Above all, this un-building took place in the urban environment. The loss of form and the loss of effective social institutions for transmitting and enlarging the social heritage can indeed be seen at their worst in the mining towns that sprang up during this period: the oil towns, the coal towns, the gold towns, the copper towns, the diamond towns, that began their existence in a “rush,” like the tropismic flight of moths toward strong light, and that collapsed, again and again, into empty hulks, or continued in existence as production centers without evolving for themselves any of the other attributes that make  life in close communities valuable to man. To this day, these towns remain, despite precious efforts at philanthropy, among the darkest and most benighted parts of the world; their inhabitants, often cut off from physical contact with the rest of the world because of their mountainous terrain, cut off likewise by poverty and cramped desires, are even in free countries the most feudally organized part of the population: here the company town, with its mean power of exploitation and tyranny, has flourished. (Mumford 1938:151-2)
MUMFORD, Lewis. 1938. The Culture of Cities. San Diego: Harvest/HBJ.