ISLINGTON HOUSING NEWS SUPPLEMENT
HISTORY OF CITY HOUSING NO.1

June 1977

This is the first in a series of leaflets to be issued on the history of city housing. It is hoped that this series will be of particular interest to Islington schoolchildren.

1. THE CITY – A PLACE OF STRESS

Modern city life is full of stress. The streets are nosy, many people live in blocks of flats. Although there are crowds, too many people feel alone and cut off from their neighbours.

Is this a natural way of life? Should we be living so close to each other? Is the reason for the violence on the streets and the unhappiness in the home due to our living crammed together in cities.

Surely it was better in the Past before Man started living in the cities? Or were the towns of olden times nicer places than the souless cities of today.

2. ESCAPE IN THE PAST

In this series we will look at how people lived - and died - in the cities of yesteryear.

But to escape from all traces of the city life we have to go back a long, long way into the past.

3. 10,000 YEARS AGO

Long before man started writing about his sad lot, he built towns.  He had no one to tell him about the delights of country life.  Possibly if he could have read about the dangers of city living, he would have never have left his village.

But without the benefit of advice, he started building his first towns - and has never stopped.

4. JERICO, WHERE THE WALLS CAME TUMBLING DOWN

The oldest known towns were at Catal Huyuk in Turkey and Jericho.

Jericho is mentioned in the Bible. Its walls came tumbling down at the blast of trumpets.

Yet the walls were solid and 6' 6" thick at base (the width of a London bus). No one knows how high the walls were - but after 10,000 years, they still stand 12 ft. high.

With some of the structures we see in Islington, we should be glad that those trumpets are no longer around.

5 HERE COME THE CITIES

In Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilisation, the first big cities began to a.ppear 5000 years ago.

There was an absolute rash of them springing up over the centuries. Compared with the small number of people in the world they were enormous cities - some with an estimated population of half a million – 3 times that of Islington.

 

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