« VorigeDoorgaan »
the carrying-out of the larger scheme of town-planning which the Public Authority has on hand. Such mutual exchange of facilities is obviously more possible when there exists a Public Utility Society engaged in developing, on enlightened methods, a large area of urban land. That Germany has found such Public Utility Societies valuable in town-planning work may be judged from the fact that the public authorities not only co-operate with such companies, but actually promote their formation and give them financial aid.
Urban land-owners who wish their estates developed so as to avoid the creation of slums find it difficult unless it is done through a Public Utility Society or something like it. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who have on some of the urban land they control practised a public-spirited housing policy, point out in one of their pamphlets * that:
'It is not safe merely to hand over the land for such purposes by way of leases to private individuals whose interest as lessees is mainly to secure a profitable return for their outlay in building. The erection of suitable houses can doubtless be assured in this way by the control which the lessors are able, before leases are granted, to exercise over their lessees as to the design and construction of the buildings to be placed on the land; and their continued maintenance as dwellinghouses can be safeguarded by covenant. But, upon the grant of the leases, the future management of the houses necessarily passes into the hands of the lessees; and the Commissioners or other lessors cannot effectively guard against sub-letting, which leads to the evil of the "middleman" and the raising of rents, inevitably followed by subdivision of tenements and overcrowding.'
It is clear from a study of the question that the present methods of town-development meet the needs of a growing community in a very uneven and wasteful way. Supply follows or anticipates demand in patches. A public-house or perhaps a grocer's shop is required in a new neighbourhood; and they appear fairly promptly. The demand for residences is also quickly met in a rough and ready way. The stimulus to these activities is, of
* Metropolitan Estates: provision of dwellings for the Working Classes' (No. 36. 1904). H.M. Stationery Office.
course, the practical certainty of a direct and quick return on the capital involved in the speculation. The same economic conditions, however, do not apply in the case of other things which are essential to the healthy growth of urban communities. There can be no direct and prompt return to a capital expended in a new neighbourhood on securing in advance such conveniences as playing-sites, sites for schools and other public buildings, or land for widening the principal thoroughfares; yet, unless there is some authority anticipating the needs of the community in these respects, not only does the speculative estate-developer neglect them, but he actually becomes an obstacle to their supply in the future. He builds on the margins which should at once be taken for main-road widenings. He cuts down the trees which a bountiful Nature has taken years to grow on land which is obviously the very site to secure for a public park. In making his little patches of road he naturally regards his present profit rather than the welfare of the community in years to come. Nevertheless, in selling or leasing his land for building lots, the estate-developer asks an enhanced price because it includes the prospective value which the open spaces, the educational facilities, the cheap transit and the good drainage offer; and he takes for granted that the heavily-rated residents will one day go to the enormous expense of providing these in the district. A pressing need to-day undoubtedly is to secure the regulation of present enterprise in estatedevelopment so that it may not hamper or even render financially impossible those future improvements upon which the health and efficiency of a town depend.
Whether Public Utility or Co-partnership Tenants Societies will come into being rapidly enough to supply any large proportion of the demand for estate-development, experience alone can determine; but it is clear that they are able to give guarantees in many desirable directions which it is difficult to get in any other way. HENRY VIVIAN.
Art. 11. THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
1. The Face of the Earth (Das Antlitz der Erde). Eduard Suess. Translated by Hertha B. C. Sollas under the direction of W. J. Sollas. Four vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904-9.
2. The Founders of Geology. By Sir Archibald Geikie, F.R.S. Second edition, re-written and much enlarged. London: Macmillan, 1905.
3. The Coming of Evolution (Cambridge Manuals of Science and Literature). By John W. Judd. Cambridge: University Press, 1910.
4. The Student's Lyell. Edited by John W. Judd, with historical Introduction. London: Murray, 1911. GEOLOGY is a science comparatively modern, though, even before the Christian era, philosophers sometimes sought to explain terrestrial phenomena. For ages after the fall of the Roman Empire inductive reasoning was in disfavour, and ecclesiastical censure repressed the study of the earth; but with the stirring of the Renaissance the demands of reason became more insistent, the fear of the Church less oppressive. Here one, there another, began to investigate; and towards the end of the eighteenth century the number of students became considerable.* Foremost among the geologists of his day was James Hutton, a Scotsman, who, after a varied experience in England and abroad, returned to Edinburgh, his native city, and devoted himself to the study of geology. His great work on the 'Theory of the Earth' was still incomplete when he died in 1797, and might have attracted little attention, owing to certain defects in style, had not his intimate friend, John Playfair, acted as an interpreter, and published (1802) his Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth.'
Catastrophism—an earth convulsed by internal spasms, shattered by omnipresent earthquakes, swept bare of life by universal deluges-was the dominant note in the teaching of earlier geologists. Hutton's philosophy found in the present the key to the past. He went into the field with no preconceived theories about the origin of rocks
The story of the pioneers is told by Sir A. Geikie with his wonted charm of style in 'The Founders of Geology.'
or the genesis of the world, but observed facts and reasoned on them inductively, and thus, with Playfair's help, laid the foundation of the Uniformitarian School of Geology. But Catastrophism fought hard, and found an able defender in Werner, a Saxon professor, Hutton's junior by about a quarter of a century, whose lucidity, zeal and personal charm gathered round him a school of ardent disciples. One of these, Prof. Robert Jameson, continued till about the middle of the nineteenth century to advocate his master's views even in Edinburgh itself; but, in spite of his resolute opposition, uniformitarian views gradually won their way. Their success, so far as England was concerned, was greatly aided by the foundation, in 1807, of the Geological Society of London, the aim of which, as expressed in a quotation from the 'Novum Organum' printed on the title-page of their Proceedings, is 'non belle et probabiliter opinari, sed certo et ostensive scire.'
Shortly before this, William Smith, the father of English geology,' had established the succession of our strata from the coal measures upwards. Younger men soon carried on the work; and by 1835 De la Beche, Murchison and Sedgwick had set in order the great underlying mass -the Transitional' of Werner-while Daubeny, Lyell and Scrope, by extending the area of their studies, demonstrated the efficacy of rain and rivers, and the character of volcanic products. Of these Lyell especially brought his wide experience, his philosophic mind and his literary skill to the establishment of Hutton's doctrines, and has thus been justly called the great high priest of Uniformitarianism. His 'Principles of Geology,' the first volume of which appeared in 1831, and the third in 1834, rang the knell of catastrophic geology, at any rate in Englishspeaking countries.*
But, while the principle of Uniformity was becoming dominant in geology, another principle, that of Evolution, was silently maturing in the mind of Charles Darwin, who published his epoch-making work on 'The Origin of Species' in 1859. † Coldly received at first by the
* Prof. Judd has contributed an interesting historical preface to the latter portion of the 'Principles,' now republished as 'The Student's Lyell.' The story of this book is admirably told in a little volume by Prof. Judd, entitled 'The Coming of Evolution,' which deserves to be commended.
majority of those competent to judge, and hotly denounced by almost all who were not, the principle of Evolution has been gradually extended from organic to inorganic nature, from the earth and the solar system to the stars and the universe. Evolution is rather a modification than a contradiction of Uniformity, for it accepts most of the leading ideas of the latter, and is equally hostile to Catastrophism; but it maintains that the operations of Nature are analogous to those of a living body rather than of an inanimate machine; that the degradation of energy is not less a fact than its conservation; and that the geologist can recognise traces of the earth's youth, though he may only be able to conjecture what it may become in extreme old age.
The later half of the nineteenth century will always be noted in the history of science, not only for the conversion of Evolution from an hypothesis to a theory, but also for the vast increase in our knowledge of the facts on which geology depends. At its beginning large areas of the globe, in North and South America, in Australia, in Central Asia and Africa, either were completely unknown or had only been visited by travellers without scientific knowledge; while even in Europe the investigations made were unsystematic and isolated. But year by year geologists became more numerous; government surveys were made; palæontology advanced rapidly; while, with the application of the microscope to the study of rocks, for which we are indebted to Henry Clifton Sorby, petrology became one of the most exact branches of the science.
Before about 1825 the facts were too few and restricted in range to admit of generalisation; fifty years later they not only were numerous in Europe, but also were rapidly coming in from all the great regions of the earth's surface. Thus a work like 'Das Antlitz der Erde became possible. Its author, Edward Suess, sometime Professor of Geology in the University of Vienna, and now an illustrious veteran of the scientific army, published the first volume in 1885 and the second in 1888, while the third was not completed till 1904. It was then translated into French, with some modifications, and has now been made accessible to English readers. The fourth volume of the translation practically completes the work, though