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The Flow of Time

The Flow of Time

City Water as Cultural Anticipation

(p.200) (p.201) 6 The Flow of Time
City Water, City Life
Carl Smith
University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that during the nineteenth century, the continuous expansion and alteration of cities ushered in a new sense of time for its citizens. The fast-paced life of citizens, who lived by the dictates of the clock and the artificial rhythms of the scheduled workday, made the recent past seem irrelevant. This holds true in Chicago, as its urban history was brief and yet intense. The city grew exponentially on waves of newcomers who wanted to live the fast-paced life it offered. Most residents in Chicago were born and raised elsewhere, so there is little local heritage and memory among the citizens. Urbanization imbibed a new understanding of the relationship between the city's past, present, and future, as one that was clearly revealed in the ways the city dealt with the exigencies of city water.

Keywords:   water, city, urban history, Chicago, citizens

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