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Omnibus and Early Railroads: First Innovations to Increase Mobility (1830 – 1860)

  • We spend huge amounts on transportation

    • 22% of US personal expenditures for transport

    • Only 9% in Japan

  • Railroads also began to be used for commuting

  • “Ideal of the Agrarian Existence”

  • Most successful in Boston, less so in Philadelphia and NYC


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The Horsecar Era (1860 – 1895) Mobility (1830 – 1860)

  • Early ordinances banned the railroads as dangerous

  • Railroads had to pull trains into stations using teams of horses

  • This, though, led to invention of the horsecar railway (aka ‘horsecar’)

  • Horsecars immensely successful! Huge demand

  • Building costs: NYC street railways $214,000/mile; all US railways: $43,000 Why?

    “The costs of Common Councils and Aldermen are included in the right-of-way costs.” American Railway Times(ca. 1850)


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A horsecar… Mobility (1830 – 1860)

Wikipedia (pubic domain photo)


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Many advantages of horsecar railway over Mobility (1830 – 1860)omnibuses…

  • Quieter.

    • How were streets paved?

    • Omnibus called: “A perfect bedlam on wheels’

  • Safer

  • More efficient

    • Carried 40-70 passengers, used same 2 horses

  • Cheaper to ride – lower fares per mile

  • Faster

    • Longer routes possible, opening up new areas to live

  • Expedited traffic flow

    • Fewer vehicles and horses on the streets


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Advances in Urban Transportation from 1830 to 1895 (Omnibus and Horsecar) Resulted in…

  • A radial, monocentric pattern of growth (with focus of commerce in old walking city)

  • Increased mobility for upper & high middle income groups

  • Increased social separation – because the poor and lower-income workers could not afford to leave the slums in the old walking city

  • The emergence of specialized business and residential districts

  • The separation of business districts into sections for particular functions


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During the horsecar era… and Horsecar) Resulted in…

  • Cities now extended 8 – 10 miles out from old pedestrian city core

  • Transportation still too expensive and slow (5-8 mph max.) for the masses to move out

  • Not just the fare was unaffordable: Typical work day 10 – 13 hours; workers lacked the time to commute very far

  • Tenement areas with incredibly high densities still increasing, despite success of horsecar railways


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What would replace the horsecars? and Horsecar) Resulted in…

  • Big problem with horsecars … the horses!

  • The “Great Epizootic” killed over 2,000 horses in Philadelphia in 3 weeks

  • Tried elevating steam railways: failure

  • Cable cars were a transitional mode: 1870s – 1900

  • Key concept of cable car: separate steam power source from vehicle

  • Real break-through: electrification!

    The trolley car, aka electric streetcar, the electric traction line [to be continued…]


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POP QUIZ and Horsecar) Resulted in…Name________

  • Put the following forms of transportation in the correct order of chronological adoption in American cities:

    • Electric Streetcar or Trolley Car

    • Omnibus

    • Automobile

    • Horsecar Railway

ANSWER:


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