Urbanization - ISA

Urban Geography
 How cities function, their internal systems and
structures, and the external influences on them.
 2 Ways of studying Urban Geography
 Systems of cities: how cities influence the landscape
around them, how they connect to one another, and
how they are distributed nationally and globally
 Internal cities: internal workings of cities, analysis of
patterns of land use, racial and ethnic segregation,
architecture, intra-city transportation, cycles of
construction and development
 Uses census data, and narrative accounts
Urban Areas
 What’s an “urban” area?
 Nucleated-clear core area(s), people that live there
have non-agricultural jobs
 Central City
 Usually surrounded by Suburbs-nucleated spaces that
use much land for residences but are not self-sufficient
 Modern cities and towns so close together they form
an urbanized area that is continuously built up
landscapes and buildings=Physical city
 Metropolitan Area
Urban Hierarchy
 Clustered settlements range in size-arranged by
complexity of their centralizing functions
 Smallest to Largest
 Hamlet-small cluster of farms, and basic services
 Village-small cluster of homes, and more specialized
 Town-larger than village, has more specialized services
(bank, schools, library) has a hinterland (area
dependent on the town)
 City-larger population, functional specialization, larger
hinterlands, greater centrality, Central Business
Districts (CBD)
 Megalopolis-multiple cities that have grown together-
Social Life of Urban Areas
 Louis Wirth says 3 characteristics of cities that set it
apart from rural areas
 Large Size- too many acquaintances to keep track of
everyone’s personal life
 Many people but don’t know most very well
 High Density-people have highly specialized jobs, each
person in city serves specific purpose-people compete
for space (high cost of living), greater differences in
rich and poor
 Social heterogeneity-lots of diversity, freedom and
independence not available in rural ares
Origin and Evolution
of Cities
 Ancient and Early River Civilizations: Formative Era
 Nile, Mesopotamia, Indus River, China
 As populations grew, the need for decision makers to
distribute food came to be (urban elite)
 Functions of Ancient Cities:
Centers of power-government headquarters
Religious centers-priests, temples, shrines
Economic centers-markets, merchants, traders
Educational centers-educators for the urban elite
Urbanization around
 City-states-self-governing communities plus the
surrounding countryside
 Athens, Sparta, Thebes
 Rome-becomes an urban empire connected by
roadways and waterways
Urbanization in China
 Han Dynasty (ruled during Roman Empire) will have
largest city in world Chang’an and later Luoyang
 Located on rivers and near Silk Road trade route
 Connected by roads, rivers, canals
Medieval cities
 Roman empire falls and cities take a hit in Europe
 Venice and Genoa (because of sea trade) remained
 Churches were center of Medieval European cities
 By 1000 AD the largest cities were in Asia
 Baghdad, Constantinople (Istanbul), Kyoto, Chang’an,
 Not until 1800 did Europe have the most populated city
in the world-London
Pre-industrial Cities
 Pre-industrial cities were the centers for culture
(because industry had not moved in yet!)
 Primate cities-larger than other cities in the area and
representing a national culture
 Kyoto-primate city for old Japan, Paris, London
 However! One major difference is that religious buildings
dominated landscapes of cities in Middle East, Europe, the
Americas but not Africa or East Asia
 Trade routes and networks determined a cities success
and growth-called mercantile city where trade was
central to design
Industrial Cities
 Because of the Industrial Revolution-the
manufacturing city emerged-where factories
attracted laborers from all over boosting major
population growth in urban areas
 Transportation to and fro and within develops
 Problems will grow quickly but so will solutions like
government intervention and city planning and zoning
World Cities and
 Manufacturing cities begin to decline as outsourcing
and LDC’s are used for that type of labor
 World Cities include:
 Largest regional cities: New York, Tokyo, London
 Second Tier cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, Brussels,
Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, Sao Paolo, Singapore,
 Third Tier cities: Bangkok, Bombay, Hong Kong, Manila,
Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Mexico
City, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg
Tiers of World Cities
 Based on centrality of these services Business-corporations, banks, insurance companies,
stock exchanges, legal and accounting firms, airports,
busy harbors, junction of rail and highway networks
 Consumer-retail business, entertainment and cultural
offerings (plays, concerts, restaurants, museums)
 Public-government headquarters, ambassadors,
 Term created by UN in the 1970’s
 25 total megacities=population over 10 million
 Some include:
Mexico City
New York City
Sao Paulo
Los Angeles
Functions of Cities
 Transportation centers-where major routes
converge (roads, railroads, sea traffic, air transport)
 Special Function Cities-engaged in mining,
manufacturing, or recreation
 Provide goods and services for surrounding area
from a central place
Economic Base of Cities
 City workers provide services outside city- “export
activities” money flows into city-basic sector of a
cities economy.
 Those who produce goods or services for residents
of city-non-basic or service sector
 Some geographers compare number of workers in
service and basic sectors-called base ratio of a city
The Changing City
 Borchert’s 4 Stages in the Evolution of American cities:
 1. Sail-Wagon Epoch(1790-1830)-technologies determined
job opportunities of people entering city
 2. Iron Horse Epoch (1830-1870)-railroad technology
changed nature of trade and employment
 3. Steel-Rail Epoch (1870-1920)-steel industry transformed
urban America and job opportunities of workers
 4. Auto-Air-Amenity Epoch (1920-1960)- internal
combustion engine came to dominate lifestyles,
employment, and economic base of cities
Models of Urban Systems
 2 theories of settlement geography-patterns of
settlement on earth
 Rank-Size Rule-true for urbanized cities in the US not in
LDC’s or in regions with a dominate primate city-nth
largest city will be 1/nth the size of the largest city-2nd
largest city will be ½ the size of the first ranked city
 .
Models of Urban Systems
 Central Place Theory-cities are centers for distribution of
goods and services for non-urban populations
 The landscape is divided into noncompeting market areas—
complementary regions where each area and its merchants
have a monopoly
 Market areas form a series of hexagons, no area is unserved, no two centers
 Central place is at the center of each hexagon, supplies all
goods and services to that area
 Market area is determined by the number of goods and
 Some hexagons have smaller ones within it, hierarchy of
central places
Internal Cities
 Analyze the internal land space of a city, varying uses
 Use several factors to analyze
High cost of accessible space
Societal and cultural needs
Models of Urban Land Use
 Concentric Zone Model-Cites grow outward from a
central area (CBD) in a series of concentric rings
 Sector Model-variant of concentric zone theory,
cities develop in sectors not rings from a (CBD)
 Multiple-Nuclei Model-a city grows from multiple
nodes, not just from a (CBD)
Patterns of class, age,
gender, race, and ethnicity
 Social area analysis-takes census data and overall
picture of how various peoples are distributed
within an area (city)
 Most Urban Land Models support the idea that
people prefer to live near others with similar
 Social Class, Age and Marital Status, Gender
(feminization of poverty), Race and Ethnicity
clustered into (ghettos) from historical segregation
patterns in US

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