SOC312H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Multidimensional System, Primate City, Global City

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
SOC312 Chapter 10: Urbanization
Basic Concepts and Measures
Urbanization: The process by which the population concentration intensifies in
Urbanization is characterized by 3 developments:
1. Progressive concentration of people + economic activity in cities
2. Shift in the national economy
a. Non-agricultural mode of production becomes dominant
3. Increasing diffusion of technological innovation
a. Spreads from larger smaller urban and then rural so that urban and
rural become similar in extent and intensity of technology as well as
lifestyles, values, attitudes
Urbanism: refers to the style of life found in urban areas
City personal and isolating, no community
o Also a place of innovation and cultural creativity because it’s in an
anonymous environment so possible for people of like orientations to
form associations for the purposes of promoting activities of common
What is ‘urban’?
Canada, urban population comprises all incorporated places that have a pop of at
least 1000 and a density of at least 400 persons per square kilometre
(everywhere else is rural)
o But definitions of urban differs for every country
The Urban-Rural Dichotomy: An obsolete concept?
The rural-urban dichotomy (once commonly used to describe the social,
demographic, economic and spatial dimensions of urban and rural areas) is to
Significant changes in communication technologies, transportation, and
economic activity have brought about new forms of urbanization that are best
studied using a multidimensional system
Consider ways in which urban and rural functions are increasingly intermixed:
o Advances in transportation and communication technologies
Megalopolises: A very large, heavily populated city
Basic Measures of Urbanization:
Urban Proportion: refers to percentage of a country’s population that resides in
areas that are designated as ‘urban’
o Limitation is the wide variation (urban population is defined
differently in different nations), so hard to compare rates of different
  
  
Percentage Change in urban Proportion
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o Measures the magnitude of increase or decrease between any two points
in time of the population living in urban areas
      
  
Rate of Growth of Urban Population
o Examine rate of growth in actual number of people that live in urban
areas rather than looking at change in the urban proportion
o If time relatively short, use arithmetic,
o If interval is longer than exponential or geometric better
Distribution of Urban Population by Size of settlement
o Need to create size categories of settlements, classify pop according to
these categories
Change in the number of settlements of a given population size
o Look at increase and decrease in the number of settlements of each size
Components of Urbanization
Urbanization is driven by fertility, mortality, immigration, emigration
The greater rate of growth of national population, the faster the rate of
Annexation: process in which a city artificially expands its geographical
boundaries and also its population size by appropriating adjacent land or
territory that typically contains sparsely or densely populated smaller
Incorporation of new places: legal/administrative process that formalizes the
establishes of settlements as towns or cities
o Essentially increases number of towns and cities in a country
Prior to Industrial Revolution, European cities grew mostly through migration
(characterized by high mortality rates)
o Due to underdeveloped socioeconomic conditions and widespread
infectious diseases
Cities in Europe did not reach self-maintenance (in terms of pop growth through
natural increase) until 18th and 19th centuries
Over 19th and 20th C, natural increase replaced migration as the main factor in
urban growth
Natural increase is responsible for a large portion of urban pop growth in most
contemporary developing countries, accounting for over half of urban pop
o But over the whole country, it’s not spread out evenly
o A lot of regions growth wasn’t due to natural increase but by net
migration and reclassification (annexation)
o As fertility rates continue to decline in developing countries, internal
migration plays a greater role
Urbanization History
Early Origins of cities:
3 requirements for first cities to emerge:
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