JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
Dr. Devine1 has pointed out the important distinction that while congestion of population in large cities is an unqualified evil, a concentrated population is by no means necessarily so. In some ways concentration, under the imperative conditions of our seething modern civilization, is even beneficial. In some localities sanitary science has been so well applied that many people may now enjoy health within an area in which, a decade ago, the conditions would have been deadly for a few inhabitants; for, on the one hand, tenement house laws have compelled landlords to make the homes of their tenants sanitary, and, on the other hand, landlords have had the speculative wisdom to do this of themselves. The plumbing and ventilation of houses are much better than they were a decade ago. The authorities have provided purer water. Streets are adequately sewered. A concentrated population is, therefore, not necessarily an unhealthy one, while concentration secures certain economic advantages.
CONGESTION AND CONCENTRATION.. JAMA. 2008;299(17):2095. doi:10.1001/jama.299.17.2095