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City Water, City LifeWater and the Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago$
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Carl Smith

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226022512

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226022659.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 December 2018

The Individual and the Collective

The Individual and the Collective

Water, Urban Society, and the Public Good

Chapter:
(p.53) 3 The Individual and the Collective
Source:
City Water, City Life
Author(s):

Carl Smith

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226022659.003.0003

This chapter discusses the development of the principle of public welfare from the vision of mutual regard. During the seventeenth century, the founders of the cities of Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, hoped to create a society based on a shared high purpose and mutual regard. This vision grew to be a democratic principle where the individual is most rewarded and fulfilled by dedication to the collective, which benefits most by respecting the rights of each of its members. At the same time, all members in the city were faced with common challenges, and one of these was the need to provide clean water for each and every one of them. Solutions for water problems, such as building waterworks, involved a continuing and contentious effort to define the public good and how it might best be served. In addition these problems, questions arose about how to charge for water and what to do with individual water wastes.

Keywords:   water, waterworks, society, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia

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