Semester 2 Unit:URBANIZATION & MIGRATIONPowerPoint 1: An Introduction to Urbanization9TH Grade Global Issues Semester 2: 2014
Key Topic: A Brief History of Cities Key Question: • What is the definition of a city? • When did people start living in cities? • What was the first city like? • How have cities evolved over time?
The Demographic Definition of a City This definition was first codified by sociologist Louis Wirth in his influential 1938 paper, “Urbanism as a way of life” (Wirth 1938). Cities, according to Wirth, are defined by four characteristics: 1. Permanence2. Large population size3. High population density4. Social heterogeneity This sounds pretty good to most modern ears. It certainly fits contemporary cities, although there is always room for quibbling with quantitative definitions (How many people? How much heterogeneity?). To use the demographic definition, one looks at a settlement, makes some measurements, and decides whether or not it is a city. Source: http://wideurbanworld.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-is-city-definitions-of-urban.html
The Functional Definition of Urban or City Although there may be precursors, most modern functional definitions of cities derive from mid-20th century economic geography, where central place theory focused on the regional distribution of retail market centers. Market centers provisioned a hinterland, and the larger the hinterland (and the more goods and services provided), the more important the center. In these models retail marketing is an urban function—an activity or institution located within a settlement that affects people and places beyond the settlement. Later developments in anthropology and geography expanded the notion of urban function beyond economics to include politics and religion (Fox 1977). From this perspective, the Classic Maya jungle cities can be considered urban because their kings ruled city-states larger than the individual settlement, and their temples were the focus of worship for peasants as well as urban dwellers. From the demographic perspective, on the other hand, the Maya centers were not big enough to be called cities. To use the functional definition, one cannot simply look at a settlement and decide whether it is urban; one has to look at the entire regional context, including the hinterland and other nearby settlements. If the settlement in question was the setting for people and institutions that impacted a larger realm, it can be considered an urban settlement. Source: http://wideurbanworld.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-is-city-definitions-of-urban.html
Where was the world’s first city? • It was originally believed, the first cities were built in Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq, at around 5000 BC. • Cities such as Babylon were among the largest permanent settlements in the ancient world. • However, discoveries in 2010, suggest that the first cities may have been in Syria, and were built around 6000BC. Even if this cannot be verified…. • The city of Damascus, has survived to become the longest-inhabited city in the world and the capitol of Syria. • Older groups of buildings have been found in Europe, Egypt and Japan, but they are not large as those in the Middle East.
The Growth & Evolution of the World’s Largest Cities Source: http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/09/urbanization-in-pakistan-highest-in.html
The World’s Most Livable Cities • Every year the Economist Intelligence Unit publishes a list of the world most livable cities. Go the following sites: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2013/08/daily-chart-19 http://www.ibtimes.com/worlds-most-livable-cities-list-2013-dominated-australia-canada-1401491 Economist Intelligence Unit Worlds most livable cities Study at least 3 different websites and answer the following questions: • What does livability mean? • What criteria does the Economist magazine use to rank the world’s most livable cities? • What were the top 10 cities in 2013? Why? • What cities ranked near the bottom in the survey?
THE KEY CHALLENGES FACING CITIES • What are the top 10 challenges facing Cities? • This powerpoint has provided 4, to get you started. • Working in pairs, suggest 6 other urban challenges. • Describe each challenge. • Develop a key question(s) that would warrant or require further investigation.
Key Challenges For Cities:(1) Improving Public Transport • Traffic congestion and associated air pollution is a major problem in many cities. • However, some cities have implemented world class public transport solutions, that have eased congestion and reduced environment degradation. • Key Question(s) (1a) What cities have world class & high quality public transportation? (1b) How can other cities followed this model? (2) What are the economic benefits for a cities that reduce congestion?
Key Challenges For Cities:(2) Improving Policing & Reducing Crime • Living in a city should provide additional security and safety to it residents, but often this is not the case. • However, some large cities in the world have significantly reduced crime and are experiencing a range of benefits as a result. Key Questions • What are the most cost-effective ways to reduce crime, and what cities have been most successful? • What are the economic benefits of low crime in an urban area?
Key Challenges for Cities(3) Affordable & Adequate Housing • Barrios or Shanty Towns in developing countries are the most obvious example of urban decay. • However, even in developed countries, housing can be too expensive, and as a result people live in cramped conditions or alternatively they are forced to live on the outskirts of a city, very far from the CBD. Key Questions • How can cities in developing countries provide better housing for their poorer residents? • How can governments make housing more affordable, without excessive government spending?
Key Challenges for Cities(4) Urban Open Space & Recreational Areas • The concrete jungle has become an expression used to describe many large cities around the world. • A lack of open space, parks and recreational opportunities can impact on our quality of life. Key Challenges (1) How much green area do urban planners need to set aside to improve livability? (2) What cities around the world are noted for their outstanding parks, open areas and recreational opportunities? Are these man made or natural?