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Midterm

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Department
Geography
Course
GGR124H1
Professor
Damian Dupuy
Semester
Winter

Description
Urban • Defined as places of intense social interaction and exchange between strangers • Generally have a dense agglomeration(concentration) of people and activities • Key characteristics are density, proximity and diversity Urbanization • Population shifting towards the urban areas • De-urbanization is the opposite (rural areas have a population growth) Metropolitanization • Metropolitan(larger urban areas) growing faster than the smaller urban areas Suburbanization • Suburban area population increase Principle Methods used to measure urban places: 1) Population 2) Economic Base 3) Administrative 4) Functional Note: Basic goods = City forming (agriculture, manufacturing) Non-Basic goods = city serving (government services) Urban Geography Is about, • Understanding the distribution of towns and cities • Accounting for the similarities and differences between them • Main themes : o System of cities – distribution of cities & towns o City as a system – internal structure of a system In Urban Geography we, • Recognize and describe the following of the urban area o Pattern, processes o Internal structure • Examine how people understand/react to these observed patterns/processes • Seek for how these patterns/processes originated Approaches to Urban Geography: • Environmentalism – Relationship between people and their environment o Site and situational studies o Urban morphology o Focuses on production, form and design of urban areas • Positivism – Human behavior is influenced by scientific/universal laws and therefore this produces observable patterns of urban activity o 2 main approaches  Ecological – Human behavior is based on ecological principles. • The most powerful groups get the most advantageous place in a given space • Example : Burgess’ Concentric Zone Model The idea behind this model is that  the city grows outward from a central  area in a series of rings. The size of the  rings may vary, but the order always  remains the same. This model suggests  that the social structure extends  outwards from the central business  district, meaning that the lower classes  live closer to the city center, while the upper classes live farther from the city center because they can afford the  commute. Also, as you get further away from the city density decreases. The rent tends to increase as you get further  away from the CBD and residents are more likely to rent near the center. As you get further away from the CBD it is more  likely that you will find condominiums. However, this model has its weaknesses. It does not take into account any physical  barriers and it does not take into account gentrification­ which may occur in these cities.  Neo-Classical – Driving force is rationality (or rather, the economic rationality of humans). Cost-minimization or benefits maximization. • Behavioral and Humanistic o The difference  Behavioral – Focused on decision making, on human behaviour, but seeks generalizations(for a model-like way)  Humanistic – Deeply subjective and complex relations exist between individuals and groups • Structuralism – Importance of social, economic and political structures in society. o Derived from the work of Karl Marx o Criticized due to the “classes” – too limiting • Postmodernism – Emphasizes that multiple perspectives help understand the urban area better than having 1 perspective have the say. o Visible impact seen in Chicago, Toronto and Berlin o Criticized since there can be endless interpretations for a city Scale of Analysis of urban geography Neighbourhood  City  Region National City System World system of Cities The Origin and Growth of Cities • Why did non-agricultural settlements arise? • Why did they get so geographically concentrated? Why do some of the urban settlements grow to become larger than other urban settlements? REASON: Agglomeration Economies • economic benefits due to the concentration of activities in the given space • 2 types of Agglomeration Economies  Localization - Closer to similar firms - Advantages are : benefit of labor pooling, development of industries, relative ease of communication and exchange of supplies, laborers and innovative ideas  Urbanization - Locating in an urban environment - (Infrastructure, Information, Economies of scale) NOTE : Agglomeration Diseconomies The term 'diseconomies of agglomeration' refers to the opposite case. Additional competition drives down pricing power. For example, spatially concentrated growth in automobile-oriented fields may create problems of crowding and traffic congestion. It is this tension between economies and diseconomies that allows cities to grow while keeping them from becoming too large. 2 concepts important to understand the development of cities 1) Social Surplus – Production of more basic (city forming) goods than needed for subsistence 2) Agglomeration – Concentration of activities/people/networks of relationships in space A  surplus trade and specialization B Reasons for a social surplus • New technology • Environmental change • Changes in social organization Early Urban Development Largest city was Rome Urbanism spread from Greece Planned Greece cities had a gridlock pattern Roman cities had the pattern too, in addition to, Square/rectangular town perimeter 2 main cross-streets E-W Decamanus N-S Cardo Middle period Urban Development Slowly growing European cities due to decrease in spatial interaction Commerce expanded function of city – Mercantilism Cities became industrial centres Industrial and Post-Industrial Urbanization Cities became places of population concentration Cities became more specialized North American Urbanization 4 phases to the urban development over time Stage 1: Frontier merchanitilism Stage 2: Early industrial capitalism (internal structures of cities changed) Stage 3: National Industrial Capitalism (Central business district in highest cost area) Stage 4: Mature Industrial Capitalism (Megalopolis emergence) Main megalopolis’s: BosWash San San (San Diego to San Francisco) & ChiPitts (Chicago to Pittsburgh)
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