Monday, September 19, 2011

The Ambiguous Triumph of the City

Robert Bruegmann notes that "[a]t the very moment when urban population has been reported to surpass the rural, this distinction has lost most of its significance . . . ."

Two hundred years ago, before automobiles, telephones, the internet and express package services,  cities were much more compact and rural life was indeed very different from urban life.  Most inhabitants of rural areas were tied to agriculture or industries devoted to the extraction of natural resources. Their lives were fundamentally different from those of urban dwellers. 

Today the situation has changed radically.  Most people living in areas classified as rural don’t farm or have any direct connection with agriculture.  They hold jobs similar to those in urban areas.  And although they might not have opera houses, upscale boutiques or specialized hospitals nearby, the activities that take place in these venues are available to them in ways that they never were before.

Steve Clowney

(HT:  The Daily Dish)

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