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Geography/Planning 379: “Urban Growth & Development” Lecture 2: The Evolution of Urban Form Historical Urban Transpo PowerPoint Presentation
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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 Transpo


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    1. 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

    2. Just how rapid is recent Population Growth in the Tucson Metropolitan Area? By comparison, World growth rate: 1.3%

    3. How ‘Sprawled out’ is Tucson? • 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

    4. The Pedestrian City (ca. 1607-1830) • 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

    5. The Pedestrian City (ca. 1607-1830) • 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’

    6. The Pedestrian City (continued) • 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

    7. 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

    8. A 19th Century Paris Omnibus Wikipedia (public domain photo)

    9. 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

    10. 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%

    11. 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

    12. The Horsecar Era (1860 – 1895) • 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)

    13. A horsecar… Wikipedia (pubic domain photo)

    14. Many advantages of horsecar railway overomnibuses… • 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

    15. 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

    16. During the horsecar era… • 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

    17. What would replace the horsecars? • 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…]

    18. POP QUIZ 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: