Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 June 2007
The building industry's organization has been relatively invariant down through history due to housing's unique characteristics: durability, fixity in location, complex co-ordination of various trades on site and financing its great costs. That organizational form has allowed speculative development to flourish periodically during large increases in urban population, despite considerable risk. The same building and speculative processes occurred in ancient Rome and cities in England and the US at greatly different periods of time but those histories do not acknowledge the similarities of development processes that each reports. A separate ‘housing literature’ that steps back from particulars possibly explains why these accounts are so alike.
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