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HIST 3209 (11)
B.S.Elliot (11)
Lecture 2

Week 2 Lecture 2 - Transportation.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 3209
Professor
B.S.Elliot
Semester
Winter

Description
Canadian Urban History – Week 2 Lecture 2 Transportation, Infrastructure, and Urban Growth Jan 15 2014 Choose an area for paper • Top floor of Patterson Hall – Rm 426 Relationship of new forms of transportation to new growth of cities – today’s lecture • Arguments made and how Ottawa corresnpond or differs from the generalized models • Focus on the physical expansion of the city; not politica Numer of influcneces on how cities grow: 1. Transport innovations increase distance between home and work Jackson’s Model to growing cities (looking at New York and Boston) • Many qualifications have to be made to this model when it’s applied to the model • Transportation changes the geography fo the city • Prior to this, the main transportation was by foot, meaning that downtown (the central location) was more prestigious • The outskirts were farther away and was where the poor lived (had squatters, unemployment, obnoxious industries) • Suburbs are middle-class enclaves • As downtown becomes more populated and further from the edge of town; the outskirts become more attractive to those who can afford the transportation • Seen in American cities where huge suburban municipalities have developed; the interior of these cities have deteriorated because the rich take their tax dollars with them to the suburbs • Ken Jackson outlines a series of transporation innovations in New York o 1830-32 – the Commuter Ferry opening up places like Brookyln and Stalin Island for development o Followed by omnibus – drawn by horses o Commuter railway – appeared early outside New York and allowed those living outside New York to commute in o 1850s onward – horsedrawn trams became a feature; horsedrawn buses then put on rails o Rails reduced friction on roadbed and were much more efficient in transportation – began to open up commuter suurbs to middle class o 1880 – Elecric streetcar – runs on rails and power is from rail set on th street or from overhead wires o Sam Bass Warner came up with a term to describe those developmetns around streetcars: Streetcar suburbs o Streetcars then get implemented all over North America and streetcar suburbs rise – people commute using the streetcar to get to work o When you apply Jackson’s idea to smaller cities (rather than New Yrok and Boston), we find that those forms of transportation are not needed; if they developed, they didn’t have much appreciable impact on outward growth since there was land available further in o The shift of the wealthy to the outskirts was delayed or it didn’t happen in smaller cities  Size is a factor as well as entrepreneurship th • Despite Ottawa’s status as capital by the end of the 19 century, it remained a small city o Its social, geographical expansion remains a subset of Jackson’s big city chronology o His stages make an appearance but do no play a big role in the city’s expansion 2. Business cycles determine chronolgy of application • Another factor that determines the factor of growth: economic cycles of boom and bust o Even though new technology becomes available doesn’t mean it will be applied; an economic boom period is when this is possible o These new technologies can be adopted optimistically with a good economy o The reach of these period usually extends its grasp – they go farther than their needs and therefore more is developed than what is needed o When the economic boom crashes, then these new subdivisions have no chance of continueing  This is why you should be cautious when looking at older maps which only show the speculative, hopeful intentions  They are ‘premature subdivisions’ – take a long time before they are realized  i.e. the map they handed out in class has Rideau subdivision laid out – still isn’t there now o Boom and bust cycles tend to determine when expansion happens – cities can retreat or shrink in times of economic recession • Major boom and bust cycles in 19 century are easy to remember: o 1837, 1847, 1857, 1873-79, 1893-99 3. Industrial decentralization (Harris) • Richard Harris argues that another factor that directed the physical expansion and geographical expansion is industrial decentralization (basicllly moving facotries to the periphery • Railway line running west from Ottawa stimulated little industrial villages • Due to the nature of the industry in Ottawa, it wasn’t until WWII that we had relocation of industry to the suburbs o Fire insurance pans hsows industry close to Parliament Hill • Industrial decentralization kicks place late in Ottawa 4. Contest for Control • Transportation technology allows workers to relocate further away from downtown – changes social geography of the city, but they don’t spring directly from the inventor to the landscape o Someone has to see the value and think that there’s money in it – from entrepreneurship • In Europe, it’s often the government that does this; North America has private investors who do this • Often more than one group of investors see money to be made; competition is sprung between different investors who compete with transportation routes • In North America, these transportation tend to be pioneered by entrepreneurs than municipal governments; the federal government was also a late player in Ottawa o i.e. the streetcar route ran along commercial Sparks Street and not along political Wellington Street th  federal weakness in Ottawa until well into the 20 century • groups of business also compete for business on both sides of the river 5. Cultural Preference • electric streetcar is an American technology • 1887 in Virginia as an early streetcar example • Streetcar technology also goes to Europe but is greet with skepticism, particularly from city governents; they’re not always thrilled at the prospect of disfiguring medieval town cetners with overhead wires • Situation where the horse tram in the 1900 is still the most common form of mass transport in London, long after it’s disappeared from NA cities • On the other hand, London pushed the steam railways underground and started developing subways in the 1860s – something Ottawa still doesn’t have subways 6. Systems of Technologies • New forms of technologies never become the only form of transportation technology; alternatives aways available – may be cheaper to use • Poor people may opt to walk instead of paying a nickel to take a streetcar • Prices in Europe to pay for transit system (pay as you go mentality) • In NA, the flat fare took you anywhere on the line • Argument that the flat fare promoted the sprawl of American cities • Always a system of technology – you didn’t always have to use subway o i.e. take the horse omnibus ot the subway station o different means of transportation used to meet the needs of the consumer o something historians generally forget o if you had the money, you would take the quickest and most direct routes, but if you didn’t, you might opt for a longer but cheaper route • technology determinism linked to cultural choices too • Entrepreneurs strive to control and dominate these technologies for profit – locally dominant form of transportation which affect how cities grow 7. Consumer Choice • Politics of tranportaton that comes in here; why did certain technologies come in disuse – i.e. decline of streetcar? o i.e. it was a powerful lobby of oil companies and car manufacturers, who encouraged highways for rapid movement of troops in case Russia came in? is this a rationalization? o Is it really responsible for the demise of the street car? • Consumer Choice is also important • A multitude of actors is responsible for the decline, but a lot of it had to do with consumer choice • Ottawa’s women were not happy with the streetcar and preferred the buses • Technologes are innovations, aren’t necessarily beneficial though – i.e. battle over light rail in Ottawa in current times • On the other hand, these aren’t just the instrument of power for groups – they are also social constructions • They are ideas of what these transportation structural innovations will allow for people – these are advertised and promoted which in turn give these transportation technolgoies their power o i.e. automobile gives the idea of freedom • social effect of automobil
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