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Urban Geography


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Title: Urban Geography

Urban Geography
  • Chapter 9

When and Why did People Start Living in Cities?
Key Question
  • City a conglomeration of people and buildings
    clustered together to serve as a center of
    politics, culture, and economics.

  • Urban
  • The buildup of the central city and the suburban
    realm the city and the surrounding environs
    connected to the city.

Shenzhen, China
The Modern Process of Urbanization a rural
area can become urbanized quite quickly in the
modern world
Shenzhen, China
Shenzhen changed from a fishing village to a
major metropolitan area in just 25 years. 25
years ago, all of this land was duck ponds and
rice paddies.
The First Urban Revolution
Agricultural Villages
  • Before urbanization, people often clustered in
    agricultural villages
  • a relatively small, egalitarian village, where
    most of the population was involved in
    agriculture. About 10,000 years ago, people began
    living in agricultural villages

The First Urban Revolution
  • Two components enable the
  • formation of cities
  • 1. an agricultural surplus
  • 2. social stratification
  • (a leadership class)

Five Hearths of Urbanization
  • In each of these hearths, an agricultural surplus
    and social stratification created the conditions
    necessary for cities to form and be maintained.

Five Hearths of Urbanization
  • Mesopotamia, 3500 BCE
  • Nile River Valley, 3200 BCE
  • Indus River Valley, 2200 BCE
  • Huang He and Wei River Valleys, 1500 BCE
  • Mesoamerica, 200 BCE

Indus River Valley
Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were two of the first
cities of the Indus River Valley. - intricately
planned - houses equal in size - no palaces -
no monuments
Huang He and Wei River Valleys
  • The Chinese purposefully planned their cities.
  • - centered on a
  • vertical structure
  • - inner wall built
  • around center
  • - temples and
  • palaces for the
  • leadership class

Terracotta Warriors guarding the tomb of the
Chinese Emperor Qin Xi Huang
  • Mayan and Aztec Civilizations
  • Many ancient cities were theocratic centers where
    rulers were deemed to have divine authority and
    were god-kings.

  • Between 300 and 900 CE, Altun Ha, Belize served
    as a thriving trade and distribution center for
    the Caribbean merchant canoe traffic.

Diffusion of Urbanization
  • The Greek Cities
  • by 500 BCE, Greeks were highly urbanized.
  • Network of more than 500 cities and towns
  • On the mainland and on islands
  • Each city had an acropolis and an agora

Athens, Greece
the agora
the acropolis
Diffusion of Urbanization
  • The Roman Cities
  • a system of cities and small towns, linked
    together with hundreds of miles of roads and sea
  • Sites of Roman cities were typically for trade
  • A Roman citys Forum combined the acropolis and
    agora into one space.
  • Roman cities had extreme wealth and extreme
    poverty (between 1/3 and 2/3s of empires
    population was enslaved)

Roman Empire
The Roman Forum
Aqueducts in Nimes, France
During the mercantile era, the cities that
thrived were embellished by wealthy merchant
families, who built ornate mansions, patronized
the arts, participated in city governments, and
supported the reconstruction of city centers.
Genoa, Italy
The Second Urban Revolution
The Second Urban Revolution
  • A large scale movement of people to cities to
    work in manufacturing. Made possible by
  • 1. second agricultural revolution that improved
    food production and created a larger surplus
  • 2. industrialization, which encouraged growth of
    cities near industrial resources

Industrialized regions of Europe, 1914
During the second half of the 20th
century Nature of manufacturing changed and
locations changed, too. Many factories have been
abandoned, creating rust belts out of
once-thriving industrial districts.
Duisburg, Germany
Archaeologists have found that the houses in
Indus River cities, such as Mohenjo-Daro and
Harappa, were a uniform size each house had
access to a sewer system, and palaces were absent
from the cultural landscape. Derive a theory as
to why these conditions were present in these
cities that had both a leadership class and a
surplus of agricultural goods.
Where are Cities Located and Why?
Key Question
Site and Situation
  • Site
  • absolute location of a city
  • a citys static location, often chosen for
    trade, defense, or religion.
  • Situation
  • relative location of a city
  • a citys place in the region and the world
    around it.

Trade area
  • Trade area an adjacent region within which a
    citys influence is dominant.

Green Country, Oklahoma
Rank-Size Rule in a model urban hierarchy, the
population of the city or town will be inversely
proportional to its rank in the hierarchy.
For example largest city 12
million 2nd largest 6 million 3rd largest
4 million 4th largest 3 million
Primate City
  • The leading city of a country. The city is
    disproportionately larger than the rest of the
    cities in the country.
  • For example London, UK
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Paris, France
  • - the rank-size rule does not work for a
  • country with a primate city

Central Place Theory
  • Walter Christaller developed a model to predict
    how and where central places in the urban
    hierarchy (hamlets, villages, towns, and cities)
    would be functionally and spatially distributed.
  • Assumed surface is flat with no physical
  • soil fertility is the same everywhere
  • population and purchasing power are evenly
  • region has uniform transportation network
  • from any given place, a good or service could
    be sold in all directions out to a certain

  • Hexagonal Hinterlands

C city T town V village H hamlet
Sketch a map of your city or town and the cities
or towns nearby. Make a list of goods and
services available in each of these towns. Do the
ideas about central places presented in this
section of the chapter apply to your region?
How are Cities Organized, and How do they
Key Question
  • Urban Morphology
  • The layout of a city, its physical form an

Berlin, Germany With wall (above) And without
wall (right)
What does the urban morphology of the city tell
us about the city?
  • Functional Zonation
  • The division of the city into certain regions
    (zones) for certain purposes (functions).

Cairo, Egypt Central city (above) Housing
projects (right)
What does the functional zonation of the city
tell us about the city?
Zones of the City
  • Central business district (CBD)
  • Central City (the CBD older housing zones)
  • Suburb (outlying, functionally uniform zone
    outside of the central city)

Modeling the North American City
  • Concentric zone model (Ernest Burgess)
  • Sector model (Homer Hoyt)
  • Multiple Nuclei Model
  • (Chauncy Harris and Edward Ullman)

Three Classical Models of Urban Structure
Edge Cities
  • Suburban downtowns, often located near key
    freeway intersections, often with
  • - office complexes
  • - shopping centers
  • - hotels
  • - restaurants
  • - entertainment facilities
  • - sports complexes

Urban Realms Model
  • Each realm is a separate economic, social and
    political entity that is linked together to form
    a larger metro framework.

Modeling the Cities of the Global Periphery and
  • Latin American City (Griffin-Ford model)
  • African City (de Blij model)
  • Southeast Asian City (McGee model)

Latin American City (Griffin-Ford model)
Disamenity sector very poorest parts of the
city eg. the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The African City (de Blij model)
Southeast Asian City (McGee model)
Employing the concepts defined in this section of
the chapter, draw a model of the city with which
you are most familiar. Label each section of the
city accordingly. After reading through the
models described in this section, determine which
model best corresponds to the model you drew and
hypothesize why it is so.
How do People Make Cities?
Key Question
Powerful social and cultural forces shape the
character of a city and create the cultural
landscape of the city.
Making Cities in the Global Periphery and
  • sharp contrast between rich and poor
  • - Often lack zoning laws or enforcement of zoning

Making Cities in the Global Core
  • Redlining financial institutions refusing to
    lend money in certain neighborhoods.
  • Blockbusting realtors purposefully sell a home
    at a low price to an African American and then
    solicit white residents to sell their homes and
    low prices, to generate white flight.

Making Cities in the Global Core
  • Gentrification individuals buy up and
    rehabilitate houses, raising the housing value in
    the neighborhood and changing the neighborhood.
  • Commercialization city governments transform a
    central city to attract residents and tourists.
    The newly commercialized downtowns often are a
    stark contrast to the rest of the central city.

Tear-downs houses that new owners buy with the
intention of tearing it down to build a much
larger home. McMansions large homes, often
built to the outer limits of the lot. They are
called McMansions because of their super size and
their similar look.
Hinsdale, Illinois (25 of houses have been torn
down in last 20 years).
Urban Sprawl
Unrestricted growth of housing, commercial
developments, and roads over large expanses of
land, with little concern for urban
planning. Henderson, Nevada
(No Transcript)
New Urbanism
  • Development, urban revitalization, and suburban
    reforms that create walkable neighborhoods with a
    diversity of housing and jobs.
  • some are concerned over privatization of public
  • some are concerned that they do nothing to bread
    down the social conditions that create social
    ills of the cities
  • some believe they work against urban sprawl

Celebration, Florida
Celebration, Florida
Gated Communities
  • Who are gated communities for?
  • How do the goals/purposes of gated communities
    differ across the world?

Ethnic Neighborhoods
  • European City
  • eg. Muslim neighborhoods in Paris
  • Cities of the Periphery and Semiperiphery
  • eg. Mumbai, India

Mumbai, India
Using the city you sketched in the last Thinking
Geographically question, consider the concepts
and processes introduced in this section of the
chapter and explain how people and institutions
created this city and the model you sketched.
What Role do Cities Play in Globalization?
Key Question
World Cities
  • Cities that function at the global scale, beyond
    the reach of the state borders, functioning as
    the service centers of the world economy.

Spaces of Consumption
  • The transformation of the city into an
    entertainment district, where major corporations
    encourage the consumption of their goods and
  • For example Berlin, Germany
  • New York City

Times Square New York City
Thinking through the challenges to the state
presented in Chapter 8, predict whether and under
what circumstances world cities could replace
states as the basic and most powerful form of
political organization in the world.
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