City in Contemporary World
Question 1: Explain what is meant by the Haussmanisation of Paris. To what extent would you support or oppose this form of development? Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, to either support or oppose this, giving reasons for your view.
Answer: Baron Haussman was the town planner who tried to build a perfect city of Paris. In the process, a large number of people were displaced. Although it resulted in the development of a beautiful city, but it ended up alienating a lot of people in the process.
A city does not develop only because of its beautiful buildings and well planned transport network. The city also develops because of its people. A city is always a mosaic of varieties of people who contribute in their own way in developing the soul of the city. Rich and poor; everyone has his own role to play in development of a city. Haussmanisation may sound good in theory but has no place in practical life.
Answer the following questions:
Question 2: What were the changes in the kind of work available to women in London between the nineteenth and the twentieth century? Explain the factors which led to this change.
Answer During the War years, many women got employment in the factories because most of the men were busy at the battlefronts. Once the War was over, women gradually lost their jobs. Most of them were forced to household duties. Some women began to start tailoring, washing and matchbox making to earn some money.
Question 2: How does the existence of a large urban population affect each of the following? Illustrate with historical examples.
(a) A private landlord
Answer A private landlord can increase his earnings by renting out tenements. This was the case during the later part of nineteenth century and early twentieth century in London. The situation was same in Bombay during the early twentieth century.
(b) A Police Superintendent in charge of law and order
Answer A large number of urban populations create many inequalities in the society. People who may not be able to find gainful employment may resort to petty crimes. Poor housing conditions also provide a ground for development of resentment among the people. The situation may lead to a spurt in crime. For Police Superintendent, the situation can be very challenging as he has to keep the crime under check.
(c) A leader of a political party
Answer For a leader of a political party, a large urban population presents both threat and opportunity. Keeping the largely disgruntled population under control can be a challenge. If a political party finds proper solution to the problem of people, then it can create a huge support base for itself.
Question 3: Why well-off Londoners supported the need to build housing for the poor in the nineteenth century?
Answer The poor sanitary conditions in one-room tenements posed a threat of epidemics. Moreover, such houses were also potential fire hazards. To keep the city safe from epidemics and fire, the well-off Londoners supported the need to build housing for the poor in the nineteenth century.
Question 4: Why a number of Bombay films were about the lives of migrants?
Answer Most of the workers in the film industry themselves were migrants from various parts of the country. They probably better understood the problems of migrants. This is the reason that a number of Bombay films were about the lives of migrants.
Question 5: What led to the major expansion of Bombay’s population in the mid-nineteenth century? Write in brief.
Answer Following are some of the reasons for expansion of Bombay’s population in the mid-nineteenth century:
- Growth in trade of cotton and opium.
- Opening of many textile mills.
- Expansion of railways.
Question 6: What forms of entertainment came up in nineteenth century England to provide leisure activities for the people.
Answer Libraries, art galleries and museums were established in the nineteenth century to provide people with a sense of history and pride in the British achievements.
Question 7: Explain the social changes in London which led to the need for the Underground railway. Why was the development of the Underground criticised?
Answer Initial public reaction towards the Underground was negative. Many people were critical of the way many houses were demolished to make way for construction of underground. Many people were not comfortable of the idea of travelling in smoke filled underground railway. But ultimately, the Underground proved to be a huge success. It enabled people to live far off from their workplace. People had no longer to live in overcrowded places which helped in improving the quality of life.
Question 8: To what extent does government regulation and new laws solve problems of pollution? Discuss one example each of the success and failure of legislation to change the quality of
(a) Public Life
Answer Court’s order to use CNG in public transport in Delhi can be a good example. After the court made it mandatory to use CNG in public transport in Delhi, the air quality of Delhi had improved remarkably. It has definitely helped in improving the quality of life for the general public.
(b) Private Life
Answer For improving the private life, the government needs to implement a package of legislation as well as some empowerment tool for the citizens. All of us know that LPG is a cleaner kitchen fuel than coal, cowdung or firewood. Seamless availability of LPG across most of the urban India has helped in minimizing the use of conventional kitchen fuels. This has improved the quality of life of a housewife who earlier had to suffer the constant smoke from the chulha.