Domestic residences and city improvement
in The British Empire through buildings
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Imperial and colonial settlers and sojourners (temporary residents) required places to live. Their residences were built in an extraordinary hierarchy of scale and quality, well represented by the great gulfs seen in plantation economies. Elsewhere, urban residences sprang up in large numbers, often reflecting the universalising of the bungalow style originating in India, and more rarely, terraces in inner colonial cities. As the nineteenth century progressed and the great explosion in many colonial economies occurred (for example, though the exploitation of gold in Australia and southern Africa), cities grew to a considerable extent, particularly after the development of transport systems – railways, trams and later, buses – stimulated the creation of suburbs. In many places, inner cities became crowded and the notion of the City Improvement Trust was created in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in order to alleviate some of the problems this caused. This idea appeared on several continents, but sometimes introduced as many problems as it set out to alleviate, particularly when applied to the zones of indigenous residents in India and elsewhere in Asia.

The British Empire through buildings

Structure, function and meaning

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