Modern urban and regional planning has arisen in response to specific social and economic

problems, which in turn were triggered by the Industrial Revolution at the end of the

eighteenth century. It is important to notice that these problems did not all come at

once, in the same form; they changed in character, and in their relative importance, so

that the questions uppermost in the minds of city-dwellers in the 1930s were by no

means the same as those experienced by their great-grandfathers in the 1840s. As

problems were identified, solutions were proposed for them; but because of the inertia

of people’s minds, and still more the inertia of social and political processes, these

solutions – especially the more radical ones – might not be put into action until decades

afterwards, when the problem itself had changed in character and perhaps also in

importance. That is a most important common theme which runs through this and the

next two chapters.