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Episode No. 10 – Philly Streets in the 1700s

Philadelphia in the 1700s is a tale of two cities. The city is innovative and forward thinking about improving public spaces. But the city is also a place of deeply entrenched inequality. And you can see it in the streets.

From small colonial town, to the largest city in British North America, Philadelphia’s wealth and prosperity is built with the bound labor of enslaved Africans and desperately poor, white indentured servants. The city grows by criss-crossing Penn’s large city blocks with alleyways and courts, where smaller and smaller houses shelter the working class, while the wealthy live in bigger houses on the main streets.

For everyone, the streets are dirty, dark, and dangerous. And the city has few resources to make things better.

But something’s got to change, and some things do.   

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