Page:Garden Cities.djvu/21

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GARDEN CITIES

disquieted by the existence of the evils which I have referred to and discontented with the conditions which have led to such a result.

It is not enough, however, to recognise the evil; it is the duty of each one of us to do his best to remedy and prevent it.

If, however, it be true that the congestion of our towns has resulted from the change of employment from agriculture to manufacture, and if this change is the outcome of economic law, it would be vain to struggle against it. While manufacture remains the more profitable industry the attractions of the towns are certain to draw the able and energetic from the country, leaving a mere residuum of incompetence behind—and the only hope for the future lies in the improvement of the conditions of life under which manufacture and its subsidiary trades are carried on. Now the improvement of which existing overgrown towns are capable, is very limited. Every scheme of improvement drives the workman further from his work and adds to congestion in business districts, by increasing the costs of building sites. Efforts are made to provide dwellings within the improved areas for the working class disturbed, but it would be generally cheaper to pension for life the families displaced, while the only accommodation which can possibly be provided is in huge blocks of tenement buildings to which there are insurmountable objections from the hygienic point of view, particularly as regards the most important point of all, the health of the children living in them. On the other hand it is very undesirable that the working man should have long distances to travel to and from his work, the conditions under which he does so being almost invariably unhealthy, and his leisure being thereby unduly curtailed. The growth of suburbs too is in itself an injury to a town, removing the country further from the reach of its