Urban Issues

Urban Issues
Chapter 9
Cultural Diffusion
Economic Base
Urban Growth
Fiscal squeeze
Squatter settlements
Threshold population
Primate city
People Shifting
Why do people urbanize?
What would be reasons for people to
move from the centre of cities to the
Two hundred years ago 5% of the world’s pop.
(980 million) was urbanized.
Now 47% is urbanized.
Urbanization figures
Can anyone find a the problem with this figure of
47% urbanization?
Different countries have different criteria for
recognizing an area as being urbanized.
Canada and Australia
population greater than 1000
Greater than 10,000
Greater than 50,000
Stats can’t be taken too seriously.
What is a Megacity?
A city that has a population over 8 million
Issues in Megacities
Come up with some of the major issues
that megacities would face.
Over crowding
All forms of pollution
Squatter settlements
Mexico City
Sao Paulo Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
Urban Problems Activity
1. Identify the most serious urban problems that you think
cities face in all parts of the world.
2. Imagine that you are the mayor of the community in
which you live. The UN has asked you to rank the top 14 urban
problems in your community in order of their severity, from
the most to the least severe. Compare your list with those of
your classmates.
3. The United Nations Development Program asked mayors
around the world to rank the top 14 urban problems in their
a) How does your list compare to that of the world mayors?
b) Which problems did you not identify?
c) Did you identify problems not on this list?
a) Now imagine that you are the mayor of a large city in a Near
Core or Far Periphery country Re-rank these 14 problems in
order of their severity
b) How does your list differ from the list you made in question
2? Explain any differences.
Figure 9-11 The cities of the world face a wide range of
seemingly insoluble challenges ranging from gridlocked traffic
to urban decay.
Problems with Urbanization
In developing countries people flock to
urban areas before any economic growth
or infrastructure has been put in place, this
leads to unpleasant conditions.
What are the problems of growing Urban
Read page 32 and 33. Answer question 9
on 33
Quality of Life comparison
Life in Peru to life in Canada (old text)
How would you have answer Luis’ two
If you were in Luis’ position, how would you feel
about leaving your family behind, if you were
able to go to North America?
Do you believe Luis’ has a moral obligation to
remain with his family? Why?
What obligations do we as Canadians have to
people in other parts of the world who are less
fortunate than us?
Our exposure to information by mass media tells
us of events, conditions and issues in places all
over the world. It is nearly impossible to remain
ignorant to the horrors of starvation and the
living conditions of people around the world. If
you have been able to travel to different places
around the world you may have seen this first
Within Canada we can see various lifestyles and
issues that are facing others around the world.
Have vs. Have Nots
What do we mean by these?
We know that most of the wealthy
countries in the North and most of the
poorer countries are in the South.
Why might this be?
What advantages might the North have
over the South?
Fewer critical Diseases
Poverty facts to ponder
The World Bank estimated that if rich nations gave $12.5
billion to the poorer nations for 10 years, all the people’s
basic needs would be met.
Each year people in the rich nations spend approx $100
billion on alcohol.
Americans spend more on cosmetics per year than the
budgets of all the African countries.
Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less
than two dollars a day.
The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48
nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than
the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined.
Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year
on weapons was needed to put every child into school by
the year 2000 and yet it didn't happen.
20% of the population in the developed nations, consume
86% of the world’s goods.
“The lives of 1.7 million children will be
needlessly lost this year [2000] because world
governments have failed to reduce poverty
Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries
have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion
lack basic sanitation.
Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a
result of diarrhea
Number of children in the world
2.2 billion
Number in poverty
1 billion (every second child)
Global Spending
Global Priority
$U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States
Ice cream in Europe
Perfumes in Europe and the United States
Pet foods in Europe and the United States
Business entertainment in Japan
Cigarettes in Europe
Alcoholic drinks in Europe
Narcotics drugs in the world
Military spending in the world
Urban Issues in
Developed Countries
Do activity on p.136 (new book)
Economic Problems
Fiscal squeeze – not enough tax $ to pay for the
services. Businesses moved from inner city to outer
areas taking tax dollars. (This has meant roads, water,
sewer, buildings deteriorate.) Governments have had to
bail them out. P.135
Social problems
Poverty – 20% of urban dwellers live below poverty line.
Number of homeless has increased drastically since
1980’s because of welfare cutbacks.
Shortage of affordable housing.
Increase in # of vehicles means increase in
We live in a “Throw away society”.
Perceived and planned obsolescence
Problems in Urban Areas in
Developing Countries
Economic Problems
Low wage jobs – shoe shine, begging, selling
Leads to high prostitution.
Child labour
Huge gaps between rich and poor.
Hard to offer services to public
Schools, transportation systems, social services
Social Problems
Squatter settlements - Illegally set up settlements on
land and do not pay rent.
Very poor living conditions – no sewers, water or
electricity .
Slum Dwellers – pay rent
Poor living conditions
High sick rates
High Infant mortality
World Bank gives aid to assist in educating and
providing healthcare.
Squatter Settlements
Natural Disasters hit them the hardest because of the
poorly constructed buildings.
Sites next to industrial areas are very susceptible to
toxins and air pollutants.
Developing countries usually have very poorly
maintained vehicles and unregulated gas leading to
pollution. (CO, CO2, lead, NO2,)
Infrastructure supplying clean drinking water is usually
connected to infrastructure dealing with disposal of
(Much of the sewage in poor urban areas still runs into ditches
beside roads and flows into rivers used for drinking.)
3rd World Drinking Water
Clean water
3 million people die every year due to waterborne diseases caused by
unclean water, 90% are children under the age of 5.