Sanitation and Housing Conditions Alexandria, Virginia

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Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is recognized as one of the best places to live and do business on the east coast. The city’s urban planning showcases the city’s vibrant, diverse, historic, and unique neighborhoods. Urban planning began there in the 19th Century. Urban populations rose drastically, and a host of problems came with it: unsanitary conditions, overcrowding, and corruption of government. Economic depressions promoted a climate of social unrest, violence, labor strikes, and disease (Rose, 1997). In the beginning of the 19th century, development of American cities often took a compact, mixed-use form, reminiscent of that found in places like old town Alexandria. By the early 20th century, the focus was on the geography of water supplies, sewage disposal, and urban transportation (Virginia Places, 2010). This paper will discuss the city’s historical and current sanitation program and housing accommodations for sewage disposal. Before the 19th Century, sewage disposal was virtually unknown until the first American cities were built around the 1700’s. Human waste was originally disposed of in the woods, but some wealthy Virginians built large houses and used chamber pots to "do their business" indoors, and the contents would be thrown into the back yard. Later, as towns developed, waste was tossed into the streets to decompose or be washed away in the rainstorms (Virginia Places, 2010). Privies or outhouses were also built in back yards and were commonly used to dispose of waste. Toilets, also known as “water closets,” were put into homes in the mid 19th Century in the United States. The water closet had indoor plumbing where piping was run through the roof, and a gravity ... ... middle of paper ... ...thier ecology – making the city easier to sustain into the coming years. Works Cited Frederick Law Olmsted (2009). FrederickLawOlmsted.com . Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://www.fredericklawolmsted.com/Lifeframe.htm History (2010). Alexandria Sanitation Authority (ASA). Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://www.alexsan.com/ Levy, J.M. (2011). Contemporary Urban Planning (9th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ Rose, J. K. (1997, November 8). The city beautiful movement. University of Virginia. Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/citybeautiful/city.html Sewage treatment in Virginia (2010). Virginia Places. Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://www.virginiaplaces.org/waste/sewer.html Urban planning (2010). World Lingo Translation. Retrieved December 28, 2010, from http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Urban_planning

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