GGRA03: Citites and Environments:
(Part I: Patterns of Urbanization, Part II: Contemporary Urban Ecology)
Patterns of Urbanization
Modern cities ideal: concrete built form conflicts with ideals of nature
Nature often considered as being ‘outside’ of cities
19 century: growing public concern about the environmental hazards of
industrial cities in Europe and North America
rapid industrialization (overuse of natural resources)
overcrowded housing (during the 19 century, London had the largest
population in the world)
disease (cholera became global disease at this time, and other diseases
became rampant during this time)
pollution (streets and nearby bodies of water were polluted by excess
garbage and unused materials)
Urban Public Health Movement:
Political movement toward improving the welfare of city residents
Series of reforms to improve sanitation in order to decrease disease and improve
quality of life in cities
Municipal (city) government investment in public infrastructure
Emergence of urban planning – land use zoning.
Development of factories towns – towns which had a large percentage of its
workers working in a particular company.
Main responses to problems of the 19 North American/European city:
Redeveloping the central city:
“slum clearances”: redevelopment of poor, working class
There was an increase in political awareness of the lack of ‘natural’ space
Belief that more green space would cure the “ills of the industrial city”.
Exodus from Central city: Suburbanization
Public opinion that dense cities are unhealthy both mentally and physically
Development of new residential settlements away from cities with green
‘Anti-city’ sentiments began to emerge
Cities considered ‘un-natural’, and homes for the poor.
o Example: Garden City Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928) a prominent urban planner mentioned
the concept in his book, “Garden Cities of Tomorrow”, which was
published in 1898
• Plans for ‘garden cities’ outside of central cities.
• Low density housing.
• Separation of housing away from industry
• Prototype for the 20 century suburb.
Based on the concept of the Three Magnets (where will people go?),
and how suburbs are a combination of the positive aspects of both
cities and country.
Characteristics of suburbs include:
• single detached housing
• private home ownership
• private lots
• automobile centred neighbourhood unit.
• arterial roads
• more access to green spaces
Emergence of the planned suburb base