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Lecture 7

Geography 2060A/B Lecture 7: World Cities Lecture 7

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Western University
Geography 2060A/B
Zubedaar Kuuire

West-African Imperial Syste Ethiopia Bantu States West-African Imperial Syste Ethiopia Bantu States World Cities Lecture 7 Africa: • Not a country • Least urbanized, growing rapidly • Limited opportunities for employment • Lack of housing, poor infrastructure, increasing inequality • Oversimplified development views • Continent has the extremes of urban development • A lot of issues are from increasing inequalities • 1/3 Africans are middle class • Development relies on the private sector • Municipalities fall behind on infrastructure, social services • Are these ‘hopeless cases’ or ‘works in progress’? • Countries have only been independent for a short period of time Historical Geography of UD: • Colonialism merely changed the path of urbanism in Africa • Colonialism impacted urban form indirectly at first (slave trade era), later directly (colonial settlement) • Most cities exhibit characteristics of multiple eras Ancient pre-colonial urban centers: • Like Middle East: formerly huge cities may not exist today • Major centers of urbanism: o Ethiopia (Meroe, Axum) o Sahelian cities (on network of caravan routes) o Swahili coast (Mogadishu, Mombasa) – largely disappeared by 1500 o Bantu states (less enduring influence on th urbanism) • By 9 century, Swahili coast held significance – in international trade • Trade routes linked Arab/Persian traders to the interior (Zimbabwe, Lake Victoria) • Growth and organization derived from these exchanges • Kilwa had diplomatic ties to China • Gravity of Arab world drew trade routes north and east o Europe from North routes • Existing slave trade followed trade routesUrban Development after 1500: • European influence was negligible inland for 250 years – very little influence • Slave trade shifted to the coast, influenced growth of port cities • Exploring the seas was important during this period • Port city growth • Decline of slave trade  ‘legitimate’ trade in raw materials • Growth in towns capturing new economy (Ibadan, Zanzibar, Khartoum) • Development of South African European cities (Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, East London, Pretoria) • Eventually decline in trade lead to emergence of new urban forms • European contributions primarily on the coast • Grip on economic system stymied internal development • Coastal settlements were only transshipment points and thus lacked urban facilities • Lack of diffusion of technology to the interior Urbanization in the Era of Colonial Rule: • ‘Scramble for Africa’ • Urbanization followed: part of Euro social and political objectives South African Urbanization: • Mining, agro-industrial towns already well established by 1900 (Dutch, British) • More interior urban centers • Intensive railway pattern, high connectivity • Industrialization not common outside of South Africa • Prioritization of mineral export (as in Latin America) • Some industrial development in Zambian copper belt • Africans limited in urban living options • Outsized service sectors to support administrative functions of European towns • Cities remained small (deliberate underdevelopment) • Colonial governments pushed to invest (Soviet pressure) ** look at this • ‘Dam break’ fueled massive rural to urban migration • infrastructure development during this period • Colonial legacy: historica
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