labfImportant Terms for the Final Exam:
Review key concepts and review course readings in relation to these concepts, as
they are what the exam question will be about!
• Smart Growth.
Concept and policy developed in the 1950’s for the establishment of growth
management policies, including the establishment of urban growth boundaries
(greenbelts), and developing within existing boundaries. Caused by concerns about
suburban expansion, and decreases in agricultural land.
• Urban Sustainability.
Balance of interrelated social development objectives, environmental
protection goals, and economic growth strategies in cities. Emphasizes circular
metabolism, awareness to the consumption of natural resources, the fact cities
cannot keep using resources and producing waste at their current rates. Marketing
of sustainability has become an aspect of consumer culture, city life.
• Society, Nature, and Landscapes.
• Environmental Justice.
Obligation to act in an environmentally just manner
• Suburban Development.
Cities and Urbanization.
The process of becoming urban. Characterized by the removal of rural
characteristics, social and technological advancements, redistribution of populations
form rural to urban settlements, movement from country to the city. Modern cities
ideal: concrete built form conflicts with ideals of nature Socio-nature: intertwining of social and natural processes in the transformation of
Cyborg Urbanization: mechanical insertions into natural urban spaces.
- straightening of river channels
- solar panels
Modern cities ideal: concrete built form conflicts with ideals of nature.
Linear metabolism: traditional metabolism of cities where resources move
through urban systems without concern about the origin or destination of their
Circular metabolism: every output from a city becomes an input which renews
the living environment (resources are recycled).
Urban Planning: future ideas and implementable practices for shaping land use
and social processes in cities.
Sustainable Urban Planning: future ideas and implementable practices for
shaping and mitigating human impacts on the natural environment in cities.
Institutional: government and other public sector organizations.
Non-governmental: non-profit organizations; community groups; individual
Private sector: business, planning and design firms, developers
Policy: document outlining visions for method of sustainable urban planning. Can
be a legislative policy – enforceable by government.
Plan: document outlining objectives and strategies for sustainable urban planning. Implementation: the action of providing for and evaluating planning objectives
and strategies: delivering the policy or plan. An example can be seen in persuading
a politician to help popularize a plan. If the planned is plausible enough, it will
receive the support of the politician.
Greenways: linear thoroughfares for pedestrians and bicycles only.
Public transit: subsidized transit systems intended for daily commuting use.
Urban Intensification: Brownfield redevelopment and in-fill development. Important Concepts/Terms
Urban: the characteristic attributed to a physical space (city) including
- higher density population/buildings,
- less farming higher concentration of employment
- more roads transportation infrastructure
- higher concentration of political, religious, cultural and educational
- Higher concentration of industries.
City: a physical space with urban characteristics
Urbanization: the process of becoming urban. Characterized by the removal of
rural characteristics, social and technological advancements, redistribution of
populations form rural to urban settlements, movement from country to the city.
Urbanization Level*: the amount of population living in an area defined as urban.
Urbanization Rate*: the speed at which the process of urbanization occurs.
Cities and regions that have become key actors in the global economy
(Sassen 1994). Primary global cities include New York, Tokyo, London; Secondary
global cities LA, Hong Kong, Sydney, Frankfurt, Toronto, Mexico.
The three characteristics of a global city Sassen are 1) command centres; 2)
Key locations and market places; 3) Major sites of global economic production.
Transnational urban system*: global cities linked through globalization of urban
Transnational corporations*: have headquarters in global cities. Fire economy*: Economy based on Finance, Insurance, and Real-estate. Non-
industrial economic activities and professional services found in global cities.
Inter Urban Competition*: Global cities compete for business, investment and
Non-renewable energy sources*: Urban development is reliable on this energy
which includes fossil fuels.
Peak Oil*: (Hubbert peak theory), there is a point in time in which global oil
production peaks due to overproduction, at which the rate of production falls into
terminal decline. Based on economic as supply diminishes demand will increase and
prices will increase. Predicted to happen in 2020’s. This is forcing cities to find
alternative sources of energy, new policies, reshaping cities.
Ecological footprint: A quantifiable measurement of human demand on earth’s
natural resources. It compares human consumption of natural resources with
earth’s capacity to regenerate them. Gives an estimate of how many planets it
would take to support human life with a certain consumptive lifestyle. Factors
include house size, transportation used, choice of diet, food purchasing and
Modern city ideal: concrete built form conflicts with the ideals of nature, nature is
seen as outside of the city.
Public Health Movement*: 1850’s onward it was a political movement towards
improving welfare of city residents. A series of reforms to improve sanitation,
investment in infrastructure, emergence of urban planning and land use zoning.
Neighbourhood clearances*: The redevelopment of poor working class
neighbourhoods “slum clearances” political awareness of the lack of nature in cities,
and the belief that more green space would cure the ills of the city.
Urban Renewal*: redeveloping the central city. Examples are Central Park, New
York, and social housing projects in NY, Regent Park.
Suburbanization*: Exodus from the central city caused by public opinion that
dense cities are unhealthy. Development of new residential settlements away from
cities with green space. Characterized by single detached homes, private home ownership, private lots, automobile centered, neighbourhood unit.
Green City Model*: Ebenezer Howard, 1898, planned for garden cities outside of
central cities, low density housing, separation of housing from industry, the
prototype for 20th century suburb. The three magnets Town, Country, and Town-
Country, people are in the middle being pulled in each direction.
Neighbourhood unit*: developed by Clarence Parry (1923) adopted into suburban
planning characterized by arterial roads and residences on quiet streets. Levittown
planned suburb, Long Island New York.
Ecological cities(R.Platt): interrelation between human decisions and ecological
processes. Humans are part of a larger urban ecosystem. Application of ecological
concept to understand urban consumption of natural resources.
Urban Metabolism*: Flow of resources and products through urban systems for
the benefit of urban populations (Giardet).
Linear Metabolism*: Traditional metabolism of cities where resources move
through urban systems without concerns about the origin or destination of their
Circular Metabolism*: Every output from a city becomes an input which renews
the living environment (resources are recycled).
Private Sector*: Businesses, planning and design firms, developers
Public sector*: Government, or public institutions
Third Sector*: non-profit organizations, citizens, community organizations
Sustainability*: extent to which this action is accomplished.
Sustainability*: “development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (United
Nations 1987). Concerns about the acceleration deterioration of the human
environment and natural resources, and consequences for social and economic