The De-industrialisation of the City
The industrial city in Britain is the product of nineteenth-century capitalism. Technical innovations in production and the accumulation of capital led to the development of large factories. At the same time it was advantageous for factories to be clustered near the focal points of the rudimentary transport network, such as ports, canals and railway terminals, and workers had little choice but to live close by. Few restrictions were placed on urban development. The result was that cities grew in an uncontrolled and cumulative manner following the cost-and-profit calculations of entrepreneurs. Britain was the first country to become fully urbanised: by the middle of the century over half the population lived in the new industrial cities.
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