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    BACKDROP ON SOCIAL

    TRANSFORMATION

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    1.0 INTRODUCTION

    focus on the following:

    Industrial revolution

    Social reformers

    New Towns

    While the discussion may be followingthe above sequence, we must not loosesight of the fact that there is an interplaybetween the three topics mentioned

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    2.0 INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

    Urban geographers (Hall, 1974;

    Johnson, 1975, Knox, 1996) are not

    quite clear as what conclusive factors

    contributed to industrial revolutionper se

    that spurred towns and cities, but they all

    agreed that a multiplicityof factorstogether impacted such process:

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    colonialism and international trade in the

    15th century (Johnson, 1975 : 11-12),

    residence of a substantial proportion of

    non-rural workers in nucleated

    settlement (ibid : 2)

    expanding commerce and

    commercialization (monetary wealth)

    Use of fossil fuels (coals) (ibid : 13)

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    Improvements in agriculture (ibid : 13)

    Development of improved means of

    transport (ibid : 13), the railway and the

    steamship (ibid : 14)

    International trade

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    All these factors contribute radically to

    increase population in urban areas, growth

    of cities, industries, growing affluence and

    widespread use of manufactured goods.As a result of the above, societys values

    shifted towards a more refined taste.

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    Power holders in society, similarly, hadThe Urge to Build in a Grand Manner

    What does this mean? This is simply means (ibid: 29) the role

    of a particular social situation is the

    repeated tendency for certain cities to belaid out in grand manner. The mostcommon reason for this style of town planhas been the desire of the ruler to show

    his affluence and splendoura visualexpression of worldly powerthe artisticconcepts of a particular time and place

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    City planners in turn looked further a field

    to justify this craze.

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    3.0 SOCIAL REFORMERS

    Settlement and city designers always look up

    to men of ideas. The earliest and the greatest

    of ideas definitely come from social reformers,who sometimes happened are prophets and

    saints, writers and artists. We must not forget

    that the first built structure erected in Bakkah

    (Mecca) was in honour of God. It was forreligious reasons.

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    Most settlements, towns and cities in the

    past were built at sacred sites functioning

    as intellectual, military and art and craft

    centers (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, 2001: 3-10).

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    3.1 The Islamic City

    The greatest social reformer was prophet

    Muhammad S.A.W. He brought with himnot only religion, but a new way of life or

    civilization. Islam began in the holy city

    of Makkah, then its ideals of a city-stategrew in as al Madinah. The city of

    Madinah was a perfect model city of

    human freedom, happiness and socialpeace. From here, Islam spread far and

    wide.

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    What distinguishes Islam and the role of

    the city is that of its missionary role. The

    missionary of an Islamic city is to produce

    an Islamic Man: educated and enlightenedto be worthy citizen of the world. All fellow

    men within the city are indeed his

    brothers in faith as Islam prohibitedmoney power that hitherto enslaved and

    oppressed.

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    Even the ruler/s are enjoined to be

    trustworthy custodians of the poor and the

    helpless. In the quest for better culture,

    art and handicraft were encouraged. Thusan Islamic city is inclined to have higher

    social standards for its citizens.

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    The centre of this city is the main mosque,

    functioning as an educational centre. The

    bazaaror market come next, while city

    functions was invested with manyinstitutions of government (dar-al-imarah).

    The people live within neighbourhoods

    (qariah) of 40 people each. And the cityhas open spaces for recreation and

    grazing of animals.

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    An ideal Islamic city is one that is inspired

    to be prosperous yet blessed and mindful

    of God at all times (Saba: 15-17).

    The first planned city was Bahgdad

    established in 145 Hijrah 762 A.D. It was

    called Madinat al Salamor The City of

    Peace. It was a round city, built 800 AD(Beg, 1986: 270).

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    It has four main gates at the centre ofwhich occupies a mosque and the Caliphs

    palace. It was founded by Caliph Abu

    Jaafar al-Mansur.

    It was a fortified city against invaders. Its

    built-up area was 7,000 hectares.

    Perhaps the conscious round plan of the

    city described how creative has been its

    architects, builders, labourers, workmen

    said to be 100,000 used for five years.

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    3.2 Renaissance City

    The religious wars between the Muslim

    and the Christians brought not only armies

    but scholars, artists and philosophers to

    view aspects of material culture in display.

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    The Europeans learnt many great works writtenby Plato and Aristotle through their Arabic

    translations (Burke, 1971 : 68). Platos The

    Republic, Aristotles Politics, Sir Thomas Mores

    Utopia(1516), Tommaso Campanellas City ofthe Sun(1623), Johann Valentin Andreaes

    Christianopolis, VitriviussArchitectura; all had

    great effects in tempering ideals cities. One of

    them is Antonio Filarete (1565), who drew

    Storzinda, another a hexagonal one. Other,

    their own creative imaginations.

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    The creative impulse to make cities more

    beautiful and livelier did not stop there.

    The plans presented by Burke (ibid: 77)

    testifies in that of Willemstad 1583 andCharleville, 1608.

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    4.0 NEW TOWNS

    New towns are planned self-contained

    communities, with all the modern

    facilities where their inhabitants work

    within their own accessible

    environments.

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    The concept of new towns arose from poor

    overcrowdings of people huddling around

    factories and industrial zones assumed

    unsanitary places causing diseases tospread. The only answer is to plan all

    anew. The town plan should be complete

    ready even before people move in.

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    The new towns should serve a central city

    according to Ebenezer Howard (Hall,

    1974: 50).

    PJ is the first satellite town of KL.

    Shah Alam is the planned city.

    Putrajaya is the Malaysian new townbased on the Total Planning and

    Development Doctrine.

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    Tomorrow a Peaceful Path to Real Reform(1898),

    Howard advocated the development of the garden city tocheck the deplorable living conditions of people streaming

    into the already over-crowded cities. Garden City

    Association was established in 1899. Howard republished

    his book as Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1902). The gardencity was to be achieved by a satellite town of 30k people,

    built at a distance from the parent city, and self-supporting

    by its own industry. Between the two towns, there should

    be a permanent belt of open land used for agriculture.

    Perhaps most important of all, the municipal council shouldbe the owner of the land in the satellite town and the

    unearned increment from the appreciation of prices of town

    land should be reserved for the community as a whole.

    Garden City

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    Skyscraper Cities

    Skyscraper cities are cities conceived by

    the architect, Le Corbusier.

    He has his ingenious way to build tall

    buildings so that space on the ground can

    be saved for greenery and recreational

    areas.