First published in 1992, this Routledge Revival sees the reissue of a truly original exploration of the nature of urbanization and capitalism.
Linda Clarke's vital work argues that:
Urbanization is a product of the social human labour engaged in building as well as a concentration of the labour force.
The quality of the labour process determines the development of production.
Changes to the built environment reflect changes in the production process and, in particular, the development of wage labour.
To support these arguments, the author identifies a qualitatively new historical stage of capitalist building production involving a significant expansion of wage labour, and hence capital, and the transition from artisan to industrial production.
Linda Clarke draws from a wide range of original material relating to the development of London from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century to provide a complete description of the development process: materials extraction, roadbuilding, housebuilding, paving, cleansing, etc; profiles of builders and contractors involved, and a picture of the new working class communities, as in Somers Town - their living conditions, population, working environment, and politics.