26 March 2013

Sanitary City

A sanitary city is an urban form developed to correct the ills and hazards of the industrial city (Fig. 1). 

Figure 1. Industrial city hazards stimulated the development of the sanitary city.

Sanitary cities segregate wastes and other hazards from residents.  Early sanitary cities accomplished this by collecting and piping sewage downstream (Fig. 2) or out to sea, by landfilling solid waste, by erecting tall smokestacks, and by employing single-use zoning.  As environmental awareness increased, the waste streams were treated more effectively.  Sanitary city solutions are engineered, management is based on separate sectors, such as water, traffic, health, etc., government is the active decision making and funding entity.  Furthermore, some aspects of environmental improvement assume that the demographic transition will play a role in improving people’s well being in the sanitary city.

Figure 2. The sanitary city depends on massive investment in infrastructure, originally designed to remove or segregate hazards from residents.  Here a large storm drain emerges from below ground to join a surface stream.

Sanitary cities are now common in countries where industrial or colonial wealth accumulated.  Baltimore is an example of a sanitary city, characterized by separate sanitary sewer and stormwater runoff collection systems.  Sanitary sewage is treated at least to the secondary level, in which biological digestion occurs at the end of the collection pipe.  Solid waste is collected, and an incinerator reduces the volume while generating electricity.  Recycling is a relatively recent addition to the sanitation regime.  In the United States, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act have been important in reducing the impact of urban areas as pollution generators.

Why Important: 
The sanitary city has been an immense boon to human health and wellbeing in those nations and regions that have been able to implement and maintain the expensive technical infrastructure.  However, many cities or informal settlements have little access to basic sanitation, such as clean water delivery and collection and treatment of human and animal waste (Fig. 3).  In sanitary cities there is an increasing recognition that there are still improvements still to be made in environmental quality, and reduction of resource use, including energy, water, and building materials.  The increasing concern with environmental equity and quality of life and livelihood have been added to the mix by citizens and urban policy makers, who now call for cities to become more sustainable.  Hence, the sanitary city as a current state and ideal is contrasted with visions of the Sustainable City.

Figure 3. Informal development near Cape Town, South Africa.  Such shanty and favela settlements are common in rapidly growing cities around the world.  Many originally had no or rudimentary sanitary infrastructure, and such conditions persists in many.  Photo S.T.A. Pickett.

For more information:
·         Gandy, M. 2003. Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City. MIT Press, Cambridge.
·         Melosi, M.V. 2000. The sanitary city: urban infrastructure in America from Colonial times to the present. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
·         Olson, S.H. 1997. Baltimore: the building of an American city. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.


  1. Hi admin,
    I read your blog, its really awesome,
    I am seeing your web. I have also a site related to you.
    It is important for a business to hire a company that provides outstanding office cleaning services.

    Industriel Cleaning Services

    Your regards
    Carla Pratt

  2. Montreal Office Cleaning Services


  3. Montreal Cleaning Services


  4. office cleaning services montreal


  5. Hi Very Nice Blog I Have Read Your Post It Is Very Informative And Useful Thanks For Posting And Sharing With Us And Your Writting Style Is Very Nice
    House Cleaning Montreal

  6. God Bless Edward Jones Loans for Helping Me In Time Of Need {Jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com}

    Good Day I am Vanessa Cowen from California and i have a broken up business, until i found this company who help me to gain a loan for business, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the company for the fast and safe funds they loan to me without any form of delay, i loan 180,000.00USD from the company at a very low interest rate of 2% to save my business and lots more. i first saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my funds was sent to my account within 24hrs, i was surprise and feel glad, now i now have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact them now via email : {jonesloanfinance@yahoo.com} OR Text him +1(307) 217-5388..

  7. I read your post, Great post with Nice information.. Thanks for sharing !!
    office cleaning montreal

  8. No matter how old you are, family history is important. While you might not think so at the time, as you get older there will be things you and your grandchildren will want to know. Most of us don't realise it until the older generations are gone and you can't replace first hand comments. Don't just put in about the good times, add in the harder times and how you overcame those trials. Another thing to remember is what caused the deaths of those you loved. There are many things that have been found to continue into future generations that knowing it runs in the family can be helped with now or possible in the future. prevention starts with knowing where to start. I wish someone had taken the time to write these things down for mew to be able to go back to. My Grandmother and my mother told us many stories of what things happened in their lives and about the people in their lives. I now wish someone had written those things down since both have passed now. But I never thought at that busy point in my life that I would one day want to remember all those things. So much family history is lost when the older generations are gone. Please pass it on to your family while you can. You can even just do it digitally so it can be accessed by family later on.Family pictures are something to cherish also. Just be sure to write down who is pictured in them, where they are taken and when. I have found family pictures that no one now even knows who is in them.