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Chapter 4

GGRA03 Chapter 4.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Andre Sorensen

GGRA03: Cities and Environments Professor: Andre Sorensen Chapter 4: Contemporary Urbanization and Environmental Dynamics We are in the midst of the Third Urban Revolution, with three main aspects of global urban change. 1. The world has become increasingly urban 2. Cities have continued to grow larger 3. Creation of giant urban regions and megacities Urban Dynamics  Throughout the twentieth century, the world has become increasingly urban  Urbanization is occurring rapidly in the developing world  The city was overwhelmed with too many migrants and not enough housing, schools, or health services  Any city would find it difficult to supply housing and health services to an additional 3000,000 people yearly o As a result, many developing cities grew in informal ways, embodied in the creation of a unique form of urban space: the shanty town  Scholars have identified globalizing city regions in which most of urban and industrial growth is concentrated Urban Regions and Megacities  The largest city region in the US is the urbanized northeast seaboard, a region first named by Jean Gottmann as Megalopolis o Megalopolis continues to remain a significant center for the nation’s population with almost one in six of the US population living in this single giant urban region o Megalopolis is arguably one of the most environmentally impacted regions in the US o Megalopolis is one giant waste-generating, waste-disposal region  Megacities- defined as cities with populations of at least 10 million- also impose a heavy environmental toll o Megacities are magnets for people, organizations, of and economies, and the fulcrum of many countries’ social and economic dynamics  Motor vehicle traffic is a significant source of air pollution in all of the megacities; in nearly half of the world’s megacities it is the single most important source  As megacities grow, the peripheries of these cities enlarge, consuming agricultural land, forests and wetlands  Although megacities have mega-environmental impacts, it is important to note that many smaller cities have environmental degradation problems that are often more severe Postindustrial Cities  Industrial cities in the developed world have a difficult time in an era of world competition and of global shift of industry toward much lower cost centers  To be seen as industrial is to be associated with the old, the polluted and the out-of-date Waterfront Redevelopment 1 GGRA03: Cities and Environments Professor: Andre Sorensen  Urban waterfront redevelopment projects were among the most prominent examples of urban renewal in the 1970s and 1980s  Waterfront development is not limited to cities in the rich world  In Beijing, China, waterfront development has occurred alongside rapid economic growth Superfund Sites and Brownfield’s  The Superfund established a multi-billion dollar federal trust fund to pay for emergency measures as well as cleanup of sites for which responsible parties could not be identified  Many superfund sites are in and around urban areas, where there has been a long history of water or land pollution  Derelict site areas had not been cleaned up or were a low priority on the Superfund list  These contaminated areas: brownfields  Brownfields, unmediated (not cleaned up) can have health impacts that include cancer mortality, reproductive effects and chronic disease morbidity  Several decades of successful cleanups and redevelopment projects show that given incentives, developers find it profitable to absorb the risks of purchasing,
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