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Cities and Urbanization I (The Emergence of Urban Living).docx

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Michael Mercier

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Cities and Urbanization I: The Emergence of Urban Living Greater and greater proportions of the global population are living in urban areas each year. • Change over time: 10% to 50% in 200 years • Change over space: <30% to >80% Urban places can be thought of as: • Centres of large and densely concentrated populations • Centres of technological change and innovation • Centres of concentrations of power and economic activity • Places which reflect social, economic, and political diversity Early development of cities • 3500-3000 BCE in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates • Surplus Theory: agricultural surplus, social stratification, labour specialization, and rural to urban migration (principle of agglomeration) Social/cultural and economic transformation • Different forms of settlements • New forms of economic activity • New forms of social organization • New social institutions • People relied on others for their survival • Sedentary vs Nomadic Cit
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