This paper focuses on the early impacts of urbanization, types of problems facing cities described by Engels (n.p.) and recommendations on the possible prevention or reduction of the negative impacts of urbanization as the results of the industrial revolution.
It should be stated that urbanization is described by Engels applying his own practical experience and observation of early development of industrial systems in England. His study revealed early impacts that the process of urbanization as the increase in cities’ population, the number of factories and other industrialized objects, the extent and density of the cities in general made to the society. The author argued that urban industrialized life in such cities as Manchester and Birmingham influenced the conditions of life of simple workers negatively. He described an awful environmental situation due to the stench and smoke of factories chimneys and the terrible living conditions of rapidly developing urban area as the cities where “the houses were ruinous, dirty, and miserable”.
The state of the environment described by Engels in particular water issues was worsened by extensive air pollution. Engels also stated that the possibility to work at the newly built factories and plans was paid by workers by their own health and safety issues. He underlined that the observation of the living conditions in each city brought him into the horror. The featureless, dirty, without ventilation houses were overcrowded, and “the streets which surround them were usually in the most miserable and filthy condition”.
Engels put an emphasis on the critique of the social inequity created by the industrial revolution. Describing the growth of the urban area and slums parallelly, he argued that the living conditions of workers were the example of the deprivation, squalor and crowding. Poor living conditions and substandard housing as the results of the industrial revolution were the reasons for the land insecurity, crime, unemployment and poverty. Industrialization with its increased number of working places, however, deprived the workers of the basic amenities concerning their rights to the safe working and living conditions.
It should be stated that public policy that addresses the issues of urbanization and the consequences caused by it have to focus its efforts on the urban planning in particular wise development of infrastructure with improved traffic conditions, control over the environmental pollution in the form of the obligatory norms introduction. Naturally, the process of the urbanization is inevitable because of the huge investments in the private sector of business and increase in the number of employees needed, however it is the challenging task for the public policy to finance land programs with the aim to balance rural-urban ratio in particular with regard to the environmental issues that affect all representatives of the society.
Descriptive sociology of the early impacts of the urbanization given by Engels could be summarized as the urban sprawl and underdeveloped infrastructure, environmental pollution, social inequality as a result of economic restructuring and urban development expressed in the terrible living and working conditions of workers.