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Urban Problems and Solutions
Transcript of Urban Problems and Solutions
Worker Safety Cities faced many problems as they began growing in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Some of the main problems include: 1.) Immigration: from 1880-1930 over 20 million people from other countries entered the United States through Ellis Island in New York. This overflow of people caused overcrowding in New York City. Many immigrants traveled to other cities like Chicago and San Franciso. What caused the problems cities faced? 2.) Overpopulation: the vast amount of people caused poor living conditions in cities. In 1875, the U.S. put restrictions on immigration, but this led to bad economic conditions. By 1882, only Chinese people were restricted from entering America. 3.) Ignorance: a lot of people who had the power to change the problems in society were unaware of these problems or blind to the extent of them. Also, people may have been unwilling to change the conditions of the cities they lived in. What are these problems and how did they affect cities? Crime:
In 1890, crime in NYC was at an all time high. There was organized crime, like gangs, as well as petty crime. Thugs could be hired to injure or kill people. Some political officials were corrupt. Many were offered grafts, which are bribes. Safety in cities was sketchy at best. Sanitation:
During this time period, proper waste disposal was nonexistant. Streets were full of debris. Horse manure, human feces, dead animals, and trash were everywhere. Rivers became dump sites. Improper waste disposal caused diseases to spread quickly. Living Conditions:
The housing opportunities for immigrants were limited in cities. Tenement buildings forced several families to live together in small quarters. The buildings were dark and hazardous. Filth and crime were obstacles for those living in the slums. It was difficult for families to better their living conditions. Worker Safety:
All of the immigrants coming into the U.S. needed jobs, and as industry increased, many could be found. But unsafe workplaces caused many problems for cities. Most factory owners only worried about making a profit, not the safety of those who worked there. Fires were devastating, especially in the case of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. How did cities solve the problems they faced? Crime:
In 1886 Thomas Byrns, a policeman in NYC, created the Rouge's Gallery. The gallery was a collection of photos and descriptions of criminals and suspects. The images were sent to other cities so law enforcement would know who to look out for. Sanitation:
Colonel George Waring , a sanitary engineer, became the Street Commissioner of NYC in 1894. He organized many reforms in his department. With his workers, the "White Wings", Waring managed to clean the streets of New York as well as Memphis, TN and parts of New Jersey. His work led to modern day systems of recycling, garbage disposal, and street cleaning. Living Conditions:
The beginning of the movement to destroy the slums of New York City was when Jacob Riis published "How the Other Half Lives". This book showed pictures of slum areas the upper class had never seen. Reforms followed the book's publication. The buildings were torn down, and new ones had to have indoor plumbing. Worker Safety:
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire caused a lot of reforms in worker safety in 1911. Architects and business had to follow the reforms. Multiple exits were required on every floor. Fire escapes, sprinkler systems, and fire alarms were required in all new buildings. What were some other urban problems? Lighting:
Not many people had access to lights of any kind. Candles and kerosene were fire hazards and were not very reliable. Streets were very dark at night. Then Thomas Edison created a light bulb with carbonite cardboard filament in 1911. Cities across the world lit up after his invention. Space:
Cities were extremely crowded during this time in U.S. history. Andrew Carnegie of Pennsylvania discovered a new way of making steel and invested a lot of money in it. Prices for steel fell sharply. Skyscrapers were now possible. The End