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GEOGRAPHY - Urbanization

• Content
Urbanization means the increase in proportion of people living in towns and cities.
- It is about the functions and land use of settlements.
 - Its about benefits and problems caused by growth of towns and cities.
It looks at how sites for settlements were chosen.
Benefits and problems of settlement growth.
Land use patterns in towns.
Changes in functions and land use in towns.
How shopping has changed.
Traffic problems and solutions.
How to improve the environment.
Importance of learning about the environment.
 Helps us understand how settlements try to provide for the needs of
people living in them.
 We know how changes in settlements can affect us.
 Gives you an interest in the place where you live.
 Helps us choose where to live.
 Helps us appreciate the problems facing town planners.
 Helps one choose the best transport to use.
 Helps us understand how to improve the environment.
How settlement sites were chosen
• Protection; good views from hilltops give warning of attackers.
• Availability of water; for drinking, washing or cooking. Could come from a
spring, river or well.
• Not too much water; sites must not be marshy or flood prone.
• Rivers; easy to cross at a ford or bridge.
• Building materials; must be near the material e.g. a wooded area or a
rocky hill.
• Shelter; the area should be sheltered from cold winds.
• Supply of wood ; was needed for fire to cook on and for warmth.
• Flat area; easier to build on ,for growing crops and for travelling.
Reasons for settlement at warkworth village in UK
River for transportation available.
Firm flat land easy to build on.
Dry site above the river flood plain.
Good sites for construction of bridges.
Availability of good farming areas in the neighborhood.
Wood available for fuel and building.
River provided good eater supply.
River provided good defense on three sides.
Nearby rock outcrops provided building materials.
Settlement patterns.
These are the shapes produced by settlements.
Some are long and thin while others are compact and almost round.
These patterns are usually influenced by the natural features of an area.
There are three main patterns. These are;
• 1. Dispersed settlement pattern:
• this has buildings that are well spread out.
• They are often found in highland areas.
i) - in this area its not easy to build buildings close together.
ii) - people also need land for growing crops and grazing animals.
2.Nucleated settlement pattern:
• Has buildings closely grouped together.
• They are often found in low, flat areas they develop around road
junctions and river closings.
• Traditionally people built houses close together for safety.
3.Linear settlement pattern:
• Also called ribbon developments because they have a long narrow
• They develop along a narrow valley where there is little space, along a
road, railway line or on either sides of a river valley.
Changes in settlement over time.
• No village or town remains the same. Over time the following
changes occur;
a) the shape of a settlement changes.
b) the function of the settlement changes.
c) the land use changes
d) the number and type of people in the settlement change.
• When the village grows larger, buildings increase and the number of
people increases it becomes suburbanized and the settlement
resemble the outskirts of a large town.
Benefits of settlement growth.
There are more houses or flats to rent or buy.
There are more jobs which are better paid.
Food supplies are more reliable and there are more shops which
gives a greater choice.
It takes less time to travel to work and to shop.
There are more and better services such as hospitals and schools.
Urban areas have ‘bright light’ attractions such as discos, concerts
and other recreational facilities.
Problems of settlement growth.
Traffic causes congestion, accidents, noise and air pollution.
Old roads are too narrow for lorries and buses and new roads take up
a lot of space.
Old houses and factories need repair which is expensive and are
therefore left in disuse.
There is waste land where houses and factories have been pulled
Crime, vandalism and garbage make the towns unsafe and
Land becomes very expensive to buy and rent near the city center.
Land use patterns in towns.
• Towns usually start with only one function but the
functions increase as the town grows.
Main functions of an ideal town include;
a) commerce: (shops and offices).
b) industry: (factories)
c) residential: (flats and houses)
d) open space: (parks and sports facilities).
A map drawn to show functions of an urban center is called an urban
An ideal urban model
• An ideal urban model has four main zones each with a different
a) Zone A—the central Business district (CBD)
i) This is the center of the town
ii) has the oldest buildings.
iii) has shops, offices, banks and restaurants.
iV) few houses and little open space.
a) Zone A—the central Business district (CBD)
i) This is the center of the town
ii) has the oldest buildings.
iii) has shops, offices, banks and restaurants.
iV) few houses and little open space.
b) Zone B---The inner city.
i) full of large old factories and rows of terraced houses.
ii) houses are small and little open spaces.
iii) there are disused houses and factories.
c) Zone C---the inner suburbs.
i) old semi- detached houses.
ii) there is some open space available.
d) Zone D---the outer suburbs.
i) large modern houses and council estates.
ii) small industrial estates, business and science parks and large
iii) there are large areas of open space.
Why does land use in town change?
• Land use in towns change over time.
• City centers are modernized to attract more people.
• Open spaces are turned to housing estates, large shopping centers
and industrial parks.
• Docklands in U.K is an example of a town that has undergone these
London Docklands—the problem.
Up to 1950s London was the busiest port in the world and Docklands
a thriving industrial zone.
By 1981 shipping in River Thames declined and the docks became
abandoned and derelict.
By then there was unemployment, transport was poor and there was
lack of basic services.
Housing became a major problem with most houses lacking
bathrooms and indoor toilets.
An ‘EastEnders’ community spirit built up with an aim of improving
these conditions.
The solution
In 1981 the London Dockland Development Corporation was started
with the aim of improving the living and working conditions.
It cleared the old docks and houses and turned the warehouses into
expensive flats.
Old industries were replaced with those using high-technology such as
newspapers and office blocks for financial firms.
Underground stations were improved and new City Airport and Dockland
light railway built.
The environment has been improved, trees planted and new parklands
 Land and rent has gone up making it unaffordable by many.
 Business has improved.
 There are modern offices and good-quality housing.
 Transport has improved and become cheaper.
 Local community has lost jobs in favor of highly qualified newcomers.
 Shopping has become expensive.
 Young people get jobs more easily unlike the elderly who are
unfamiliar with modern IT systems.
Where do we shop?
Where people shop depends on what they want and how often they need that product.
Larger shopping centers have a variety of choices for goods and services.
People travel long distances to such centers.
There are two types of goods;
1. convenience or low order goods. These are low cost goods that are
needed on a daily basis.
--these can be bought from the corner shop or nearby shopping center or
---these include newspapers and food stuffs.
2. Comparison or high order goods. These are expensive goods that we don’t
need everyday.
--these are goods where people compare styles and prices before buying.
--they are often bought in large shopping centers at the city center or out of town
-- here the prices are usually low and a variety of choice available due to
How shopping has changed.
• The city center is the main shopping area in a town
• It has the highest number of shops and the most shoppers.
• People travel great distances to the city center because of the variety
of goods they can buy there.
• Main advantage of city center is its accessibility .
• Most roads ,rail systems and bus routes from the suburbs meet here.
• City center shopping has changed a lot recently.
• Shopping has been designed to cater for the comfort of the shoppers,
provide their security and reduce traffic congestion in the towns.
Covered Shopping malls have been introduced. They offer
protection from weather and are traffic free.
• Biggest change in shopping has been the development of huge out of
town shopping centers.
• These are located on the edge of cities.
• They are usually next to a main road or motorway.
• They attract motorists from a wide area and offer good accessibility and
free packing.
• Take business away from city centers leading to their decline.
• Many smaller shopping parades and corner shops have closed.
• Has led to an increase in the use of cars leading to increased pollution
in the suburban areas.
City centers
 Almost anything can be got here.
 Competition keeps prices low.
 There are nationwide
supermarkets, departmental
stores, specialist shops e.t.c.
Out of town
 Ideal for shopping by car, with free
parking areas.
 Contain many shops with a wide choice of
goods. prices are kept low by bulk buying.
 Good accessibility make it the
busiest shopping center.
 Popular with shoppers who enjoy bright
and attractive air-conditioned shopping
 Overcrowding and traffic
congestion common.
 Security staff ensure the safety of the
Traffic in urban areas
• Traffic is a serious problem in urban areas.
• It results in traffic congestion(jams).
• Exhaust fumes are poisonous and dangerous to human health.
Too many cars in the towns.
Too many road junctions that slow down vehicle movement and
cause traffic jams.
Too much through traffic adds vehicles to roads.
Unsuitable roads. Roads are too narrow for many vehicles.
On street parking takes up space and narrows the roads.
Rush-hour traffic causes a massive increase of traffic at certain times
of the day.
Dirty fuels causes pollution increasing health hazards.
Traffic problem (effects).
Traffic jams blocking roads and stopping traffic flow.
Delays for police fire services and ambulances.
Slow movement of people and goods.
Loss of business and money.
People and buildings affected by noise and vibrations.
Danger from accidents.
Harmful exhaust fumes.
Lack of parking space.
Solution to traffic problem
• There are two ways of reducing the transport problem.
a) Encourage private transport
b) discouraging private transport.
• A) Encouraging private transport is done by;
i) better transport management by creating
- roundabouts
- having one way systems
-having working traffic lights
ii) have more off-street parking.
iii) develop urban motorways to improve traffic flow.
iv) create by-passes to keep through traffic out of towns.
• B) Discouraging private transport is done by;
i) improving public transport
-reduce fares.
-increase speed and comfort.
-develop rail routes like the London underground.
ii) park and ride schemes.
-leave the cars on town outskirts
-travel by free bus to center
iii) make car parking difficult.
-increase parking charges.
-reduce parking space.
iv) congestion charging. This is where motorists have to pay to use
busy areas.
Public transport systems.
• Aim of these systems is to move people safely, cheaply and
quickly round the town.
• They are also designed to reduce pollution hence protect the
• Example of such a system is the Manchester's Metro link tram
• It is a surface light railway which runs on rails along existing
• Priority is given to the tram at traffic lights and road crossings.
• This has made it cheaper and faster to use than car transport.
• Connects suburbs to the city center.
• Provides a convenient way to travel in the city center
• Links with the existing bus and rail routes
• Trams every 6minutes during the day.
• Each tram can carry 206 passengers.
• Fares are subsidized to provide cheap transport.
• Automatic ticket machines reduce the cost of running it.
• Has a speed of up to 80km/h along a 29km distance.
• Provide excellent wheelchair and pram access.
• Powered by electricity to reduce noise and air pollution.
• When an area is too congested a road is built to take away some of the
• this type of road built to avoid a congested area is called a by-pass.
• Some are long while others are short eg the M25 is over 160km and moves
round the whole of London.
• Building a by-pass is not easy because;
-money has to be found
-suitable routes have to be designed.
-discussions have to be held with the affected people.
• This is usually difficult and may take a long time.