1 Urban Origins and Evolution of Canadian Cities Review.docx

6 Pages

Environment and Urban Sustainability
Course Code
EUS 202
Christopher Greene

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EUS Component 1: Lecture Slide Notes [Slides 1-22] Cities vary: Spatially (across space) Temporally (through time) Scholars: Wheatley (focused on social and political changes) Urbanism: “particular set of functionally integrated institutions which were first devised ... to mediate the transformation of relatively egalitarian, ascriptive, kin‐structured groups into socially stratified, politically organized, territorially based societies.” Sjoberg (physical aspects and economic attributes) “It is a community of substantial size and population density that shelters a variety of non‐ agricultural specialists, including a literal elite.” Childe (characterizing distinguishing features) “size, population, records, exact sciences, trade.” What caused Urbanization/ the development of Cities? Preconditions for Urbanization:  Nomadic (Traveling by hunting, fishing, gathering) to Sedentary (Settled Agriculture)  Volume and reliable food supports higher numbers  Preconditions are required for success  Environmental factors make regions more desirable (climate, water availability, conditions, topography, availability, and other nature resources)  Technological developments storing, water, domestication of plants and animals  Social Organization managing population growth, resources and trade Theories of Urban Origins (explanatory hypotheses):  More food produced = larger population could be supported  Managing and distributing increased food supply = organized and centralized social structures  Emergence of a stratified class system (wealthy elites drove development i.e. palaces, arenas, monuments)  Development of jobs = craftsmen, engineers, administrators)  Criticism: Surplus alone is too simplistic, social organization is required BEFORE surplus is produced. Hydrological Factors:  Early cities emerges from areas that relied on water management (irrigation)  Elaborate irrigation systems were not possible without cooperation on a large scale  BEFORE surplus jobs, social organization, centralization of administrations, are required  Criticisms: social organizations are required before or parallel, projects possible without change in social organization, several early cities emerges without complex irrigation systems. Population Pressures: Boserup:  Increasing population and diminishing wild food sources played a role  Difficult to determine causality (did increase food = population drive OR did population drive = increase food)  Declining wild sources COULD have driven people to the support of agriculture  This also contributed to technological breakthroughs in agriculture intensification Trading Requirements:  Urban centers have grown around marketplaces  Evolution of cities MAY have been related to trade  Trading Networks require Formal Systems  Need for trade = advances social organization + centralized institutions Defense Needs:  Need for people to gather for protection  Irrigation systems are potential targets/agricultural communities benefit from military protection  Widely agreed that defense is NOT initial cause of city evolution  Evidence? Not all early cities had defensive structures Religious Causes:  A lot of evidence leans towards the importance of religion in early cities (temple, monuments  Religious elites had political and economic power that could influence social organization and change  OVER TIME…resilient religious institutions reinforced these changes and contributes to urban growth Conclusion: Not one cause, but a combination as to how cities first developed. Change and Evolution was gradual and not abrupt “urban revolution”. Environment: Lecture Slide Notes [Slides 23-30] Environment: Lecture Slide Notes [Slides 31-35] Planned and Unplanned cities Organic Growth: Unplanned evolutions, does not indicate absence of central authority, strong control over irrigation, defense, etc. Gridiron Street Pattern (Pre-determined): Planned approach to growth = early authority control Internal structure DOES NOT remained fixed or immobile AND many early cities have both organic and planned growth Environment: Lecture Slide Notes [Slides 35-] Urban Development in Canada Five Stages of “Epochs” (Ages, Periods, etc.) The Mercantile Era (1600-1800)  Economy dependent of resource extraction (providing resources to home country)  Intentional Deterrence of economic growth and political evolution if potential to challenge home country  MAJOR settlements on coasts and waterways (method of long-distance transportation)  Largest exported? FUR  Population was small and dispersed (much smaller than U.S.A cities)  “Staples Theory”: Harold Innis (economic historian): “evolution of demographics, economy, politics a function of resources exported.”  Main Exports: FUR b/c valuable, low-volume commodity.  Minimal shipping capacity needed to turn significant profits (needed to weigh out) – ships were small, return voyage from Europe had little space for immigrants  Influenced urban development (few centers were transfer points for collection and short-term storage)  Urban Form: pedestrian-oriented, most cities followed grid-iron road structure Agricultural Settlements (1800-1850)  Canada: Higher immigration rates = population growth (2,436,000 by 1851)  Reached 10% of the U.S population  Population Growth: natural growth rate was high especially in south, favoring European emigrati
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