Forthcoming: Christoph Bernhardt (ed.): Environmental Problems in European Cities of the 19th and 20th Century (New York/Muenchen/Berlin: Waxmann, Muenster).
History and Environmental History in the United States:
Complementary and Overlapping Fields
Joel A. Tarr
The fields of urban history and of environmental history are both relatively new subfields of American history. Although its roots extended much earlier, urban history began as a sustained focus of study in the 1960s and 1970s, while environmental history is primarily a product of the 1970s and 1980s. Both fields were largely outgrowths of the events and turmoil of their own times rather than evolving from the independent study of the past. Urban history, in this respect, reflected concern over the growth, decay, and future of cities in an age of urban disruption and decline, while environmental history emerged during an era of heightened concern over the quality of the environment and threats to nature and human health.
Initially the two fields appeared to be largely concerned with separate spheres. After all, urban history was about cities and built environments, while environmental historians largely studied natural environments and different manifestations of wilderness. As the distinguished environmental historian Donald Worster commented, environmental history was about “the role and place of nature in human life.” And, for most environmental historians in the first decade of the field’s development, “nature” was something that was found in the American West or rural areas rather than the heavily urbanized parts of the nation.
Reflection tells us, however, that it would be difficult to write urban history without touching on some environmental elements. Americans founded their cities in locations where nature offered various attractions, such as on coastlines where the land's contours created harbors, on rivers and lakes that could be used for transportation, water supplies, and waste disposal, and in fertile river valleys with extensive food and animal resources. Cities have always placed demands on their sites and their hinterlands. In order to extend their usable territory, urban developers often reshaped natural landscapes, leveling hills, filling valleys and wetlands, and creating huge areas of reclaimed land. On this new land they constructed a built environment of paved streets, squares, malls, houses, factories, office buildings, parks, and churches. In the process they altered urban biological ecosystems for their own purposes, killing off animal populations, eliminating native species of flora and fauna, and introducing new and foreign species. Thus urbanites constructed a built environment that both replaced the natural environment and created a local micro-climate, with different temperature gradients and rainfall and wind patterns than those of the surrounding countryside.
Geographical and Planning Perspectives
Before historians had begun their exploration of the city and the environment, scholars from other disciplines were laying the groundwork for such study. Especially important were geographers and urban designers. From the field of geography Ian Douglas, Thomas R. Detwyler, Melvin G. Marcus, and Spencer W. Havlick were early students of the urban environment, while urban designers Ian L. McHarg and Anne Spirin made major contributions to our understanding of the dynamic interaction of the city and the environment. McHarg’s 1967 work, Design with Nature, was one of the first to demonstrate the extent to which the spread of metropolitan populations and urban land uses had reshaped and destroyed natural landscapes and environments. Spirn’s The Granite Garden, which appeared in 1984, was especially significant because of the extent to which she used history to discuss changes in the urban environment over time as well as offering a number of suggestions for contemporary improvement.
Historians who first explored the relationship between the city and the natural environment tended largely to be concerned with either urban planning and design on the one hand or urban systems (especially technological), on the other. An important early work that incorporated ideas about planning but also explored other aspects of the attempts of urbanites to reconcile the city and nature was Peter J. Schmitt, Back to Nature: The Arcadian Myth in Urban America, appearing in 1969. The life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, which Schmitt had touched upon, drew special interest, especially his belief that the city would best meet human biological and social needs when it bridged the human-made and natural environments. Albert Fein’s Frederick Law Olmsted and the American Environmental Tradition (1972) provided a concise introduction to his accomplishments in this area, while, S.B. Sutton, Civilizing American Cities: A Selection of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Writings on City Landscapes (1971), made Olmsted’s plans available to a wider audience.
Other noteworthy works dealing with city and environment issues that come out of the planning tradition, including the history of parks, are Galen Cranz, The Politics of Park Design (1982), Daniel Schaffer, Garden Cities for America: The Radburn Experience (1982), David Schuyler, The New Urban Landscape (1986), William H. Wilson, The City Beautiful Movement (1989), Cynthia Kaitzevsky, Frederick Law Olmsted and the Boston Park System (1992), Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History Central Park (1992), David Schuyler, Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815-1852 (1996), and Francis R. Kowsky, Country, Park, and City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux, 1824-1895 (1997). Schuyler’s work offers penetrating observations on the dialectic of the park as an alternative urban environment as nature within the city rather than an extension of the city. Cranz is insightful on the political and social implications of park design, while Rosenzweig and Blackmar offer a detailed discussion of the social implications of changes in Central Park’s administration, politics, and use patterns. Combining traditions from several subfields of urban history, Stanley K. Schultz’s Constructing Urban Culture: American Cities and City Planning, 1800-1920 (1989) provides insights into the interaction of concepts of city planning, law, public health, and urban technology and engineering.
Natural and Built Environments
Several authors that explore the history of planning, including Schmitt and Schultz, discuss suburbanization and visualize the urge to create a middle landscape that combines city and country as an important force in the movement. Sam Bass Warner, Jr.’s pioneering Streetcar Suburbs (1962) explored the search for the “suburban mystique,” the belief that the suburbs would offer a site that would possess the tranquillity of nature, with green lawns and trees - providing for an escape from the city and providing a sharp separation of home and the urban workplace. Mary Corbin Sies dealt with this theme more explicitly in her article, “The City Transformed: Nature, Technology, and the Suburban Ideal, 1877-1917” (1987), while other works on suburbanization such as Henry C. Binford, The First Suburbs (1985), Kenneth Jackson, The Crabgrass Frontier (1985), and Michael H. Ebner, Creating Chicago’s North Shore (1988), touch on aspects of nature in the suburbs.
In contrast to these studies, Adam Rome, in his article “Building on the Land” (1994), and in his forthcoming book, presents a bleak and detailed picture of damage done to nature by suburban residential building. Rome explains the wide variety of ways that suburban land use patterns, home building and the provision of public services in suburban residential areas have damaged the natural environment in the last century, causing erosion and flooding problems, using up and polluting the water in rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers, and consuming ever growing supplies of wood and non-renewable resources like coal, natural gas, aluminum, and farmland. To a great extent, suburban layouts ignored environmental considerations, making little provision for open space, produced endless rows of resource-consuming and polluting lawns, contaminated groundwater with septic tanks, and consuming excessive amounts of fresh water and energy. The growth of the edge or outer city since the 1970s reflects a continued preference on the part of Americans for space-intensive single-family houses surrounded by lawns, for private automobiles over public transit, and for greenfield development.
But while urbanites sought the benefits of nature, even subdued, the natural environment frequently played an active and even destructive role in the life of cities. Urban history is filled with stories about how city dwellers contended with the forces of nature that threatened their lives, their built environments, and their urban ecosystems. Nature not only caused many of the annoyances of daily urban life, such as bad weather and pests, but it also gave rise to natural disasters and catastrophes such as floods, fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Recent work by Theodore Steinberg, R. Bruce Stephenson, and Mike Davis explore these issues. Steinberg and Stephenson discuss Florida cities and their consistent ignoring of ecological limits and disregard for planning in their thrust for growth. Mike Davis’s controversial book, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster, links exposes of Los Angeles’s disregard of ecological realities with condemnations of social inequality.
Another subject in need of further exploration is the extent to which cities have reshaped their natural landscapes. Several works suggest what can be learned. Lois Willis and Ann L. Buttenwieser have written about the filling in and shaping of the Chicago and New York waterfr0nts, respectively, while Ann Vileisis in Discovering the Unknown Landscape describes the filling of U.S. wetlands in both urban and nonurban settings. In Creating Ecological Wastelands: Oil Pollution in New York City, 1870-1900, Andrew Hurley draws a graphic picture of how the growth of oil refining and related industries transformed the natural ecology of New York City by destroying wetlands in the late nineteenth century. And, in his study of planning in Boston, Planning the City On A Hill, Lawrence W. Kennedy examines both the shaping of land forms and the alteration of the waterfront.
A useful model to contemplate the interaction between cities and their hinterlands derives from the organic concept of metabolism. Urbanites require food, water, fuel, and construction materials, while urban industries need natural materials for production purposes. Surprisingly, however, historians have paid limited attention to the effects of cities on the environments of their hinterlands or the flows of commodities between the hinterlands and the city. Almost all of the work that has been done deals with the 18th and 19th centuries.
City-hinterland relationships can be explored most fully in the 19th century. For the pre-Civil War period, a useful study is Richard A. Wine, Fertilizer in America (1985), which discusses the important role that New York City wastes played in growing garden crops on Long Island in the middle of the century. Economic historian Diane Lindstrom explores the links between Philadelphia and its hinterland in the same time period and details commodity flows. Historical geographer Michael P. Conzen, in his monograph, Frontier Farming in an Urban Shadow, uses a Heinrich von Thünen model to illustrate the shifting relationship of Madison, Wisconsin, to its agricultural hinterland from 1850-1880. And Ronald D. Karr has examined the transformation of agriculture in Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, from the period from 1770-1885, as Brookline moved from a self-sufficient market community to a town producing largely for the Boston market. Most recently, Marc Linder and Lawrence S. Zacharias, in a unique study that also confirms von Thünen's theories, have explored the reciprocal relationship between agriculture in Long Island and the growth of the city of Brooklyn. The subject of the flow of food and other such commodities into 19th century cities and its subsequent marketing, however, remains relatively unexplored, and should provide the stuff for several doctoral dissertations. 
The foremost study of a city and its hinterlands from the perspective of commodity flows, is William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis (1991). Like Conzen, Linder and Zacharias, Cronon uses a von Thünen model to explore the manner in which technology linked city and country, enabling Chicago’s penetration of its hinterlands. He traces the flow of commodities like grain, lumber, and beef into Chicago for processing, and then onto other markets during the second half of the 19th century. Railroads, refrigerated boxcars, industrial-scale slaughter houses, saw mills, reapers, and grain elevators combined to make Chicago the “Gateway to the West” and the lynchpin between the bounty of nature and the urban markets of the east. In the process of reaping nature's products, however, Cronon argued that “first nature” was transformed into “second nature,” mastered by technology and subjected to the whims of the consumer market. Although Nature’s Metropolis paid little attention to the urban environment itself or site changes, it is clear that more such studies, which outline the relationships between city and country during various times, would provide us with greater insights into the overall interplay of cities and their larger environments. Ideally, a future historian will combine a Cronon-like discussion of city-hinterland links with an exploration of changes in the urban environment itself.
Technology and Urban Metabolism
Historians have paid more attention to the interplay of technology and the environment in urban settings than to most other issues involving nature. As part of their metabolic cycle, cities also require fresh water supplies and the means to dispose of their wastes, both wastewater and solid wastes, and these increasingly involved technological systems. Water supply was always an initial consideration for city builders, and engineers, acting at the behest of urban elites and politicians, built waterworks, thrust water intake pipes ever further into neighboring lakes, dug wells deeper and deeper into the earth looking for groundwater, and dammed and diverted rivers and streams to obtain water supplies for domestic and industrial uses and for fire-fighting.
Historians have written about water supply issues more than other elements in urban metabolism. Nelson M. Blake's pioneering work, Water for the Cities (1956), dealt with the technology of water supply in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia as well as issues such as water pollution and public health, but ignored the ecological impacts of the dams and large reservoirs. Municipalities often obtained their water from distant sources, in the process transforming those locales. The most dramatic story of such water “theft” involves Los Angeles, as graphically told by William Kahrl, Water and Power (1982), Abraham Hoffman, Vision or Villany: Origins of the Owens Valley-Los Angeles Water Controversy (1981), and Norris Hundley, Jr., The Great Thirst: Californians and Water (1992). On the other coast, Fern Nessin has studied the decision-making and costs of acquiring a protected watershed area for Boston in Great Waters (1983), while Charles H. Weidner has explored similar issues for New York City in Water for a City (1974). Sarah S. Elkind, Bay Cities and Water Politics: The Battle for Resources in Boston & Oakland (1998), provides an insightful comparison of urban and regional water supply issues.
Although limited in their consideration of environmental effects, the publications of the Public Works Historical Society are still useful. The major work is the History of Public Works in the United States, 1776-1976 (1976), compiled by Ellis L. Armstrong, Michael C. Robinson, and Suellen M. Hoy, which included chapters on such environmentally related subjects as sewers, solid wastes, and water supply. In addition, the Public Works Historical Society has published a series of complementary essays, which provided case studies on urban water supply, sewage treatment, sanitation, and solid waste disposal. The focus of these histories, however, is on city building, not urban ecology. Aside from the public health effects associated with wastewater and solid waste disposal, no explicit attention is paid to the environmental impact of municipal technologies, even when those impacts were substantial, as with the construction of highways and mass transportation systems.
Much of the systematic work on the environmental consequences of urban technology focused on wastewater systems and the waterways that served as sewage sinks. Blake acknowledged this concern in his book, but it was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that historians turned their full attention to the subject. In the period 1976-1979, Joel A. Tarr directed a National Science Foundation (NSF) study in “retrospective technology assessment” that investigated the evolution of sewerage technology and its social and environmental effects. The report, which was summarized in a 1984 Technology and Culture article, emphasized the manner in which city officials and engineers often made technology decisions to improve local sanitary conditions with little concern for downstream impacts. The study also explored the manner in which urban technology design choices influenced both public health and nuisance conditions, as well as how they stimulated institutional developments such as the special authority.
More recent work on wastewater collection issues has opened up new insights into the process of change from the unsewered to the sewered city. An innovative study by Maureen Ogle, for instance, examines 19th-century household plumbing, demonstrating how town and city dwellers devised ingenious water supply and wastewater disposal technologies in the absence of sewers or piped-in water. Ogle also discusses the implications of the changes caused by the shift to centralized systems. The theme of the development of centralized sewers and of centralized management is also suggestively explored by Joanne Abel Goldman in her case study, Building New York's Sewers. 
Historian Martin V. Melosi has been a leading proponent of assessing the interplay of municipal technologies and the environment. He published two influential volumes in the early 1980s that dealt specifically with the historical role of technology in despoiling urban environments. The first was a pioneering edited work that addressed water supply, solid wastes, sewerage systems, noise and smoke pollution, and the general degradation of towns and cities caused by industrialization. A subsequent monograph traced the efforts of municipalities to cope with their ever-increasing solid waste problems. In so doing, Melosi touched upon concerns central to both the history of technology and environmental history. For example, he addressed the development of alternative collection methods and disposal technologies (such as the incinerator and the sanitary landfill), the environmental impact of these technologies, and the formation of a special branch of engineering sanitary engineering” to deal with waste disposal. Melosi’s newest book, The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present, builds on his earlier work and provides a sweeping and comprehensive survey of the development of water, sewer, and refuse collection techniques and management in American cities over two centuries. 
The late 1970s and 1980s witnessed an outpouring of urban technology studies, many of them concerned with individual cities and specific infrastructures. Architectural historian Carl W. Condit's impressive two-volume history of Chicago’s urban technologies is an important work that examines city development, technology, and environment. Although primarily describing the growth of the city's built environment, the study paid considerable attention to Chicago’s geographical setting, to the pollution caused by development, and to the construction of waterways and municipal parks. Also focusing on Chicago, economic historian Louis Cain detailed the historical development and interaction of Chicago's water supply and wastewater systems, mixing economic analysis with discussions of technology. Other noteworthy studies that explore issues associated with the built environment and subjects such as water supply, sewerage, parks, and landscapes include Eugene Moehring on nineteenth century Manhattan, Harold L. Platt on nineteenth century Houston, Christine Meisner Rosen on the rebuilding of Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago in the aftermath of devastating fires, and Ann Durkin Keating on Chicago's early suburbs.
The history of air pollution is another urban environmental problem that has received serious consideration. Dale Grinder published several articles on smoke pollution in the 1970s, a summary of which is in Melosi (ed.) Pollution and Reform. Over the past two decades Joel Tarr and his students have published articles on Pittsburgh and St. Louis’s succcessful 1940 smoke control policies and their relationship to fuel change and technological innovation as well as upon the issue of railroad smoke control. From the business perspective, Christine Meisner Rosen has written an important article examining divisions over smoke control in 1890s Chicago. The most comprehensive treatment of the problem of smoke in American cities is David Stradling’s newly published study, Smokestacks and Progressives: Environmentalists, Engineers, and Air Quality in America, 1881-1951 (1999). Among other themes, Stradling explores the interaction between issues of engineering specialization and the values of women who played critical early roles in the smoke abatement movement.
During the post-World War II period, the automobile has had dramatic and damaging effects on the city environment. Historians, however, did not take up the challenge of examining the automobile’s environmental impacts, or the efforts to curb those impacts, until the mid 1990s when Scott Hamilton Dewey prepared a doctoral dissertation on the topic at Rice University. Previously, two Southern California law professors, James E. Krier and Edmund Ursine, published the first systematic historical consideration of automobile-generated air pollution and society’s attempts to regulate it. Their book dealt with the emergence of Southern California’s air pollution problem, identification of its causes, and the resulting policy responses. General histories of the automobile virtually ignored the mounting damage done to air quality prior to the establishment of environmental regulations. The ecological consequences of constructing vast networks of paved streets and roads, along with extensive state and national highway systems to accommodate the automobile, has also attracted but modest attention from historians and await comprehensive treatment.
Public health historians have also touched on cities and environmental issues, especially in regard to clean water and sewers. A cluster of books published in the 1970s and 1980s are of special importance because of their urban focus. Among them are the studies of Barbara Rosenkrantz (Boston and the state of Massachusetts), John Duffy (New York City), Judith Walzer Leavitt (Milwaukee), and Stuart Galishoof (Newark). In addition to chronicling the expansion of state authority, they considered such technologically and environmentally related variables as water pollution, water filtration, construction of sewerage systems, solid waste disposal, and street cleaning.
Social, Gender, and Policy Issues
In the last few years, historians have begun to explore social, gender, and policy issues related to the city and the environment. Maureen Flanagan has written several influential articles including “The City Profitable, the City Livable: Environmental Policy, Gender, and Power in Chicago in the 1910s” (1996), in which she builds on the earlier work of Suellen Hoy discussing the role of women’s groups in the Progressive Period in agitating for clean air, clean water, and improved “municipal housekeeping.” Flanagan argues that women showed a greater concern than men with such quality of life and health-related issues. Harold Platt, David Stradling, and Angela Gugliotta have also discussed the critical role of gender as well as class in shaping urban environmental reform in writings dealing with smoke pollution.
The interest in gender issues is matched by an increasing focus on environmental justice or “equity” questions. The environmental justice movement began because of concern over the extent to which minorities disproportionately bore the costs of environmental pollution. Although some writers insisted that race was the crucial variable, most students of the subject argue that it also includes class dimensions. Martin Melosi called attention to the importance of the environmental justice theme in his 1995 presidential address to the American Society of Environmental Historians, reviewing the origins of the movement, its focus on urban-based issues, and possibilities for future historical research. Andrew Hurley’s insightful study, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980 (1995), discusses issues of environmental justice and pollution in the context of a steel mill town. Since 1995, a number of younger historians, including Eileen Maura McGurty, Robert Gordon, and Nancy Quam-Wickham, have taken up environmental justice issues and have published perceptive and provocative articles on themes including race and labor.
Another important area of recent study involving the city and the environment concerns the policy issue of urban “brownfields”. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines “brownfields” as “abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.” Several urban and environmental historians have been studying the evolution of brownfields including Craig Colten, Steven H. Corey, Hugh Gorman, and Andrew Hurley. The study of brownfields in the broader sense involves not only issues of land use and urban revitalization but also critical questions of community involvement and environmental justice. Thus, urban/environmental studies bear on both our historical past and the future of our cities.
The policy context also reaches out to include the environmental problems caused by post-World War II regional transitions. Most significant in recent American history has been the growth of Sun Belt cities such as Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Diego and the comparative decline of Snow Belt cities such as Cincinnati, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Climate modified by the technology of the air conditioner, as well as the explosion of automobile ownership, has produced the new urban form of the spread metropolis, often lacking a clear urban core and expanding at a rapid rate into adjacent greenfields. Such cities make particular demands upon their environments because of their dependence on imported water supplies, high energy intensity, and expansion into precarious habits such as flood plains and unstable hillside slopes. Especially useful for understanding these changes are the recent studies of western cities by Carl Abott and John M. Findlay and of southern cities by Lawrence H. Larsen and David Goldfield. In addition, Raymond Mohl, Richard M. Bernard and Bradley R. Rice, and Robert B. Fairbanks and Kathleen Underwood have edited useful volumes on Sunbelt Cities. Specific urban biographies that touch on environmental and climatic issues include Joe R. Feagin on Houston, Bradford Luckingham on Phoenix, Eugene P. Moehring on Las Vegas, and Alejandro Portes and Alex Stepick on Miami.
Maturation of the Field
By the 1990s the study of the interaction of the city and the environment had reached a sustained momentum as reflected by the volume of publications and programmatic statements by major historians. In the Spring, 1993, for instance, Martin Melosi published an article in the Environmental History Review entitled, “The Place of the City in Environmental History,” in which he called on urban historians to build on concepts pioneered by sociologists, geographers, and other social scientists to develop an ecological analysis of city growth and the development of urban systems. In May, 1994, Christine Meisner Rosen and Joel A. Tarr edited a special issue of the Journal of Urban History on The Environment and the City. This number included an introductory essay by the editors on “The Importance of an Urban Perspective in Environmental History,” and articles by Andrew Hurley, Martin V. Melosi, and Adam W. Rome. Almost simultaneously, Jeffrey Stine and Joel A. Tarr edited a special issue of the Environmental History Review on Industry, Pollution, and the Environment that included several articles that related to cities. And, in 1996, Tarr published a book of his articles dealing with urban pollution entitled, The Search for the Ultimate Sink: Urban Pollution in Historical Perspective, which included essays on municipal and industrial pollution, its effects on air, land, and water, and policy and legal responses over time.
Samuel P. Hays, a major figure in both urban and environmental history, has recently published a significant statement about the interaction of cities and the environment that brings together many of his previous thoughts about this subject. Hays suggests that environmental history as a field encompasses two large questions: the extent of human pressures on the environment and the effects of these pressures. He argues that the city is an ideal “conceptual vehicle” to examine these issues because it is the “focal point” of human congestion that produces increasing environmental loads and the source of new ideas, values, and organizations to cope with these issues. The larger context to understand these questions, he concludes, is the transition from a rural to an urban society and the tension between an environmental and a developmental culture.
This review of the literature dealing with the city and the environment has identified five primary themes: the study of the impact of the built environment and human activities in cities on the natural environment; study of societal responses to these impacts and efforts to alleviate environmental problems; exploration of the effect of the natural environment on city life; analysis of the relationship between cities and an ever widening hinterland; and the investigation of gender, class, and race in regard to environmental issues. The literature, however, is uneven and there are many areas in need of further investigation. These include issues such as the role of environmental considerations in the political economy of cities, land use patterns and choices, city-hinterland relationships, and social considerations such as family life and environmental conditions and environmental justice. A promising sign is the projection of a series of edited volumes dealing with the environmental history of different cities. Already published is Andrew Hurley’s Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis (1997), while other volumes on Boston, Houston, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and San Antonio are in preparation.
As a direction for future scholarship the study of the history of cities and their relationship to the environment makes sense for several reasons: it is fertile scholarly ground, allowing researchers to gain fresh insights, address problems from different perspectives, and ask probing questions; it provides a vehicle for interdisciplinary work in an area where scholars in environmental history, urban history, the history of public health, and the history of technology are finding common ground; and it reflects actual shifts in the real world, where urban environmental issues such as land use, brownfields renewal, and river and wetlands restoration are increasingly coming to the fore of environmental policy concerns. In the United States, therefore, the theme of the city and the environment has clearly established itself as a major subfield of both urban and environmental history and it will certainly grow in the future.
Acknowledgements: I am indebted to Jeffrey Stine for his helpful comments on this article.
 For the development of urban history see R. A. Mohl, “New Perspectives on American Urban History,” in R. A. Mohl (ed.), The Making of Urban America (Wilmington, Delaware, 1997), 335-374. For environmental history see R. White, “American Environmental History: The Development of a New Historical Field,” Pacific Historical Review (Aug. 1985): 297-335. The complementary nature of the two fields is discussed in M. V. Melosi, “The Place of the City in Environmental History,” Environmental History Review (Spring 1993), 1-23, C. M. Rosen and J. A. Tarr (eds.), Journal of Urban History 20 (May 1994): 299-434, and J. J. Keyes, “A Place of its Own: Urban Environmental History,” Journal of Urban History 26 (March, 2000), 380-390. For a discussion of the overlap of the fields of the history of technology and environmental history see J. K. Stine and J. A. Tarr, “At the Intersection of Histories: Technology and the Environment,” Technology and Culture 39 (Oct. 1998): 601-640; for the overlap of business and environmental history see, “Special Issue: Business and the Environment,” Business History Review 73 (Winter 1999).
 D. Worster, “Transformations of the Earth. Toward an Agroecological Perspective in History,” Journal of American History 76 (March 1990): 1087-1106.
 Worster, “Transformations of the Earth” (1990); D. Worster (ed.), The Ends of the Earth. Perspectives in Modern Environmental History (New York, 1988), 292-293.
 Two useful studies to began the investigation of such transformations are W. Muir Whitehill, Boston. A Topographical History (Boston, 1968), 2nd. ed.; N. White, New York. A Physical History (New York, 1987). For climate see W. B. Meyer, “Urban Heat Island and Urban Health: Early American Perspectives,” Professional Geographer 43 (1991): 38-48; H. E. Landsberg, The Urban Climate (New York, 1981).
 S. W. Havlick, The Urban Organism: The City's Natural Resources from an Environmental Perspective (New York, 1974); I. Douglas, The Urban Environment (London, 1983); I. L. McHarg, Design with Nature (Garden City, New York, 1971); A. W. Spirn, The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design (New York, 1984). For another early study, see n.a., Nature in Cities: The Natural Environment in the Design and Development of Urban Green Space (Chichester, New York, 1979).
 P. J. Schmitt, Back To Nature: The Arcadian Myth in Urban America (New York, 1969).
 A. Fein, Frederick Law Olmsted and the American Environmental Tradition (New York, 1972). See also, S. B. Sutton (ed.), Civilizing American Cities: A Selection of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Writings on City Landscapes (Cambridge, 1971); M. Kalfus, Frederick Law Olmsted: The Passion of a Public Artist (New York, 1990).
 G. Cranz, The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America (Cambridge, 1989); D. Schaffer, Garden Cities for America: The Radburn Experience (Philadelphia, 1982); D. Schuyler, The New Urban Landscape: The Redefinition of City Form in Nineteenth-Century America (Baltimore, 1986); W. H. Wilson, The City Beautiful Movement (Baltimore, 1989); C. Kaitzevsky, Frederick Law Olmsted and the Boston Park System (New York, 1992); R. Rosenzweig and E. Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park (New York, 1992); D. Schuyler, Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815-1852 (Baltimore, 1996); F. R. Kowsky, Country, Park, and City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux, 1824-1895 (New York, 1997).
 S. K. Schultz, Constructing Urban Culture: American Cities and City Planning, 1800-1920 (Philadelphia, 1989).
 H. C. Binford, The First Suburbs: Residential Communities on The Boston Periphery 1815-1860 (Chicago, 1985); K. T. Jackson, The Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (New York, 1985); S. B. Warner, Jr., Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900 (Cambridge, MA, 1962); M. H. Ebner, Creating Chicago’s North Shore: A Suburban History (Chicago, 1988).
 A. W. Rome, The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Homebuilding and Environmental Activism, 1945-1970 (New York, forthcoming), and “Building on the Land: Toward an Environmental History of Residential Development in American Cities and Suburbs, 1870-1990,” Journal of Urban History 20 (May 1994): 407-434.
 See, for instance, J. H. Kay, Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back (Berkeley, 1997); V. S. Jenkins, The Lawn: A History of An American Obsession (Washington, 1994; J. Garreau, Edge City: Life on the New Frontier (New York, 1988).
 T. Steinberg, “Do-It-Yourself Deathscape: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in South Florida,” Environmental History 2 (Oct. 1997): 414-438; B. R. Stephenson, Visions of Eden: Environmentalism, Urban Planning, and City Building in St. Petersburg, Florida, 1900-1995 (Columbus, 1997). See also, T. Steinberg, Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disasters (New York, 2000).
 M. Davis, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (New York, 1998).
 A.L. Buttenwieser, Manhattan Water-Bound: Planning and Developing Manhattan's Waterfront from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (New York, 1987); L. W. Wille, Forever Open, Clear and Free: The Struggle for Chicago's Lakefront, 2nd. ed. (Chicago, 1991); A. Vileisis, Discovering the Unknown Landscape: A History of America’s Wetlands (Washington, D.C. 1997); L. W. Kennedy. Planning the City upon a Hill: Boston since 1630 (Amherst, MA. 1992).
 R. A. Wines, Fertilizer in America: From Waste Recycling to Resource Exploitation (Philadelphia, 1985); D. Lindstrom, Economic Development in the Philadelphia Region, 1810-1850 (New York, 1978); T. R. Mahoney, River Towns in the Great West: The Structure of Provincial Urbanization in the American Midwest, 1820-1870 (New York, 1990).
 R. D. Karr, “The Transformation of Agriculture In Brookline, 1770-1885,” Historical Journal of Massachusetts 15 (Jan. 1987); M.P. Conzen, Frontier Farming In An Urban Shadow (Madison, 1971); M.L. Linder and L.S. Zacharias, Of Cabbages and Kings County Agriculture and the Formation of Modern Brooklyn (Iowa City, 1999).
 W. Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (New York, 1991).
 N. M. Blake, Water for the Cities: A History of the Urban Water Supply Problem in the United States (Syracuse, N.Y., 1956).
 A. Hoffman, Vision or Villany: Origins of the Owens Valley-Los Angeles Water Controversy (College Station, TX, 1981); W. L. Kahrl, Water and Power: The Conflict Over Los Angeles' Water Supply in the Owens Valley (Berkeley, 1982); N. Hundley, Jr., The Great Thirst: Californians and Water, 1770s -1990s (Berkeley, CA, 1992). See also, M. D. Leslie, Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles (New York, 1993).
 C. H. Weidner, Water for a City: A History of New York City’s Problem from the Beginning to the Delaware River System (New Brunswick, N.J., 1974); F. I. Nesson, Great Waters: A History of Boston's Water Supply (Hanover, NH, 1983). See also A. C. Leiby, in collaboration with Nancy Wichman, The Hackensack Water Company, 1869-1969 (River Edge, NJ, 1969).
 S. S. Elkind, Bay Cities and Water Politics: The Battle for Resources in Boston & Oakland (Lawrence, Kansas, 1998).
 E. L. Armstrong, Michael C. Robinson, and S. M. Hoy (compilers), History of Public Works in the United States, 1776-1976 (Chicago, 1976). For a parallel study of Canadian cities that benefited from subsequent scholarship on these topics, see N. R. Ball (ed.), Building Canada: A History of Public Works (Toronto, 1988).
 See, for example, J. C. O’Connell, Chicago’s Quest for Pure Water (Chicago, 1976); E. C. Carter II, Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Public Works: Professionalism, Private Interest, and Public Policy in the Age of Jefferson (Chicago, 1976); M. V. Melosi, Pragmatic Environmentalist: Sanitary Engineer George E. Waring, Jr. (Chicago, 1977); L. D. Lankton, The “Practicable” Engineer: John B. Jervis and the Old Croton Aqueduct (Chicago, 1977); J. A. Tarr, Transportation Innovation and Changing Spatial Patterns in Pittsburgh, 1850-1934 (Chicago, 1978); T. A. Shallat, Fresno’s Water Rivalry: Competition for a Scarce Resource, 1887-1970 (Chicago, 1979); L. P. Cain, The Search for an Optimum Sanitation Jurisdiction: The Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago (Chicago, 1980); J. K. Stine, Nelson P. Lewis and the City Efficient: The Municipal Engineer in City Planning during the Progressive Era (Chicago, 1981); and C. Hoffecker, Water and Sewage Works in Wilmington, Delaware 1810-1910 (Chicago, 1981).
 J. A. Tarr et al., A Retrospective Assessment of Wastewater Technology in the United States, 1800-1972: A Report to the National Science Foundation (Pittsburgh, 1978). This document was later summarized in J. Tarr et al., “Water and Wastes: A Retrospective Assessment of Wastewater Technology in the United States, 1800-1932,” Technology and Culture 25 (April 1984): 226-263.
 M. Ogle, All the Modern Conveniences: American Household Plumbing 1840-1890 (Baltimore, 1997); J.A. Goldman, Building New York's Sewers: Developing Mechanisms of Urban Management (West Lafayette, Ind., 1997).
 M. V. Melosi (ed.), Pollution and Reform in American Cities, 1870-1930 (Austin, Tex., 1980); M. V. Melosi, Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform, and the Environment (College Station, Tex., 1981); M.V. Melosi, The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present (Baltimore, Md., 2000).
 C. W. Condit, Chicago, 1910-70: Building, Planning, and Urban Technology, 2 vols. (Chicago, 1973, 1974).
 L. Cain, Sanitation Strategy for a Lakefront Metropolis: The Case of Chicago (DeKalb, Ill., 1978); E. Moehring, Public Works and the Patterns of Urban Real Estate Growth in Manhattan, 1835-1894 (New York, 1981); H. L. Platt, City Building in the New South: The Growth of Public Services in Houston, Texas, 1830-1910 (Philadelphia, 1983); C. M. Rosen, The Limits of Power: Great Fires and the Process of City Growth in America (New York, 1986); A. D. Keating, Building Chicago: Suburban Developers and the Creation of a Divided Metropolis (Chicago, 1988); S. K. Schultz, Constructing Urban Culture: American Cities and City Planning, 1899-1920 (New York, 1989).
 D. R. Grinder, “The Battle for Clean Air: The Smoke Problem in Post-Civil War America,” in Melosi (ed.), Pollution and Reform in American Cities (1980); J. A. Tarr and B. Lamperes, “Changing Fuel Use Behavior and Energy Transitions: The Pittsburgh Smoke Control Movement, 1940-1950: A Case Study in Historical Analogy,” Journal of Social History 14 (Summer 1981): 561-588; J. A. Tarr and K. Koons, “Railroad Smoke Control: A Case Study in the Regulation of a Mobile Pollution Source,” in: G. H. Daniels and M. H. Rose (eds.), Energy and Transport: Historical Perspectives in Policy Issues (Beverly Hills, Calif., 1982), 71-92; J. A. Tarr and C. Zimring, “The Struggle for Smoke Control in St. Louis. Achievement and Emulation,” in Andrew Hurley (ed.), Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis (Saint Louis, Mo., 1997), 199-220; D. Stradling and J.A. Tarr, “Environmental Activism, Locomotive Smoke, and the Corporate Response: The Case of the Pennsylvania Railroad and Chicago Smoke Control,” Business History Review 73 (Winter 1999): 677-704;
 C. M. Rosen, “Businessmen Against Pollution in Late Nineteenth Century Chicago,” Business History Review 71 (Fall 1995): 387-396; C. M. Rosen, “Noisome, Noxious, and Offensive Vapors, Fumes and Stenches in American Towns and Cities, 1840-1865,” Historical Geography 25 (1997): 49-82; D. Stradling, Smokestacks and Progressives: Environmentalists, Engineers, and Air Quality in America, 1881-1951 (Baltimore, 1999). See also, F. Uekoetter, “Divergent Responses to Identical Problems: Businessmen and the Smoke Nuisance in Germany and the United States, 1880-1917,” Business History Review 73 (Winter 1999): 641-676.
 S. H. Dewey, “Don’t Breathe the Air.” Air Pollution and the Evolution of Environmental Policy and Politics in the U.S., 1945-1979, Ph.D. dissertation, Rice University, 1997. Dewey's dissertation is soon to be published.
 J. E. Krier and E. Ursin, Pollution and Policy: A Case Essay on California and Federal Experience with Motor Vehicle Air Pollution, 1940-1975 (Berkeley, 1977). See also, F. P. Grad et al., The Automobile and the Regulation of Its Impact on the Environment (Norman, Okla., 1975); M. Brienes, The Fight against Smog in Los Angeles, 1943-1957, Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Davis, 1975; R. Gakenheimer (ed.), The Automobile and the Environment: An International Perspective (Cambridge, Mass., 1978).
 J. J. Flink, The Automobile Age (Cambridge, Mass., 1988); M. S. Foster, From Streetcar to Superhighway: American City Planners and Urban Transportation, 1900-1940 (Philadelphia, 1981); S. L. Bottles, Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City (Berkeley, 1987); B. E. Seely, Building the American Highway System: Engineers as Policy Makers (Philadelphia, 1987); C. McShane, Down the Asphalt Path: The Automobile and the American City (New York, 1994). Several authors have examined the issue of lead additives to gasoline and their health effects on workers. This research has been summarized in M. Aldrich, Safety First: Technology, Labor, and Business in the Building of American Work Safety, 1870-1939 (Baltimore, 1997).
 B. G. Rosenkrantz, Public Health and the State: Changing Views in Massachusetts, 1842-1936 (Cambridge, Mass., 1972); J. Duffy, A History of Public Health in New York City, 1625-1866 (New York, 1968); J. Duffy, A History of Public Health in New York City, 1866-1966 (New York, 1974); J. W. Leavitt, The Healthiest City: Milwaukee and the Politics of Health Reform (Princeton, N.J., 1982); S. Galishoof, Newark: The Nation’s Unhealthiest City, 1832-1895 (New Brunswick, N.J., 1988).
 M. A. Flanagan, “Gender and Urban Political Reform: The City Club and Woman's City Club of Chicago in the Progressive Era,” American Historical Review 95 (Oct. 1990): 1032-50; M. A. Flanagan, “The City Profitable, the City Livable: Environmental Policy, Gender, and Power in Chicago in the 1910s,” Journal of Urban History 22 (Jan. 1996): 163-190; S. Hoy, “Municipal Housekeeping. The Role of Women in Improving Urban Sanitation Practices, 1880-1917,” in Melosi (ed.), Pollution and Reform (1980); S. Hoy, Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness (New York, 1995).
 M. Melosi, “Equity, Eco-racism and Environmental History,” Environmental History Review 19 (Fall 1995): 1-16; A. Hurley, Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1995); E. M. McGurty, “From NIMBY to Civil Rights: The Origins of the Environmental Justice Movement,” Environmental History 2 (July 1997): 301-323; N. Quam-Wickham, “Cities Sacrificed on the Alter of Oil: Popular Opposition to Oil Development in 1920s Los Angeles,” Environmental History 3 (April 1998): 189-209. R. Gordon, “‘Shell No!’ OCAW and the Labor-Environmental Alliance,” Environmental History 3 (Oct. 1998): 460-488.
 C. E. Colten, “Industrial Middens in Illinois: The Search for Historical Hazardous Wastes, 1870-1980,” The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology 14 (1988): 51-61; C. E. Colten, “Historical Hazards: The Geography of Relict Industrial Wastes,” Professional Geographer 42 (1990): 143-156; C. E. Colten, “Chicago's Waste Lands: Refuse Disposal and Urban Growth, 1840-1990,” Journal of Historical Geography 20 (1994): 124-142; H. Gorman, “Manufacturing Brownfields: The Case of Neville Island, Pennsylvania,” Technology and Culture 38 (July 1997), 539-574; A. Hurley, “Fiasco at Wagner Electric: Environmental Justice and Urban Geography in St. Louis,” Environmental History 2 (Oct. 1997): 460-481.
 C. Abbott, The New Urban America: Growth and Politics in Sunbelt Cities (Chapel Hill, NC, rev. ed., 1987); C. Abbott, The Metropolitan Frontier: Cities in the Modern American West (Tucson, 1995); J. M. Findlay, Magic Lands: Western Cityscapes and American Culture After 1940 (Berkeley, 1992); D. R. Goldfield, Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers: Southern City and Region, 1607-1980 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1982); L. H. Larsen, The Urban South: A History (Lexington, Kentucky, 1990); R. M. Bernard and B. Rice (eds.), Sunbelt Cities: Politics and Growth since World War II (Austin, 1983); R. A. Mohl (ed.), Searching for the Sunbelt: Historical Perspectives on a Region (Lexington, 1990); R. B. Fairbanks and K. Underwood (eds.), Essays on Sunbelt Cities and Recent Urban America (College Station, TX, 1990); J. R. Feagin, Free Enterprise City: Houston in Political and Economic Perspective (New Brunswick, NJ, 1988); B. Luckingham, Phoenix: The History of a Southwestern Metropolis (Tucson, AZ, 1989); E. P. Moehring, Resort City in the Sunbelt: Las Vegas, 1930-1970 (Reno, Nevada, 1989); A. Portes and A. Stepick, City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami (Berkeley, 1993). See also, G. Cooper, Air Conditioning America: Engineers and the Controlled Environment (Baltimore, 1998).
 M. V. Melosi, “The Place of the City in Environmental History,” Environmental History Review (Spring 1993): 1-23; also Melosi, “Public History and the Environment: National Council on Public History President's Annual Address,” The Public Historian (Fall 1993): 11-20.
 C. M. Rosen and J. A. Tarr served as guest editors of this special issue of the Journal of Urban History 20 (May 1994), 299-434. The articles included: C. M. Rosen and J. A. Tarr, “The Importance of an Urban Perspective in Environmental History”; A. Hurley, “Creating Ecological Wastelands: Oil Pollution in New York City, 1870-1900”; M. V. Melosi, “Sanitary Services and Decision Making in Houston, 1876-1945”; A. W. Rome, “Building on the Land. Toward an Environmental History of Residential Development in American Cities and Suburbs, 1870-1990”; C. Hamlin, “Environmental Sensibility in Edinburgh, 1839-1840: The ‘Fetid Irrigation’ Controversy.”
 See, J. A. Tarr and J. K. Stine (eds.), Environmental History Review 18 (Spring 1994). The issues contained the following articles: J. K. Stine and J. A. Tarr, “Technology and the Environment: The Historians’ Challenge”; J. A. Tarr, “Searching for a ‘Sink’ for an Industrial Waste: Iron-Making Fuels and the Environment”; F.-J. Bruggemeier, “A Nature Fit for Industry: The Environmental History of the Ruhr Basin, 1840-1990”; C. Sellers, “Factory as Environment. Industrial Hygiene: Professional Collaboration and the Modern Sciences of Pollution”; C. E. Colton, “Creating a Toxic Landscape: Chemical Waste Disposal Policy and Practice, 1900-1960”; L. P. Snyder, “‘The Death-Dealing’ Smog over Donora, Pennsylvania: Industrial Air Pollution, Public Health Policy, and the Politics of Expertise, 1948-1949.”
 J. A. Tarr, The Search for the Ultimate Sink: Urban Pollution in Historical Perspective (Akron, Ohio, 1996).
 S. P. Hays, Explorations in Environmental History (Pittsburgh, 1998), 69-100.
 A. Hurley (ed.), Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis (St. Louis, Mo., 1997).
 See S. B. Warner, Jr., “Eco-Urbanism and Past Choices for Urban Living,” in A. R. Hirsch and R. A. Mohl, Urban Policy in Twentieth-Century America (New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1993): 213-228.
 For the contemporary emphasis on the city and the environment see R. H. Platt, R. A. Rowntree, and P. C. Muick (eds.), The Ecological City: Preserving and Restoring Urban Biodiversity (Amherst, MA, 1994); and M. Hough, Cities and Natural Process (New York, 1995).
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