Urbanization PP #1

 Definition
 Growth and diffusion of city
landscapes and urban lifestyle
 Can be difficult to define what a
city is and number of people
needed to classify it
 Most MDCs are highly
 Number and % of urban
dwellers in LDCs has exploded
in recent years
 Many city governments are
trying to manage explosive
 10 million a year die from
overcrowding and inadequate
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
 MSA a term used by the U.S.
Census Bureau to identify a
geographic unit of area including
central city and all of its
immediately interacting counties
with commuters and people
directly connected to the central
 An MSA is an urbanized region
with a minimum of 50,000 people
in it
 Often MSA boundaries overlap
 Example “The Triangle” N.C.
 Urban “blobs” led to coining of
term “megalopolis”
 Originally used to describing fusing of
Washington, D.C. and Boston
 Also uses a unit called a
micropolitan statistical area
 Area of the surrounding counties
integrated into a central city with a
population of 10,000 to 50,000
 Many formerly rural areas now
Rate vs. Level of Urbanization
 Rate of urbanization
 Definition:
 Speed at which the population is
becoming urban
 Level of urbanization
 Definition
 Is the % of people already
considered urban
 Level of urbanization in the U.S.
is nearly 75%
 That means nearly 75% of U.S.
population lives in urban places
 HOWEVER rate of urbanization
much higher in China
 Versus its overall lower level of
Where Urbanization Began
 Geographers analyze where
urbanization 1st developed and
why urbanization because in these
urban hearths
 Geographers analyze the path of
urbanization’s diffusion from
these hearths and related gaps in
urban development among
different countries
 Several qualities are common
among places that were urban
 A dependable water supply, a long
growing season, domesticated
plants and animals, plenty of
building materials, and a system of
writing records
Where Urbanization Began
 Agricultural Urban Hearths
 Earliest cities were born
around 3500 B.C.E.
 Came from agricultural villages
 Earliest urban hearths existed in:
Indus River
Nile Valley
Mexico, Peru
 Trade-Based Urban Hearths
 Some cities grew as established
marketplaces where traders
came together to buy and sell
goods from across the region
 Urbanism spread westward
throughout the Mediterranean
region and spread eastward
through overland and caravan
routes through Persia into India,
China, and then Japan
 Specialization began to occur
as certain cities began to
focus on economic
development on the goods
over which they had a
comparative advantage
Where Urbanization Began
 Greco-Roman Urban
 Greeks and Romans erected
cities as centers of political
and administrative control
over their conquered
 Cities were planned
 Religious Urban Hearths
 Some cities grew as centers
of religious ceremony that
were determined to be holy
by sites
Pre-Industrial Cities
 Definition:
 Those that are developed
prior to industrialization
and shared several
 Rural settlements surrounding
the urban space provided
agricultural products to urban
dwellers, who in turn provided
different economic functions
 Cities served as trade centers
and gateways to foreign lands
and markets
 After fall of Roman Empire,
pre-industrial cities
experienced a decline in
 Pre-Industrial Colonial
 Definition:
 Cities built and developed by
colonizers in conquered lands
 European imperialism fueled
 Shared common
 Wide boulevards
 Classical architecture
 Constructed with the aim of
exporting raw materials
back to the mother country
Pre-industrial cities
 The “urban-banana”
 By the beginning of the 1500s,
a majority of cities were
located in trade centers that
extended from London to
 Made a crescent shape , “urban
 Included:
 London, Paris,
Constantinople, Venice,
Cairo, Nanking, Hanchow,
and Osaka
 The “urban banana” resulted
from both site and situation
Pre-Industrial Cities
 Internal Economic Structure
of Pre-Industrial Cities
 Often had a diverse mix of
economic functions in any
given space
 Rather than zoning that came
with industrialization
 Shops, markets, homes, and
government often jumbled
together in urban space
 Still separated by wealth
 In feudal European cities:
 Guilds led to clumping of
certain functions in particular
areas of town
Industrialization and City Structure
 Urban-Industrial Revolution
 In 1800, only 5% of world’s
population lived in cities
 Diffusion of industrialization is
largely responsible for urbanizing the
world’s people
 Not equal distribution
 European Industrial Revolution
 related to Imperialism
 Triggered diffusion of city growth
 Urbanization grew in a snowball
 Growth of factories and urban jobs
attracted rural farm workers
 Started in England
 Created a steady rural-urban
migration pattern
 England’s urban population was 24% in
1800, 99% by 1999
 The 2nd Agriculture Revolution
 Supported the pattern of industrial
and urban growth
 More efficient and productive
agricultural practices developed
 Led to more workers moving to cities for
 Improved food supplies also
supported an increasing population
Industrialization and City Structure
 The Industrial City
 By mid-1700s formerly great land-
based cities were fading away
 Sea-trade centers were growing rapidly
St. Petersburg, Russia
 By the early 1900s, most of the
world’s great cities were American
or European industrial cities
 Manchester, England; Chicago, Illinois;
Barcelona, Spain
 Industrial cities had a different
function from the pre-industrial city
 Rather than serve mainly as
administrative, religious, trade, or
gateway cities primary function was to
make and distribute manufactured
 Shock Cities
 The pattern of rapid urban growth
and urban migration led to growing
urban spaces that were overwhelmed
with the influx of urban in-migrants
 Definition:
 Urban places experiencing
infrastructural challenges related to
massive and rapid urbanization
 Challenges often include:
 Slums, hazardous pollution levels,
deadly fires, urban prostitution, and
exploitation of children
 Examples:
 Manchester, England
 Less than 80,000 in 1750
 500,000 by 1850
 Chicago, Illinois
 30,000 in 1750
 500,000 by 1830
 1.5 million by 1900
Industrialization and City Structure
 Strained Infrastructure
 An important trend in modern
urbanization is its diffusion to
 Currently highest rates of
urbanization are occurring in LDCs
 Urbanization in LDCs is often
focused on one or two major
cities with a high degree of
primacy rather than being spread
out throughout the country
 Such intensely high rates of
urbanization in LDCs are straining
the infrastructural resources
 Large migration streams of young
adults moving from rural areas to
urban areas add to strain
 Squatter Settlements
 Many migrants are unable to find
housing and build squatter
 United Nations estimated that 175
million people lived in squatter
settlements in 2003
 Definition:
 Makeshift, un-safe housing
constructed from any scraps they find
on the land they neither rent nor own
 Called favelas or barriadas in Latin
America, bastees in India, kampongs
in Malaysia
Urban Systems
 Defining urban systems
 All urban places are part of
an interlocking urban system
of cities that operate within
a network of spatial
 A.k.a- urban places interact
with each other and are
 Geographers analyze the
spatial distribution of cities
and try to determine why
cities look the way they do
Central Place Theory
 Walter Christaller’s theory
 Developed the theory as a
means of studying the
geographical patterns of urban
land use
 Specifically looking to explain
and predict the pattern of urban
places across the map
 Assumptions:
 Flat land surface
 Uniformly distributed rural
 Equal transportation methods
 Evolutionary movement towards
the growth of cities
 Main ideas
 Central places are urban centers
that provide services to their
surrounding rural people
 Also called hinterland
 Range, Threshold
 Spatial competition implies that
central places compete with
one another for customers
 Illustrates that higher-order
central places contain economic
functions with high thresholds
and high ranges that require
large populations
Central Place Theory
 Hexagonal Spatial Pattern
 Model predicted hexagonal
pattern of urban, central
 Central places vary in their
degree of “economic reach”
 Higher-order central places
have larger ranges and
 lower-order central places have
smaller ranges and thresholds
Urban Hierarchy
 Central place theory predicts that if a
population is evenly distributed, there
will be a hierarchy of evenly spread
central places to serve the population
 Urban hierarchy
 Definition:
 System of cities consisting of various
levels, with a few cities at the top level
and increasingly more settlements on
each lower level
 The position of a city within the
hierarchy is determined by the types
of central place functions it provides
 Higher the position in the
hierarchy= the higher the population
being served by the central place and
the more variety of central place
functions performed in the city
 A.k.a- have the highest ranges and
 Hierarchy
 There are few urban central places
are the top of the hierarchy
 Example: Chicago
Applying Central Place Theory and
Urban Hierarchy: An Example
 Central place theory provides
one piece in the jigsaw of
understanding and predicting
geographic patterns or urban
 Over past thirty years,
populations in the U.S. south
and west have increased and
become wealthier overall
 With more people and wealth,
more services were needed
 Phoenix, Atlanta, and Dallas
moved up on the urban
hierarchy as they grew to offer
more central place functions to
the newly growing populations
 As these cities moved up the
ladder, other cities took their
place and others fell
 Tampa, San Antonio, Charlotte
moved up
 Cities from Northeast and
Midwest fell in rankings
 Ex. Cleveland, Detroit
Rank-Size Rule/ Primate Cities
 There is a relationship
between a city’s population
size and its place on the
urban hierarchy within its
urban system
 In MDCs usually predicted
using rank-size rule
 Some urban systems have
disproportionately large
cities, called primate cities
 ex: Bueno Aires, Argentina is
nearly 10x the size of the 2ndlargest city
 = high degree of primacy
World Cities
 In the interlocking, interacting
network of cities throughout
the world’s urban system,
there exist some world cities
 Powerful cities that control a
disproportionately high level of
the world’s economic,
political, and cultural activities
 Sometimes called global cities
 Distribution
 Group of world cities have
 1600s- London, Amsterdam,
 1700s- Rome, Paris
 1800s- Berlin, Chicago, New
York City, St. Petersburg
 Today world cities are centers
of global financial decisions,
flows of information, and
 NYC, Tokyo, London
 Pan-regional Influence
 Definition:
 A reach that extends beyond the
city’s own region into other
centers of economic control
 All megacities are large and
have over 10 million
 Examples:
 Beijing, Cairo, Mexico City,
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