Role of industrialization in shaping of the modem cities in England: The early industrial cities of Britain such as Leeds and Manchester attracted large numbers of migrants to the textile mills set up in the eighteenth century.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, London became a center for international trade and commerce and attracted a large number of traders and merchants from all over the world.
London was a powerful magnet for migrant population even when it did not have large factories.
Apart from the dockyard, five major types of industries employed large number of workers: (i) clothing and footwear, (ii) wood and furniture, (iii) metals and engineering, (iv) printing and stationery and (v) precision products such as surgical instruments, watches and objects of precious metal.
Impact of industrialization and urbanization on the family life in Britain: The family life transformed in terms of function and shape. The family as an institution had broken down as the ties between members of households loosened, and among the working class the institution of marriage tended to break down.
Women of the upper and middle classes in Britain faced increasingly higher levels of isolation, although their lives were made easier by domestic maids who cooked, cleaned and cared for young children on low wages. Women lost their industrial jobs and were forced to withdraw into their homes. The public space became increasingly a male preserve.
Steps taken by the British State to provide housing for working classes between 1919-1939: Between the two World Wars, the responsibility for housing the working classes was accepted by the British State and a million houses, most of them single family cottages, were built by local authorities. Meanwhile, the city had extended beyond the range where people could walk to work, and the development of suburbs made new forms of mass transport, absolutely necessary, which led ultimately to the setting up of railways.
Steps taken to clean up London:
Demands were made for new ‘lungs’; efforts were made to bridge the difference between the city and the countryside through a Green Belt around London. Attempts were made to decongest localities, green the open spaces, reduce pollution.
Large blocks of apartments were built and rent control was introduced in Britain during the First World War to ease the impact of a severe housing shortage.
Architect and planner Ebenezer Howard developed the principles of the ‘Garden City’, a pleasant space full of plants and trees.
Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker developed the Garden suburb of New Earswick based on Howards idea.
Benefits of London Tube railway: The London underground railway partially solved the housing crisis by carrying large masses of people to and from the city. The population in the city became more dispersed. Better-planned suburbs and a good railway network enabled large numbers to live outside Central London and travel to work.
Air pollution—nuisance for the Londoners: The congestion in the 19th century industrial city of London led a yearning for clean country air. Because of widespread use of coal in homes and industries, air pollution led to bad tempers, smoke-related illnesses and dirty clothes. Demands were made for new ‘lungs’ for the city.
Factory owners and steam engine owners were told invest on technologies that would improve their machinery. Despite hurdles and opposition from the industries, the Smoke Abatement Acts of 1847 and 1853 were passed.
Attempts were made to decongest localities, green the open spaces, reduce pollution and landscape the city. Large blocks of apartments were built and rent control was introduced. Architect and planner Ebenezer Howard developed the ‘Garden City’.
Sources of entertainment for the common people of London:
‘London Season’ was an annual feature for the wealthy Britishers. Several cultural events such as the opera, the theater and classical music performance were organized for an elite group of 300-400 families in the late 18th century.
The working class met in pubs to have drinks, exchange news or to discuss politics.
In the 19th century some libraries, art galleries and museums were established to provide people with a sense of history.
Music halls were popular among the lower classes. By the early 20th century, cinema became the great mass entertainment for mixed audiences.
Holidaying by the sea became popular among the industrial workers.
Transformation of Bombay into an industrial city: At first, Bombay was the major outlet for cotton textiles from Gujarat. Later, in the 19th century, the city functioned as a port through which large quantities of raw materials, such as cotton and opium, would pass. Gradually, it also became an important administrative centre in Western India, and then, by the end of the 19th century, a major industrial centre. Bombay became the capital of the Bombay Presidency in 1819 after the Maratha defeat in the Anglo-Maratha war. With the growth of trade in cotton and opium, large communities of traders and bankers as well as artisans and shopkeepers came to settle in Bombay. The establishment of textile mills led to a fresh surge in migration. Bombay had its first cotton textile mill established in 1854. By 1921, there were 85 cotton mills with about 1,46,000 workers.
‘Chawls of Bombay’: The working people who migrated from various parts lived in thickly populated Chawls. Chawls are multi-storeyed structures built in the native parts of the town. Each Chawl was divided into smaller one room tenements which had no private toilets. The homes being small, streets and neighborhoods were used for a variety of activities such as working, washing, sleeping and various types of leisure activities. The magicians, monkey players and acrobats used to regularly perform their act in an open space in the middle of four Chawls. Liquor shops and akharas came up in any empty spot.
Rent Act (Bombay): The Rent Act was passed in Mumbai (Bombay) in the year 1918. To solve the problem of housing, the Rent Act was passed with the aim of keeping the rents reasonable. It had the opposite effect of producing a severe housing crisis, since landlords withdrew houses from the market.
Bombay—a city of dreams: Despite massive overcrowding and difficult living conditions, Bombay (Mumbai) appears to many as mayanagari—a city of dreams.
Many films of Bombay deal with the arrival in the city of new migrants and their pressures of daily life. Even some songs from films like CID (1956) and Guest House (1959) speak of the contradictory aspects of the city. By 1925, Bombay had become India’s film capital, producing films for a national audience.
Most of the people in the film industry were themselves migrants who came from cities like Lahore, Calcutta, Madras. Bombay films have contributed greatly to produce an image of the city as a blend of dreams and reality of slums and star bungalows.
Land reclamation process in Bombay:
Seven islands of Bombay were joined into one landmass over a period of time. The need for additional commercial place in mid-19th century led to the formulation of several plans for the reclamation of more land from sea. Both private companies and government were involved.
In 1864, the Black Bay Reclamation Company won the right to reclaim the western foreshore from the tip of Malabar Hills to the end of Colaba.
By 1870, the city had expanded 22 square km.
A successful reclamation project was undertaken by the Bombay Port Trust, which built a dry dock between 1914 and 1918 and used the excavated earth to create the 22 acre Ballad Estate. Subsequently the famous Marine Drive of Bombay was developed.
Causes of air-pollution in Calcutta: City development everywhere occurred at the expense of ecology and environment. Kolkata (Calcutta) was also not an exception.
High levels of pollution were a consequence of the huge population that depended on dung and wood as fuel in their daily life.
The main polluters were the industries and establishments that used steam engines run on coal. The city was built on marshy land the resulting fog combined with smoke generated thick block fog.
The railway line introduced in 1855 brought a dangerous new pollutant into the picture—coal from Raniganj. The high content of ash in Indian coal was a problem.
In 1920, the rice mills of Tolly gunge began to bum rice husk instead of coal leading to air filled with black soot falling like drizzling rain.