In Nature’s Entrepôt, the contributors view the planning, expansion, and sustainability of the urban environment of Philadelphia from its inception to the present. The chapters explore the history of the city, its natural resources, and the early naturalists who would influence future environmental policy. They then follow Philadelphia’s growing struggles with disease, sanitation, pollution, sewerage, transportation, population growth and decline, and other byproducts of urban expansion. Later chapters examine efforts in the modern era to preserve animal populations, self-sustaining food supplies, functional landscapes and urban planning, and environmental activism.
Philadelphia’s place as an early seat of government and major American metropolis has been well documented by leading historians. Now, Nature’s Entrepôt looks particularly to the human impact on this unique urban environment, examining its long history of industrial and infrastructure development, policy changes, environmental consciousness, and sustainability efforts that would come to influence not just this region but also the nation.
About the Author
Brian C. Black is professor of history and environmental studies at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona. He is the author of several previous books, including Petrolia: The Landscape of America’s First Oil Boom and Crude Reality: Petroleum in World History.
Michael J. Chiarappa is associate professor of history at Quinnipiac University. He is coauthor of Fish for All: An Oral History of Multiple Claims of Divided Sentiment on Lake Michigan.
Table of Contents
Introduction Brian C. Black 1
Part I Ideal and Reality in the Early City
1 William Penn's Philadelphia: The Land and the Plan Craig Zabel 17
2 "Pro Bono Publico": Ecology, History, and the Creation of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park System Elizabeth Milroy 35
3 The Rise and Fall of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia, 1793-1805 Thomas Apel 55
Part II Locating Patterns of Industry and Commerce in the Expanding City
4 Bone Boilers: Nineteenth-Century Green Businessmen? Donna J. Rilling 75
5 "Publick Service" versus "Mans Properties": Dock Creek and the Origin of Urban Technology in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia Michal McMahon 91
6 Industrial Suburbs: Environmental Liabilities or Assets? Carolyn T. Adams 117
Part III Landscape Transformation in the Growing City
7 The Grid versus Nature: The History and Legacy of Topographical Change in Philadelphia Adam Levine 139
8 Fed by the Adjoining Waters: The Delaware Estuary's Marine Resources and the Shaping of Philadelphia's Metropolitan Orbit Michael J. Chiarappa 160
9 Metropolitan Philadelphia: Sprawl, Shrinkage, and Sustainability Robert J. Mason 187
Part IV Confronting the Ecologies of the Modern City
10 Restoring Mill Creek: Landscape, Literacy, Environmental History, and City Planning and Design Anne Whiston Spirn 207
11 Saving Ourselves by Acting Locally: The Historical Progression of Grassroots Environmental Justice Activism in the Philadelphia Area, 1981-2001 Diane Sicotte 231
12 Planning the Food-Secure City: Philadelphia's Agriculture, Retrospect and Prospect Domenic Vitiello 250
13 Wolves in the Wissahickon: Deer, Humans, and the Problem of Ecology in an Urban Park Ann Norton Greene 267