Aspects of the Historical Development of Urban Renewal

  • Chris Couch
Part of the Macmillan Building and Surveying Series book series (BASS)


According to Hobsbawn the Industrial Revolution in Britain was:

not merely an acceleration of economic growth, but an acceleration of growth because of, and through, economic and social transformation,

(Hobsbawn, 1968, p. 34)

and this was as true for the scale and nature of city development as it was for any other aspect of British life. During the second half of the eighteenth century and the first forty years of the nineteenth century the British economy experienced:
  • (i) a rapid acceleration in investment leading to cumulative growth (i.e. it was essentially a ‘capital building’ period which included not only investment in plant and machinery but also a massive concomitant expenditure on urban infrastructure: factories, housing and transportation and utility networks);

  • (ii) rapid innovation in technical and social relations including not only the new relationships between employers and employees required by the factory system but also a social restructuring and a new social order within cities including ultimately a much expanded ‘middle’ class that proved highly influential in shaping future processes of urban development.


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Copyright information

© C. R. Couch 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Couch
    • 1
  1. 1.School of the Built EnvironmentLiverpool PolytechnicUK

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