The growth of people living in cities it the last ~10,000 years
Urbanization: More and more people living in places defined as urban
Urbanism: The way of life associated with cities.
NOT THE SAME THING!
C. Fischer – “You can’t have one without the other”
- Not the general belief
You can have an urban lifestyle without urbanization. You can have one without the
Urban Ecology – the interaction between the city and the people who live there.
- We have to look at 4 things (P.O.E.T.)
o Population – the number of people and how dense they are
o Organization – We have changing social organization
S.E.S. – Socio-Economic Stratification (The richer get what
they want, and the poor can’t)
Social Classes – the rules of behavior get more
o Environment – In order for a population to grow, you need WATER.
The amount of water and food determine how long a
civilization can survive.
o Technology – technology involves the distribution of water.
How do you get resources to the city and distribute
Subsistence Agriculture – Grow enough food to feed ourselves, if environment gets bad,
Crop Surplus – we have more than what we need (barter it, sell it, do something with
the extra) Granary – place to store crop surplus
Occupational Specialization – As you settle down, you have more and more stuff.
Somebody needs to build a granary, someone has to protect it, someone has to
maintain it, someone has to fund it, someone has to know when to plant and harvest
crops (in between last and first frost). These are all occupational specializations.
There are changes in the size of the family. As technology improves, the size of the
family increases. Multi-generational network (a.k.a. Extended Kinship network)
Primogeniture – the first born gets everything from the parents, handed down.
- This is a form of stratification
o The eldest son gets a farm, and has to take care of his brothers and
sisters, and gives them a small piece of land. The eldest son is a higher
class than the other brothers and sisters, because he has land, and
~8 – 10kya, people stopped wandering and began settling.
Crossroad within a wall (Egyptian hieroglyphic for city)
Domestication of plants
Surplus Buildings Villages Cities
Water population Characteristics that differentiate the first cities from their predecessors
(V. Gordon Childe):
2. Non-agricultural specialists (black/white/gold/silversmiths etc)
3. Taxation and capital accumulation (No public buildings w/o public fundin)
4. Public buildings
5. A ruling class
6. Writing and numbers
7. Predictive ‘sciences’ – Agronomy was one of the first sciences (science of
agriculture), uses astronomy (seeing when stars line up to tell date)
8. Art – Embellish buildings to make them look better.
10. Residential basis for citizenship – People were granted privileges to enter the city
Greek City-states – 3,000 years ago.
Phratries – Brotherhood (fraternities). Groups which had certain rights, which not
everybody has. The slaves/peasants had no rights
Acropolis – “High City” – city on a hill. Phratries lived in these cities – well protected
Agora – meeting place, a place for the exchange of goods.
Roman Empire – City populations became astronomical because of this.
Circus Maximus – Largest stadium ever, even larger than any stadium today. There were
so many people in Rome that had nothing to do, so they needed to be entertained.
There were games and events here on a regular basis.
Endentured Servitude – People sold themselves and their family in order to survive
In Europe, the Catholic was very powerful. They controlled science, knowledge,
The Bubonic Plague wiped out about half of the population of major European cities. It
also wiped out the power of the catholic church. Day 3
City Date Population Areas (Acres)
Paris 1192 59,200 945
Rome 1198 35,000 3450
Venice 1363 77,700 810
London 1377 34,971 720
Amsterdam 1470 7,500 195
At the beginning of the Rennaisance (Rebirth), Italy began to unite between its city
states. Trade began to increase, trade of money and ideas. A standardized coinage
system arises. They began to build town squares, artists were hired such as Michael
angelo to design the city. There was a rebirth of society and civilization in turn, The cities
began to turn some of their power to the state. At the end of the dark ages, there was
no concept of taxes and so they began to come back. Taxation meant there would be
money for public buildings, etc.
Peoples main means of transportation was to walk which limited the ability of the city to
expand. People had a lot of kids at this point because there was a high infant mortality
rate. Life expectancy was very short.
This began to change and the mortality rate started to drop around 1750 because
nutrition was more valued. The animals were fed better, people were eating more fruits
and vegetables, etc. Sanitation began to be more valued, people began to bathe.
Stage 1 – Malthusian population, Stage 2 – Demographic gap or transition population
(1700 – 1900), Stage 3 – Modern population (1900 - ).
People were still having a lot of kids (unaware of the lowered infant mortality rate)
There are agricultural advancements; the realization that it is important to grow….
1800-1890 – there is a huge population boom, population increasing 4 -5 times, even 9-
10 times. (London 850,000 in 1800 to about 4,000,000 in 1890)
There is a market economy (Stage 3) Pre-industrial Urban-industrial
DEMOGRAPHIC - High mortality - Low mortality
- High fertility - Low fertility
BEHAVIOURAL - Particularistic - Universalistic
- Prescribed - Functionalistic
- Multi-roles per - Specific role(s)
individual - Emphasis on innovation
- Traditional mores and achievement
POLITICAL - Religious authority - Secular polity
- Interpersonal - Elected authority
communication - Mass media
- Education of the elite - Rational bureaucracy
- Societal control - Secondary control
- Mass education
SPATIAL - Parochial (narrow - Regional/national
- Close ties to - Specialized roles
surroundings - Geographic mobility
- Life = neighbourhood - Central Business District
- Decentralization (CBD)
SOCIETAL - Extended family - Atomized
- Ethnic cohesion - Ethnic cleavages
- No middle class - Destruction of family
- Small elite - Functions to agencies
- Disadvantaged - Middle class majority
ECONOMIC - Non-monetary - Pecuniary based
exchange - Interdependence
- Little specialization - Capital intensive
- Hereditary roles - Division of labour
- Home = workplace - Socio-economic
- Non-standardized mobility
workplace - Standardization
Eventually all of the problems od the fast growing city filled with bad smell and disease,
etc, led to the inception of the suburb. People were able to transport to the outer city
because of transportation routes of train and street cars. The city then doubles in
radius. The rich people move out of the crowded, messy city. The poor people are still in the city, they cant afford the transportation costs or the homes etc. The people who
move out tend to be in the family foundation years, 30-40. The older people are left in
the city, this means the average age of people in the suburbs is lower than that of the
Academics around 1850 began to notice these changes (city, outer city)
Ferdinand Toennies (Germany): there are changes in society due to the urban
industrialization of our society.
He wrote a book called Gemeinshaft und Gesselshaft (way of life in the small town,
village rural community) and (fast based compact, city life)
Ferdinand Toennies – credited with being the father of urban sociology. Described
contrasting lifestyles (ones that used to exist, and ones that do) – Gemeinschaft.
Everybody knows everybody, who their enemies are, who their friends are, etc.
Gemeinschaft roughly equals Community. People working together, care about one
another, common language, common good, common evil, common interests.
Everything is the same. It is the best place to live for the people living there. It is the
normal, natural way of living. The way things are supposed to be.
The problem, according to Toennies, was that the Gemeinschaft was coming to an end.
Gemmeinschaft becomes Gesellschaft. Gesellschaft roughly equals association. People
don’t know each other, and it doesn’t really matter. Sociologists call this apathy. There
is a general disconcern for everybody else. People are egocentric. People want to do
things in their own way, as an individual. Selfish, Egotistical, uncaring, apathetic. All
these characteristics are the lifestyle in Gesellschaft. One person is different from those
around. Lack of trust, caring, etc. Toennies says that a Gesellschaft is inevitable, and
there is nothing we can do about it.
According to Toennies, Gesellschaft is unnatural. If you’re spending time with other
people, you should get to know them. Human beings shouldn’t live this way. This was
around 1887 (around the turn of the last century)
Emile Durkheim (1893) wrote the Division of Labour. This is the key to understanding
society. There are a few occupations in a traditional society, everybody can do anything,
people share everything. There is a mechanical solidarity. People are bound to the
people around them by common similarities. The common backgrounds tell the society
when to do what. History dictates what happens that day. Clothing is predetermined by
society. It is a mechanical process. You have no choice in the matter, you do these things. If you don’t do whatever everybody else does, you are not a part of the
community. This is not how we’re going to live in modern society.
In Modern society, there is an organic solidarity. There is lots of specialization and
competition. Everybody has a specialized task to do. This is normal, this is natural, this is
the way a body works, and also how contemporary societies work. There is a division of
labour and people specialize. This is preferable to the nature of mechanically organized
towns. There is free will in an organic society. According to Durkheim, the only way to
develop your full human potential, you must exercise free will. This allows for human
We are moving away from mechanically solidified society, to an organically solidified
society, as this allows us to develop fully.
Durkheim and Toennies are similar in their views of how societies evolve from one
organization to a new organization. They saw the evolutionary nature from the old way
to the new way of living.
Georg Simmel (1905) – thinking about life within the cities. Wasn’t interested in the
evolutionary nature of cities, rather, with how people behave within cities. We make
rational choices as to whats important and what not important – social reserve. He
wrote “Metropolis and Mental Life”. Social Reserve nowadays may be called Selective
perception. We make choices and see how this affects us. People behave in a way that
makes their lives easier, and helps them maintain sanity. You know whats important to
you, and you do those things. You filter out those things that are not important to you.
This gives you the appearance of being apathetic. This rationality allows us to maximize
our individual development and our individual freedom, but it seems to make us cut off
and alienated from others.
Max Weber (Véber) – wrote a book called The City (1921 – published)
His big contribution was that we should look at cities scientifically. You have to look for
hard facts and information, in order to analyze patterns in the evolution of cities. Came
up with the term Full Urban Community – his conceptualization of the ultimate city. #1
things is that the city needs to be based on trade and commerce. There also must be
some degree of autonomy – some degree of control over your laws and behavior.
Basically, your own legal system, judiciary force, police force, military autonomy, etc. Be
self-sufficient to some degree. His ideas are a little extreme, as they basically dictate
medieval cities, city within walls, with moat, and guards, etc…. He said that cities of the
20 century will be doomed. They are worse than the cities before, and the cities before
that, and the city before that, etc. The best is in the past. Cities are not progressing
positively, rather negatively. Full urban community is an ideal type, but not the only
ideal type. All four people offer their opinions on how cities develop, and that cities are offering
things they never have before, good or bad.
(1850) – pop, 30,000
(1870) – 300,000
(1890) – 1.1M
(1910) – 2.2M
(1930) – 3.4M
Immigrants from all over the world were moving into Chicago. People didn’t move here
because the city had similarities to their hometowns, rather it had heterogeneity.
Chicago offered a diverse culture and a broad gathering of people. The first department
of Sociology was set up in Chicago in 1890(?)
Robert Park (1916) – wrote a paper called Suggestions for investigation of human
behavior in urban environment. Basically, the only way to learn about cities is to go out
there and experience it and watch it. There is a pattern in the city. He used to be a
journalist for about 15 years, so this allowed him to gather his knowledge about cities,
as he would watch it and report about it. He said his conclusions were based on
observational field research. First conclusion was that a city is a commercial structure
(Weber). Chicago could not exist without the cattle industry. This allowed it to grow and
expand. There has to be a complex division of labour (Durkheim) – specialization,
erosion of traditional lifestyles. He unified the ideas of past theorists. Secondly, The
traditional role of the family is replaced by complex structures (Weber). Judicial
structures were implemented over traditional structure. Town meetings were
implemented – bureaucracy, etc. Thirdly, city dwellers are more rational. They don’t do
things out of sentiment and emotion, rather, they do whats in their best interest
Louis Wirth – wrote Urbanism as a Way of Life (1938). THE most influential piece of
literature written in urban sociology. Was a student at the University of Chicago. He said
a city is a large, dense permanent settlement, with social/cultural heterogeneity. A lot of
people living in close proximity with each other. 3 factors: Size, Density, and
Urbanization: more and more people living in urban areas
Urbanism: unique urban lifestyle.
Evolutionary nature of society.
Urbanization – Chicago was urbanizing. Lots of people living in small areas. Robert park,
a journalist, studied with Simmel and more, starting thinking about this urbanization as he saw it happen. Said the only way to analyze a city is to do field research. Go out and
see the city for yourself. Louis Wirth – one of the more important students of park. He
was interested in urbanism – the way of life associated with cities. Urbanization vs
Urbanism (These terms mean different things). He said that Size, density, and
homogeneity cause people to behave in a particular matter.
Size - increase in the number of inhabitants of a settlement beyond a certain limit
brings about changes in the relations of people and changes in the character of the
- The greater the number of people interacting, the greater the potential
- Dependence upon a greater number of people, lesser dependence on
- Association with more people, knowledge of a smaller proportion, and of
these, less intimate knowledge
- More secondary rather than primary contacts; that is, increase in contacts
which are face to face, yet impersonal, superficial, transitory, and segmental
- More freedom from the personal and emotional control of intimate groups.
- Association in a large number of groups, no individual allegiance to a single
Density – Reinforces the effect of size in diversifying individuals and their activities, and
in increasing the structural complexity of the society.
- Tendency to differentiate and specialization
- Separation of residence from work place
- Functional specialization of areas – segregation of functions
- Segregation of people: city become