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A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
A Brief Urbanization of Boston
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A Brief Urbanization of Boston

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A brief evolution of urbanization in Boston, Massachusetts, which focuses on some of the key aspects of urban planning and compares Boston 1630 to present Boston. Research and presentation conducted …

A brief evolution of urbanization in Boston, Massachusetts, which focuses on some of the key aspects of urban planning and compares Boston 1630 to present Boston. Research and presentation conducted and created by Kelsey V. A. Simpson, College of Charleston Historic Preservation & Community Planning.

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  • 1. BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS THE CITY UPON A HILL
  • 2. Topographic HistorySince the founding of the city, the topography of Boston hasundergone more change and alteration than any other city ofcomparable size, in fact, the topographic land mass of BostonProper increased 230.18% in size from 1630--1890. When theBoston Proper area was first settled, the land mass measured amere 487 acres, and by 1890, the Peninsula measured 1,608acres. Land mass was added using fill from the mountainousterrain, which helped to better level out the land for improvedurban success and potential.
  • 3. The Need for ExpansionThe Arabella carried Winthrop and his 150 settlers to Boston in 1630. 10 years later,the population jumped to 1,200.By 1690, Boston’s population was 7,000.According to the Census Bureau, the population estimate for the year 2011 was625,087 for the city of Boston, and 6,587,536 in Massachusetts as a whole. In aboutthree hundred years, Boston has accumulated 624,937 people.During the 17th c. according to law, each individual or family was assigned two acres. In 2010, the projected persons per square mile in Boston was 12,792.7, and the land in area of current--day Boston was 48.28 square miles. Hypothetically, if the two acre per resident law was still in effect, the city of Boston alone would require1,250,174 acres of land for residential purposes alone.
  • 4. 1630, 487 Acres
  • 5. 1830, 537 Acres
  • 6. 1845, 835 Acres
  • 7. 1865, 1,038 Acres
  • 8. 1890, 1,608 Acres
  • 9. A Tangled Web of StreetsBoston is considered to be one of the most confusing city tonavigate.There is no such thing as “just around the block.”When Boston was first planned, streets were very easy tomaneuver and understand, and were named strategically, so thatthey were easy to remember and locate. Fore St., Middle St., and Back St., today’s North St., Hanover St., and Salem St.
  • 10. Examples of Some of Boston’s Most Confusing “Squares”
  • 11. Boston’s Urban Fabric
  • 12. Swatch of New York City’s Urban Fabric Midtown Manhattan south of Central Park
  • 13. Traffic ProblemsBig Dig disrupted regular traffic flow caused manycomplications. Travel along the Central Artery was constipatedwith traffic of up to 190,000 vehicles a day, with an accident ratethat was four times the national average for urban interstates.The travel time with traffic along the artery was about 6--8 hourseach day in bumper--to--bumper traffic, and a projected doubledincrease in traffic jams and incidents by 2010.The mean travel time it took Bostonians to travel to work2006--2010 was 28.4 minutes.The Central Artery was actually deteriorating.
  • 14. America’s Walking CityDue to the hassle of driving, pedestrian transportation isincredibly popular in Boston, which is referred to as America’sWalking City. It is a compact city so it is the perfect size forpedestrian travel.According to a report in Prevention magazine in 2003, Bostonhad the highest percentage of pedestrian commuters of all UScities.13.36% of Bostonians walked to work according to the 2000 USCensus.Public transportation is another popular choice
  • 15. Safety and SecurityFire risk was very high, especially since wood was the primarybuilding material.Massachusetts General Court passed a law that no houses could havea wooden chimney or a thatched roof.1653, a law was passed stating that every home must have a ladderthat was tall enough to reach the roof.All new construction projects were to be built of stone or brickcovered in tile or slate. Violators of this law were charged a fineequivalent to the value of the structure in violation.
  • 16. Great Fire of 1676The Great Fire of 1676 was an urbanization milestone forBoston. More rigorous fire codes were passed Boston moved towards larger scale street planning.
  • 17. Summer St. Streetcar DisasterNov.7, 1916, Streetcar 393, carrying passengers, crashed through the Summer Streetdrawbridge gate, and plummeted into the Fort Point Channel. The disaster left 47 dead.The accident could have been prevented, had there been proper planning. At the time of the crash, public service had no laws, rules, or regulations about streetcars stopping at drawbridges. Drawbridge gates in the city ranged from 23--48 feet from the draw on bridges, and had no standards for size, distance, color, illumination, or warning signs. Before the accident occurred, that same elevated streetcar, had its brakes adjusted, and was last inspected for safety Halloween day that year, and passed all codes and tests. Upon further inspection of the wreckage, there were no defects of the streetcar that would lead one to believe that the driver was at fault.

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