Why study the city?
excitement, great mystery, human diversity
different people old young
9%30%60% live in cities
too many people cannot give water, etc to everyone
failings – poverty etc
Deciding what is urban?
Population size or density
Canada ▯Must contain more than 400 people per sq. k. 1000+
Urban cluster ▯census bureau term for a combination of adjacent urban areas that
extend across city, county, or state boundaries
Conurbation ▯interconnected areas of continuous build up development
World cities are growing by 1 million people per week
2050 ▯more than 2/3 will be urban dwellers
The Urban Transformation
Cities are 10,000 years old
Urbanization: the changes resulting from people moving into cities and other populated
areas. Populated growth and concentration
Levels of urbanization:
Metropolitan area: large population center, has a high degree of economic and social
integration. Large city 100,000. Public transport, employment, media, activities etc.
Micropolitan area: atleast 10,000. Less than 50,000 high degree of ….. same as other Megaregion: when two or more metropolitan areas expand so that they intermingle to
form urban complex. Population in the 10s of millions…
Megacity: a metropolitain area can constitute its own megalopolis if the population
within its municipal boundary numbers at least 10 million people.
Global City: (world city) occupies an influential position in the global economic system
attracting worldwide investments and exercising considerable economic power
World systems analysis: economic well being of most cities heavily depends on their
placement within this world hierarchy.
Urbanism: the culture or way of life of city dwellers. Lifestyle patterns, behavior, work
Social stratification: ranking of people in terms of valued resources.
Social power: ability to achieve ones goals and to shape events. Rich▯shaping lives
poor▯trying to cope
Urbanists developed two related areas of study:
Urban geography: focuses on city’s location and natural resources
Urban ecology: analyzes how people spread out within an urban area.
Invasionsuccession: ecological process which whole sections of a city change
Postmodernism: reaction against assumption that rational objective efforts can explain
reality with any certainty.
Aristotle: said that initially people came to cities for security.
Urban political economy:
Cosmic calendar: Carl Sagan… suggested that we imagine the entire history of our
planet compressed into a single calendar year.
Divison of labour: specialized tasks to earn a living
Hierarchical power structure:
Jericho: oldest city in the world (archaeologists say)
Catal Huyuk: population of 6000 Citystates: cities that controlled the surrounding regions, including a number of other
towns villages and rural lands
Egyptian cities: great pyramids of giza – modern reminders of another empire – after the
rise of Mesopotamia
Regal/ritual city: important urban center with a population of no more than 30,000.
(Chan chan – china)
Bourgeoisie: (of the town) middle class, consisted of shopkeepers, traders, bureaucrats,
government officials, and people in commercial ventures.
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