The Sanitary City (Paperback)

Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present (Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ)

By Martin V. Melosi

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822959830, 400pp.

Publication Date: April 18, 2008

List Price: 32.95*
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Immersed in their on-demand, highly consumptive, and disposable lifestyles, most urban Americans take for granted the technologies that provide them with potable water, remove their trash, and process their wastewater. These vital services, however, are the byproduct of many decades of development by engineers, sanitarians, and civic planners. 

In The Sanitary City, Martin V. Melosi assembles a comprehensive, thoroughly researched and referenced history of sanitary services in urban America. He examines the evolution of water supply, sewage systems, and solid waste disposal during three distinct eras: The Age of Miasmas (pre-1880); The Bacteriological Revolution (1880-1945); and The New Ecology (1945 to present-day). 

Originally published in 2000, this abridged edition includes updated text and bibliographic materials. The Sanitary City is an essential resource for those interested in environmental history, environmental engineering, science and technology, urban studies, and public health.

Winner of:
George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History Urban History Association Prize for the best book in North American Urban History
Abel Wolman Prize from the Public Works Historical Society
Sidney Edelstein Prize from the Society for the History of Technology

About the Author

Martin V. Melosi is Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History and director of the Center for Public History at the University of Houston. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, including Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform and the Environment, and Effluent America: Cities, Industry, Energy, and the Environment.

Praise For The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present (Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ)

“Melosi has written an intellectual and technologically oriented account of the efforts of urban leaders to foster control of the built environment and enhance the health of citizens. Scholars in urban and environmental history will begin their future work with Melosi's book, and they will consult it regularly. Here is a book that practitioners will read, assign, and debate.”
—Journal of Urban History

“A substantial work of scholarship that provides a highly useful history of the development and consequences of urban water, sewer, and solid waste infrastructure in the United States. Extensively referenced, heavily illustrated, and well written, it should be a standard on the subject for many years.”
—Technology and Culture

“A monumental work, the outcome of well over a decade of research by an important scholar. A milestone in public works history. It is likely to become the first work to which future scholars interested in the sanitary technologies in America will turn.”