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Old 9th June 2009, 04:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Source taken from: http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/geogr...an-models.html

For this section, you need to know quite a few things. As a minimum, you should have a good understanding of:

Reasons and patterns of urbanisation.
Urban models, their advantages and disadvantages.
The consequences of urbanisation in the developed and developing world.
Solutions to the above problems.
Definitions:

An urban area is a city or town.


Urbanisation: The process whereby rural areas (countryside) are becoming urban. It will involve an increase in the absolute (and usually percentage of) population living in the urban area. The urban area will also grow in size to cover a greater physical area and there will be a move away from primary employment to secondary and later, tertiary.

An urban area can grow by two processes. Firstly, it will grow as a result of natural increase and secondly, as a result of net migration.

The developed world has experienced Urbanisation for hundreds of years. In the UK, this was largely following the Industrial Revolution in late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Population density is lower than in the developing world. Growth in cities in developed world cities has largely stabilised, but there are still many issues which need addressing.

Urbanisation is a more recent phenomenon in the developing world. The growth over the past fifty years of many developing world cities has had major implications for the people living there and their management. Population density is very high.

The majority of the world's largest cities are in the developing world, as the table below shows:

Top ten world cities: Estimated population in 2000 (millions):
Mexico City 31
Sao Paulo 26
Tokyo 24
Shanghai 24
New York 23
Rio de Janeiro 19
Bombay 17
Calcutta 16
Seoul 14
Delhi 12
The number of million cities in the developing world will continue to increase. 'A million city' is one which has reached a population of one million plus.

You need an understanding of the reasons for growth, the problems and solutions. Problems and solutions will be dealt with later.


Reasons for growth

1. The developed world:

Urbanisation in the developed world has steadied relative to that in the developing world. New York, which was the largest city in the world, is now the fifth largest, having been overtaken by Tokyo, but more significantly, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Shanghai.

It is still important that you have an understanding of the reasons behind the growth of cities in the developed world.

Many Western European cities have very long histories as Roman or medieval cities. For example, London was a very important city in Roman times as a communication centre. They have, however, experienced the most rapid urbanisation in the last two centuries. London's population growth is shown below:

Year: Population:
Around 1500 75 000
Around 1700 575 000
1801 959 000
1851 2 363 000
1901 4 425 000
1951 8 193 000
1961 7 992 300
1991 6 337 900
(Data prior to 1961 from 'Changing Settlements' by Garrett Nagle)

(Data 1961-1991 from Philips' Geographical Digest 1992-1993)

As you can see, there was significant growth in the 1800's. The drop in population is a result of counter-urbanisation.

Reasons for this and the growth of most cities in the UK would include:

The Industrial Revolution in the latter half of the eighteenth century stimulated a major redistribution of the population. People moved to locate adjacent to factories. This was further prompted by the decline of the traditional cottage industries.
Towns started to benefit from specialisation, prompting further growth. Birmingham grew considerably as a consequence of specialising in brass manufacturing.
The multiplier effect states that if an area receives a financial investment, this will stimulate further growth. For example, alongside the early factories, the following industries would have been likely to grow. Construction to build houses for the workers, navies to dig canals, people to work on the emergent railway network, engineers such as Brunel.
Constant improvements in the removal, transportation and manufacturing of raw materials increased the wealth of the towns/cities and the nation. This allowed further investment.
New transport links (railways) allowed further migration from rural areas.
Towns and cities increased in size as Victorian developers built larger properties on the outskirts of towns/cities. This is an early example of sub-urbanisation where people move to the areas around a town/city. The suburbs can grow as transport links increase and people decide to move away from the densely populated inner city areas.
Growth has continued today as businesses and retail compete for areas close to the CBD (Central Business District). Slum clearance and the building of high-rise developments have increased population densities.
Most recently, the growth in car ownership, improvements in road networks and the congested nature of many city centres has seen the decentralisation of many retail and entertainment functions to 'out-of-town' shopping centres, whilst a significant percentage of the population are choosing to live in rural areas (see counter-urbanisation).


2. The developing world:

Cities in the developing world have experienced rapid urbanisation over the last fifty years. Since 1960 Mexico City's population has grown from around 5 million to an estimated 25 million - an average growth of half a million a year!

It is important that you understand the reasons behind the rapid population growth. There are two main reasons:

a. High natural growth rates. Countries experiencing the most rapid urbanisation are in stages two and three of the Demographic Transition Model. In these stages, natural increase is high so there is inevitably population growth. This population growth will be most marked when there is already a large population, as you would find in a city. (For more on the demographic transition model see the site on 'Population'.)

This does not, however, give us the full picture.

b. Developing world cities are experiencing a massive movement of the population from the rural countryside areas to the urban cities - rural to urban migration. People are leaving the countryside in thousands with the hope of a better life in the cities. You should have a good understanding of the reasons for rural to urban migration. If you need to check your knowledge, look up Migration on the 'Population' site.

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Old 9th June 2009, 04:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Models are used to simplify reality and help us understand what is usually a whole range of complex processes. It is often useful to compare towns or cities to different models.

You need to remember that models are what could be happening and very often your job will be to show that you understand them, can explain them and can discuss whether or not they are good models. You do this last part by evaluating them and referring to case studies.

Urban hierarchies

There are many rules that try and explain urban hierarchies.

You should have a general understanding of rank size rule, which introduces the concept of urban primacy and Christaller's central place theory.

Rank size rule: This tells us that in any country there will be one dominant settlement. After this, each settlement will decrease in size according to the rule.

This rule is that the "size of settlement 'A' will be equal to the population of the largest settlement divided by rank of 'A'."


Therefore, if the largest city has a population of 1,000,000 then the second largest city will have a population of 500,000 then 333,333 then 250,000 and so on.

There are two exceptions to the rule. We can have binary distribution when there are two very large dominant cities (Barcelona and Madrid) and primacy where one city is much larger than any other.

The development of urban primacy

This is a key concept. A primate city is one that has more than twice the population of the next biggest city. An example is Lima (Peru) that is more than ten times larger than the next settlement. It can occur for a few reasons:

One city will start to attract the majority of public and/or private investment. This could be due to natural advantage or political decisions. This in turn will stimulate further investment due to the multiplier effect and significant rural to urban migration. The investment in this city will be at the expense of other cities.
A former colonial city is likely to maintain and possibly increase its urban primacy. It would have originally been the main source of colonial investment because colonial powers were not interested in investing in all cities, just those necessary for them to exploit the raw materials. Therefore, they probably invested heavily in a port. Today, this port will still be the focus of investment and migration.
A country particularly dependent on export earnings will focus its development on one key port.
You will have noticed that the above three points seem typical of developing world cities and it is true to say that in most cases, as a country experiences economic development, so urban primacy is reduced or disappears totally.

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Old 9th June 2009, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Central place theory

Christaller's central place theory basically tells us that if there is an even distribution of population, all with equal money and transport opportunities, and the land is flat and featureless, then settlements will follow a distribution pattern according to size. The distribution will follow one of three patterns:

1. Market Optimising:

The shoppers in smaller settlements divide into three equal groups when shopping in the three nearest larger settlements.


2. Transport Optimising:

Shoppers in smaller settlements divide into two equal groups when shopping in the two nearest larger settlements.


3. Administration Optimising:

All shoppers in the smaller settlements shop in the nearest large settlement.


The largest settlement, which is in the centre of the hexagon, will be surrounded by a number of smaller settlements. People from the small settlements will visit the large settlement for a particular good or service that their village does not provide. People cannot cross the boundary hexagons because Cristaller says they must shop in their nearest central place.

He also introduced the concepts of threshold and range:

Threshold is the minimum number of people needed to support a service.

Range is the maximum distance people are prepared to travel to purchase a good or service.

Bid-rent theory

In order to have a good understanding of the way urban areas are likely to grow, it is important to have an understanding of Bid-rent theory.

The diagram below shows what various land-users are prepared and able to pay for good access to the CBD:


It can be seen that commerce (in particular large department stores/chain stores) is willing to pay the greatest rent to be located in the CBD. The CBD is very valuable for them because it is traditionally the most accessible location for a large population. This large population is essential for department stores, which require a considerable turnover. As a result, they are willing and able to pay a very high land rent value. They maximise the potential of their site by building many stories.

As you move from the CBD, commerce is unwilling to pay as much for a site. In fact, what they are willing to pay declines rapidly.

Industry is, however, willing to pay to be on the outskirts of the CBD. There is more land available for their factories, but they still have many of the benefits of the CBD, such as a market place and good communications.

As you move further out, so the land is less attractive to industry and the householder is able to purchase land. The further you go from the CBD, the cheaper the land. This is why inner city areas are very densely populated (terraces, flats and high rises), whilst the suburbs and rural areas are sparsely populated (semi and detached houses with gardens).


This bid-rent theory explains one pattern of urban land-use that is also identified by Burgess' concentric ring model.

The pattern is never as simple in reality. Today, out-of-town shopping centres and industrial sites have influenced the pattern.

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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Burgess


Explanation:

Having made in depth studies of the morphology of Chicago in the 1920's, Burgess concluded that city land-use could be identified as a series of concentric rings around the CBD.

The CBD will contain all the major shops and offices and be a centre of entertainment.

Surrounding this CBD will be the oldest housing, which is in a state of deterioration. Industry will also feature in this area. This is the area often referred to as the inner city or 'zone of transition'.

Then, we get three rings of housing. The first will be high density, poor quality that traditionally houses the workers for the factories.

Next, is slightly lower density, middle class housing. These will be semi-detached with gardens.

Finally, there is a ring of high class housing for those who can afford to commute.

Evaluation:

For: Against:
If taken as a very broad pattern, then a large number of towns and cities follow the pattern identified by Burgess. It does not take any physical features into account. Burgess' own case study - Chicago - does not follow the pattern because it is on the coast! The growth of any city will be influenced by the physical geography of the area.
It is good model because it is simple and easy to understand. Hopefully! Transport is much more readily available allowing more people to commute. This has meant that commuter villages have developed some distance from the edge of the urban area. Burgess could not have foreseen this.
Burgess could not have foreseen the changes in transport routes or society yet his model is still relevant when identifying the reasons behind the urban morphology of a city. Urban regeneration and gentrification has meant that some of the most expensive property can now be found in traditional 'low class' areas. Whilst council estates have built up on the edges of many large cities - these are now some of the most depressed areas in British cities.
It helps us to understand the process involved in the growth of a city. The decentralisation of shops, manufacturing industry and entertainment does not follow his model.
Hoyt


Explanation:

Hoyt's model came nearly twenty years after Burgess'.

He suggested that the city grew in a series of sectors or 'wedges'. These would grow along traditional communication routes. The land-use within a sector would remain the same as like attracts like. For example, a 'high class' sector would remain high class as it would be the most desirable area to live, so only the wealthiest could afford it. An industrial sector would remain industrial as the zone would have a common advantage - perhaps a railway line or river.

Note how the low quality housing is next to the industrial zone, middle class next to low class and high class as far as possible from industry and low class.

Evaluation:

For: Against:
Some cities seem to follow Hoyt's sectors. Bristol, for example, has a very clear industrial sector following a main rail line and the River Avon. Like Burgess' there is little reference to the physical environment.
It provides us with an alternative set of explanations to Burgess. The growth of sector can be stopped as land-use leapfrogs out of the old inner city. For example, out of town council estates have prevented large high-class sector developing in other areas of Bristol.
Communication routes (Rivers, roads, railways) do often provide a very definite boundary to a sector/land-use. Again, like Burgess, there is no reference to out of town developments.
In addition, the division between land-uses in both models is far to clear-cut. Firstly, you would not suddenly walk from lower to middle to higher class housing. Also, all zones will have a mixture of land-uses. Residential zones will have shops and industry in amongst them.

They do, however, give us a bench mark for comparison and allow us to have a basic understanding of the complex set of processes that determine the distribution of land-use within a city.

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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Explanation:

This model attempts to explain the complex growth patterns of cities in the developing world.

The CBD is similar to that in the developed world and is an area of high-rise offices and shops. However, the similarities stop here. The CBD is surrounded by high-class apartments and older middle class housing, which has been built during colonial times.

You should not forget that there is great wealth in the cities of the developing world and that one of the features of the developing world cities is the great contrast in living standards.

In a ring around the high class housing you find well established 'shanty towns'. These will be the oldest shanty towns in the city and are located here so that residents could find work in the CBD or in the homes of the higher-class residents.

These are not like the shanty towns in the outer circle as they have been steadily improved by the residents. Many will have electricity, water supplies, even schools and clinics. The buildings will have been improved so that corrugated iron is replaced with brick and concrete. This could have been via a redevelopment scheme as outlined in the problems and solutions scheme. Many will now be officially recognised settlements.

This zone is referred to as 'periferia' or periphery.

Surrounding this (and infilling any gaps) will be the shanty towns that would be resident to the most recent migrants and would typically have the poorest standards of living as outlined in the urban problems section.

In addition, there are sectors of industrial use (as factories locate along main roads especially those that lead directly to a port) and residential as the high classes choose to leave the polluted and over-crowded inner city.

Evaluation:

For: Against:
The model effectively simplifies and explains the complex processes responsible for the urban morphology of the developing world city. No reference to physical landscape.
It highlights the great differences in living standards that exist in these cities. The change between land-uses would not be clearly defined especially as shanty-towns tend to infill any available space.
It highlights the importance of the export market to the developing world city. Most cities in the developing world are located in coastal locations so industrial growth would be located around the ports not on the roads to the port.

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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Problems

Any city in the developed world will face considerable problems. These could include:

Inequality. Inequalities exist in all cities in the developed world. The most deprived groups can often be found in old inner city areas. These areas are often typified by:
High levels of unemployment and a lack of employment opportunities:
Poor household amenities.
Large areas of derelict land.
Air, water and land pollution.
High social problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse and crime.
Greater frequency of health problems.
The problem is that the inner cities are often caught in a cycle of decline.

The positive:

The above paints a very depressing picture of the inner cities. This is not always the case. The inner cities of many British cities are improving rapidly and people are once again choosing to live in them. This is, in part as a consequence of gentrification and urban regeneration.

1. Traffic congestion. The cities of the UK are often choked with the pollution from cars. There is a well-known statistic about the average speed of a car in London being slower than the old horse and cart.


You must remember that the cities of the UK were built before the invention of the car!

2. Death of the CBD. The CBD of many major cities is in trouble. Increasingly more of the functions associated with the CBD can be found on the outskirts of town. In Bristol, for example, there are now four cinema multiplexes outside the city. Whilst these are thriving, those cinemas left in the city are either closing or face a great struggle for survival. Many UK towns no longer have a cinema. The opening of 'The Mall' (a large shopping and entertainment complex outside Bristol) meant that John Lewis closed its city department store and relocated. This has meant that a lot of shoppers no longer come into the city centre. Since 'The Mall' opened, shops and entertainment in the CBD have had a constant struggle for survival.


If people do not go into the centre for their shopping or entertainment, then what is the future of the CBD?

Solutions

There have been a number of policies and initiatives that have had the overall objective of regenerating urban areas. In the past twenty years, these have changed frequently, but have included Urban Development Corporations and more recently, schemes where councils have to bid for various sources of money. One of those sources is lottery money.

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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Bristol's urban re-generation

Bristol's Urban Development Corporation

The Urban Development Corporations were set up to regenerate the inner city areas by attracting private investment to the worst areas. They could purchase any necessary land and then had to stimulate the economy to attract private investment.

In Bristol the UDC purchased a 900-acre site in an area of industrial decline. Its objectives were to improve the existing infrastructure, make sure there was sufficient housing and provide an environment that would attract new industries - providing jobs and money.

The land area near temple meads station was one that had suffered badly from the closure of industry. Much criticism has been targeted at the UDC with many wondering what they ever achieved. Their three main achievements in Bristol were the building of a major new road link, attracting new industry, providing over 4000 new jobs and a significant housing development, much of which was bought by first time buyers.

Criticisms:

It pursued many large flagship proposals that never happened.
Very little money went into environmental improvements, training or social facilities.
During recession, unemployment in UDC areas went up to 25% as opposed to 5%, the city average.
Jobs were low skilled and poorly paid.
Failed to adapt to the stated wants and needs of local people.
Harbour-side regeneration

This is a good case study of regeneration. It is the same case study as regeneration through tourism. It has been adapted and changed slightly. It means that you have less to learn and highlights the fact that many case studies are relevant to more than one topic.

Bristol city council put together a regeneration bid and successfully gained £41 million from the lottery and £21 million from English partnerships.

Background

Bristol's dockland areas went into near terminal decline following the arrival of large cargo ships that could no longer navigate the Avon River. This was also accompanied by competition from the new docks at Avonmouth and Portbury. This prompted the closure of several industries around Bristol docks such as various tobacco factories, a sand dredging industry and lead-shot works. It left several empty, but listed buildings.

As the docks declined, Bristol was faced with several problems, such as growing social and economic inequalities, vast areas of derelict land and in some areas, high unemployment.

The inner city areas were particularly badly hit and unemployment in some areas rose to almost 20%. The inner cities were typified by poverty and deprivation with people unable to afford the necessary food, clothing and services to achieve the bare necessities of life. More than 50% of children received free school meals.

The people of inner cities (including St. Paul's) became increasingly angry at the lack of opportunities, particularly for black youths. April 1980 saw the frustrations of youths explode into a night of rioting.

The scheme

In order to address this problem, it was decided to redevelop the former dockland area. One of the most significant achievements was when Lloyds TSB relocated their headquarters to the docklands area. This acted as a great spur for investment.


The next photograph shows areas of derelict land behind Lloyds TSB. Twenty years ago, this is what most of the dockland area looked like:


The docklands redevelopment has been financed by a mixture of public and private money with the overall aim of providing a new creative quarter for the city with leisure facilities, housing and offices. It has received substantial funding from the national lottery.

Over the past thirty years, the area has undergone major changes culminating in the opening of the new IMAX theatre, at-Bristol science museum and the Millennium Square. The area is now one of the largest redevelopment projects in Europe.


Successes include:

1. Over £500 million pounds of inward investment. This has been a mixture of public and private money.

2. The creation of an environment that will attract new businesses to formerly rundown areas of the city.

3. Over 3000 new jobs.

4. A mixed commercial environment that includes cafe bars, restaurants, cinemas, shops.

5. New developments for the arts.

6. Sports facilities.

7. An industrial museum and maritime heritage museum.

8. The preservation and utilisation of listed buildings. For example, the Watershed media centre (pictured below) that includes a cinema, studios, art gallery and café bar was formerly two warehouses.


9. Residential developments providing much needed housing. Pictured below is one of the latest developments on what was formerly a derelict railway siding.


10. Rated as one of the best harbour-side redevelopments in the UK. The scheme has successfully redeveloped what was a very rundown area.

11. By raising the profile of the city and linking the development to the CBD, it is also going some way to counteract the relocation of entertainment and commerce to The Mall.

Development is ongoing as proposals are made for the redevelopment of other sites.

On the whole, the redevelopment has been very well received, but there has been some criticism.

Failures include:

1. Concerns about how the area would fare during recession, especially as it is so dependant on entertainment - one of the first things people would reduce if their incomes fell.

2. Some criticism of the Millennium Square, in that it is featureless and has done nothing to improve traffic congestion.

3. New houses are very expensive - you could argue that the real need was for cheaper social housing.

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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

The developing world cities are suffering many very serious problems. These are a consequence of the rapid population growth, a lack of capital to invest and a non-existent, very poor and/or outdated infrastructure.

Problems

1. Collapsing infrastructure. Many cities in the developing world do not have an infrastructure that is capable of dealing with the massive increases in population. In addition, the governments do not have sufficient funds available to maintain the facilities, let alone improve them. Particular problems arise because of the inadequacy of the road and sewerage networks - see next point.

2. Increasing levels of pollution. Pollution of air, land and water is a major problem in most developing world cities. The drive to industrialisation brings with it inevitable problems, especially as legislation to protect the environment is often non-existent or rarely enforced. Furthermore, the hidden economy can add to the levels of pollution as small, unlicensed industries are set up in peoples homes or on rooftops. These industries release their pollutants into the air, land and water.

3. Increased volume of traffic on poorly maintained roads. The water supply can also become polluted as inadequate sewerage facilities allow the spread of harmful bacteria. Indeed, death from water-borne disease is one of the biggest causes of high infant mortality rates.

4. Inadequate housing and services. Shanty towns display most problems typical of developing world cities. On arrival at the city, it is most likely that the migrant will find him having to create his own shelter, live on the streets or rent a single room. In Calcutta, "Hotbed Hotels" rent rooms on an eight hour basis, whilst in Mexico City, over ten million live in shanty towns.


5. The shanty town is likely to be found on inappropriate land. Maybe it is prone to flooding or is very steeply sloping, increasing the chances of a landslip. It could be on a piece of land that has been badly polluted by a neighbouring industry. The shelters made of wood and high population densities increase the risk of fire.

6. The services will be non-existent or incapable of maintaining a basic standard of living. The lack of basic services like a clean water supply, rubbish collection and sewerage disposal mean that the risks of disease are very high.

7. A lack of employment means that people have to look for other ways of earning money. In Manila, children scavenge on refuse sites collecting cans for recycling. As well as being unpleasant, the risk of injury is high and any cuts will become infected. Hospital waste is also dumped on the site with hypodermic needles adding to the dangers of serious infection.

Drugs have also taken a grip in many shanty towns. In Rio's favellas, there are often gun battles between rival gangs.


Solutions

Solutions to any problem are made more difficult by the lack of available resources and the sheer scale of the problems faced. Below are some examples of different policies attempted:

Attempts to solve housing problems:

1. Site and service schemes: Popular in India and Brazil. This is a scheme whereby the government will provide a site (a small concrete 'hut') and basic amenities such as water and sewer facilities. The migrant is given rights of ownership and then expected to complete the work at his or her expense. This is often done as a cooperative between groups of migrants. In other situations, the authorities just provide the plot and building materials for the migrants to construct their own homes.

These schemes are relatively cheap and give the migrants a sense of control over their future. They also encourage community spirit.

2. Rehabilitation: An alternative to this scheme is to provide the residents of shanty towns with the materials to improve their existing shelters. Residents are also encouraged to set up community schemes to improve education and medical services. Residents may also be given rights of ownership whilst local authorities come in and provide electricity, water and sewerage disposal. This has been tried in Bolivia and Pakistan.

It is a cheaper option than the site and service schemes but simply hides the real problems. The germs may not have been removed, the land still unsuitable and the water/sewer system still not adequate.

3. Housing developments: Some countries,such as Singapore, have embarked upon massive re-housing programmes, resultingin high-rise estates.

Large areas of shanty towns were cleared, tower blocks built and the shanty town residents re-housed.


Early apartment blocks were very similar to those found in the UK and faced many similar problems. One such problem was people using the lifts as toilets - this was stopped when lifts were made sensitive to urine and locked on the offenders. They then had to wait to be released, facing much embarrassment and a very heavy fine! Today, blocks are designed by architects and have management teams that keep them graffiti and litter free. This is helped by the strict rules enforced in Singapore, where dropping litter or selling chewing gum will result in a very heavy fine.

Each housing development is designed to be self sufficient, with shops and services and employment in light industry, such as clothing. They are also located close to Singapore's highly efficient rail system - the MRT or Mass Rapid Transport. This helps reduce traffic congestion, which is further reduced by strict quotas on the number of licensed cars and regular tolls on all major roads.

The housing and development board aims to provide every person with a home and has continued its building programme for the last 40 years.

4. Sewage rehabilitation: Several cities have taken on major projects to try and repair damaged water and sewerage pipes. This improves the safety and quality of the water in the city and would reduce mortality rates. The rehabilitation also goes some way to reducing the unemployment problems.

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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

Finally - hurray, I hear you cry! - you need to be aware of how an urban area affects the rural areas around it.

Counter-urbanisation

Counter-urbanisation: The process by which people and businesses are leaving the urban areas to relocate in smaller towns or rural villages.

It was first noted in the USA. Similar patterns were detected in London, initially as a result of slum clearance and relocation to new towns, but then as a 'voluntary' movement. This pattern has since been identified in nearly all UK cities.

Reasons for counter-urbanisation:

Environmental and social problems with inner cities pushed people away from urban areas. At the same time, more rural areas were seen as peaceful, unpolluted, offering greater space and the community spirit that was lacking in inner city areas.
The growing popularity of the 'out-of-town' industrial and businesses parks as industry also became unsatisfied with inner city areas (see 'Inner Cities').
Improvements in rural transport infrastructures and increased car ownership allowed a greater freedom of choice when choosing where to live.
The growth in Information Communication Technology (E-mail, Fax, Video-conferencing) has allowed further freedom as people can work from home and are not so tied to urban areas.
For social reasons, as people re-acquaint with family or friends, retire to a quiet place, believe the countryside to be more suitable for families or decide the climate/environment is better for their health.
Counter urbanisation has had a major impact on rural villages and communities. Amongst these impacts are

House prices can be pushed up as migrants sell expensive city properties and earn higher city wages. This can force young people to leave the village because they cannot afford a house.
Public transport goes into decline because the new residents are car owners. This can be a major problem for village residents without their own transport, particularly the elderly. This problem is compounded by:
Traditional rural services start to close as the new population will be reliant on the services of the urban environment such as the supermarket. The closures of village stores and post offices have caused major problems in many rural areas.
Those shops and services that survive often find that they have to change to meet the needs of the new population. So the pub becomes a restaurant, the blacksmith now makes garden furniture and the butcher a delicatessen.
As a large percentage of the migrants will be commuting to work traffic congestion increases. The problem is accentuated by the fact that they will be driving on narrow country roads.
You should have a case study of a village that has been affected by counter-urbanisation.

You also need to be aware of the effects urbanisation will have in the physical environment, especially on the rural urban fringe. To help you, you could complete a table similar to the one below for your local area:

The consequences of urbanisation on the surrounding area. Bristol and the South West:
Environmental Areas of countryside flooded for reservoirs, for example, Barrow tanks.
Ancient meadows destroyed for new housing developments, for example, Bradley Stoke.
Economic Expansion of Bristol Airport at Redhill.
Growth of 'out-of-town' shopping complexes, for example, The Mall.
Social/cultural Huge increase in house prices in rural villages pushing prices up so locals cannot afford them, for example, Long Ashton.
Farms become golf courses to meet needs of urban population, for example, Mendip Spring Golf Course.

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Old 9th June 2009, 05:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Geography A-level: Urban Profiles

woah man, thanks! just what i needed. my geog teacher doesn't know jack shit about geog, and we don't learn jack shit from her. this oughtta be really helpful.

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