Newberry Library Event: Carl Smith--City Water, City Life

A city is more than a massing of citizens, a layout of buildings and streets, or an arrangement of institutions. It is also an infrastructure of ideas, an embodiment of the beliefs, values, and aspirations of the people who created it. In City Water, City Life, historian Carl Smith explores this infrastructure of ideas through an examination of the development of the first successful waterworks systems in Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago between the 1790s and the 1860s.

Through an analysis of a broad range of sources, Dr. Smith shows how the discussion, design, and use of waterworks reveal how Americans framed their conceptions of urban democracy and how they understood the natural and the built environment, individual health and the well-being of society, and the qualities of time and history.

City Water, City Life is more than a history of urbanization. It is also a meditation on water as a necessity, as a resource for commerce and industry, and as an essential—and central—part of how we define our civilization.
Event date: 
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
Newberry Library
60 W. Walton Street
60610 Chicago
City Water, City Life: Water and the Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226022512
Availability: Special Order
Published: University of Chicago Press - April 17th, 2013