In the first decades of the nineteenth century, social and economic problems invaded the field of urban design, which consequently became a social science. The new town planners wanted to correct the imbalances generated by the transformations produced by the Industrial Revolution.
Unlike other revolutions that have taken place throughout history, the Industrial Revolution had significant effects on the environment. First, it gave rise to a series of factors that changed the balance between town and country. The first of these was the increase in population due to a reduction in the death rate, which for the first time dropped below the birth rate. This growth in the number of inhabitants was accompanied by an increase in average life expectancy and an increase in the number of young people. Consequently, the traditional harmony that had existed between generations was broken, and each group had to face new problems.
Another important factor was the increase in goods and services produced by agriculture, industry, technological progress and economic development. The synchronism of the increase in population and that of production is obvious. The inhabitants require more services which in turn makes possible a further increase in population. In the same way, the greater availability of goods and services improves the standard of living of the different social classes, and explains the demand for other more abundant and various goods.
The redistribution of the population within the country is still another of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution. This was also caused by the population increase and the transformation of production. Farmers who had previously worked for themselves became employees or factory workers then migrated to areas close to human being movement close to rivers before the existence o the steam engine, and to coal after the invention of the steam engine. Industry tended to be concentrated around cities, which consequently experienced a period of uncontrolled growth caused both by the demographic increase and by the migratory influx to the country.
These transformations took place in a short time. It was responsible for the temporary character of the solutions that were used to deal with the reestablishment of the balance between town and country. The growth of towns during the industrial era had effects above all on the arrangement of their centers. Keeping their base primitive structure became the nuclei around which a new belt developed, namely the suburbs.
These factors gave rise to many proposals by the reformers. They wanted to design the ideal urban plan for the new society as a means to organize the activity of mankind on earth. The size of these of these communities ranged from that of a city to a single factory. That is something sufficiently small which could be organized singly and sufficiently large to have a complete cultural and economic life.
Asensio, F.C. (1997). City planning: Urban architecture. Arco Color Collection.
Mutations, Rem Koolhaas, Harward project on the city , Actar