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Urban Geography notes

Urban Geography overview

Urbanization- Process whereby people move into, or are born in built up areas.

Due to a twin process known as rural-urban migration and natural increase. Take into account the differences in urbanization (rate and level) in both DC and LDC. Quantified by POPULATION IN URBAN AREA

Urbanisation in DC History Industrialisation revolution in the DC during the 19th century has led to a huge demand for labour mining and manufacturing centers. This led to a whole new way of living for the rural folks as it was a period of time when much technological advancement was made. Consequently, the towns and cities where seen as growth poles for economic and social advancement. These resulted in a huge rural-urban migration and the expansion of the cities. Therefore, the rise of urbanization was due to economic development. Eg. Urbanisation in US during the 1930s was due to the huge influx of foreign immigrant who wish to escape poverty that was plaguing the rural areas due to the Irish potato famine. Urbanisation reached its peak in 1960s and from that time on cities was getting too crowded and diseconomies of scale started to kick in. As a result, suburbanization starts to take place as people started to move from the city to suburban areas. This resulted in the hollowing out effect of several cities as businesses along with people also started to leave the city. Eg. America phenomenon where factories in cities in the rust belt such as Michigan and Detroit are abandoned as the city started to reindustrialize.

Factors resulting in suburbanization Push: Congestion, pollution and high cost of living in the city Pull: Suburbs provide a better environment to raise a family

Urbanisation in LDC The process of urbanisation in LDC accelerated after WWII when many of the LDC started to gain independence from their colonial master. With rapid industrial emphasis, many of the LDC, which included governments, started to attract FDI and TNCs into their country. People began moving into the city in search of better socio-economic opportunities at a much faster rate than that of DCs. The

twin processes of rural-urban migration and natural increase helps explain the trend. This is exacerbated by the lingering presence of agrarian mindsets in the new rural-urban migrants, resulting in high birth rates. As a result of rapid migration to the city, the economic progress of the country cannot cope up with the high influx of people into the city. Hence it cannot provide sufficient shelter and jobs for all the migrants. This leads to the formation and growth in slums at the outskirts of the city. E.g. In colonial India, urbanization repressed until independence in 1957. Also Mexico City 1970s. Suburbanisation The movement of people from city centre to the city edge. Suburbanisation is closely linked with the following changes:

The development of mass transport systems, such as train, trams and buses. The provision of loans and mortgages by building societies and banks. Government support for housing. (Under the 1919 Housing and town planning act, the British government provided generous subsidies for housing.)

Characteristics of suburbanisation As houses in the suburbs are more expensive and further away from the city, the people living in the suburbs must be of a certain socio-economic status to afford a house in the suburbs and most probably a car to travel to the city. As a result suburbanization is only limited to the middle and upper class and in America, the whites. It also depicts white flight as whites move away from the city with incoming migrants. Influence of transport on suburbanisation Based on the Hoyts sector model, advent of transportation (private car ownership and the construction of highways) has led to the formation of star shaped cities due to the growth of the cities in sectors along transport lines. Consequences of suburbanization

Social segregation and rich/poor divide Hollowing out of the city centre and loss of businesses Lead to urban sprawl. Can lead to formation of new growth poles. States decides that suburbs are getting too congested. Want to create a new growth pole (decentralized) that has factories, services and housing so to reduce congestion in city centres and reduce travelling to city centre. Congestion along transport lines into the cities at rush hour - decreases productivity and increases air pollution Suburbs often encroach on green spaces to accommodate demand - this destroys habitat for wild animals, decreasing biodiversity. This may lead to a decline of local farming industries

Marginal land may also be unsafe for residential. Kuala Lumpur Suburbs - affected by landslides killing 3 ppl and destroying hundreds of homes in 2008 following heavy rainfall

Urban sprawl The uncontrolled, horizontal expansion of the city centre to its outskirts

Aided largely by the advent of the private car and the building of motor highways.

Characterized by a) inefficient land use b) Densely packed areas of land use When urban sprawl takes place, the city advances and suburbanizes at an alarming rate so much so that it begins to invade into rural territories or green spaces. Lead to formation of new growth poles. States decides that suburbs are getting too congested. Want to create a new growth pole (decentralized) that has factories, services and housing so to reduce congestion in city centres and reduce travelling to city centre. Eg. Los Angeles - greater metropolitan area over 17M ppl, enabled by extensive highway network Las Vegas - Special Case. arising from extensive utilities network allowing strong and extensive growth in the middle of the desert. Singapore has 4 regional centres, namely Tampines, Seletar (in development), Woodlands and Jurong East Counterurbanisation Movement of people from city to rural areas.

Seen as an extreme form of suburbanization Represents the upper middle class flight from the cities and to escape and break away from city life.

Counterurbanisation takes two forms Moderate: The person lives in the rural area but drives to the city for work. Only the upper middle class folks have the financial capability to afford such transportation costs as they would have to own a private car as there is very little public transportation in these rural areas. Extreme: It represents a complete break from urban life

Consequences -ve

Less to contribution the economy (decreased employment) Less to contribute to countrys development (Dont need to pay taxes) Racial and social segregation Car pollution in the rural areas Congestion in the rural areas


Less pollution and congestion in the city Improvement in services eg Gas, cable internet in the rural areas

Reurbanisation Reurbanisation refers to the attempts at attracting people back into the city centre.

It is the umbrella term to cover gentrification and any other urban renewal within the city More frequent in DC than LDC as more DC has undergone suburbanization to a greater extent than LDC.

Gentrification It is the reuse of building with little changes to its faade but a change in function. Led by: Organic (not govt intervened) or government

Primate Cities and World cities Primate city

Definition: It is the largest city in the country with population more than twice of the next largest city. Characteristics

Focal point of the countrys socio-economic growth, high command control A superorganic force shaping the countrys culture through its cultural hegemony and dominance Its dominance in the country can result in an overreliance on primate city for economic development.

Growth of a primate city Myrdals cumulative causation model 1. Initial growth: Growth will take place usually in a strategic geographical point where accessibility is conducive for trading. Once the city grows economically, it will gain a built in momentum to grow even more. More jobs, more spending means higher standard of living and quality of life which means the area becomes more attractive to investors, leading to a positive cycle. E.g. Manila, which was founded by the Spanish due to its excellent geographical location near the sea, built on its foundations to become Philippines primate city. 2. Backwash effect: Overtime, the momentum causes a backwash effect of various socioeconomic activities at the expense of other cities. The rest of the towns becomes a secondary economy to this city, highly dependent on it for financial and commercial services, administrative support and employment. E.g. Bangkok as the only city in Thailand which investors would flock to due to its powerful socio-economic centripetal force; surrounding towns cannot compete and their activities revolve around Bangkoks economy. 3. Spread effect: Benefits from the city may trickle down to the other towns eventually. This spread effect can include the outflow of people occurring in the form of Counterurbanisation and suburbanisation that will balance out initial uneven distribution between primate cities and smaller towns. Tourism : When primate cities gets too crowded and congested, less congested provinces could be a better choice for holiday goers. For example, Chiang Mai is sometimes preferred over Bangkok as a holiday spot as it suffers from less pollution that arises such to urban sprawl and congestion in the city.


b) Government intervention: In bid to prevent urban sprawl, the government create new

growth poles that have sufficient services and industries to support itself so to decentralize and reduce congestion in the city. Example: Singapore


Market forces: When the markets in the primate city gets too saturated or prices of land is too high. Companies may set up new branch plants or outlets in other provinces providing them with opportunities to develop the province and the possible rise of it as a new growth pole but primarily its purpose is to improve the standard of living by providing employment.

Benefits of primacy Economic Focus: Enables the country to concentrate its growth in one area, hence allowing funds to be channelled effectively to develop a central hub or essential economic services e.g. banking, commerce, retail, education. Trickle-down effect: Natural processes like suburbanisation occur more frequently in primate cities due to overcrowding, pollution etc. , which generates spread effects to surrounding towns and villages. Social Due to greater accessibility to economic opportunities, poorer migrants will have a greater chance to get out of the poverty cycle, especially if the government decided to aid them with welfare schemes eg. In Mexico City, the government is encouraging self ownership of houses by training the poor to build their own houses. This step may be essential in bringing the poor out of poverty as it fulfils the poor basic need which is housing. Problems of primacy Social

Division in city in rich poor divide Income gap disparity: More accentuated in primate city ` because of close proximity of rich and poor. Results in gated communities. E.g. Santa Fe in Mexico City where rich reside to avoid high crime rates elsewhere

b) Poor living conditions: City cannot cope with the large influx of migrants, hence they cannot

sustain the population, as such the poor would end up living in the slums or inner city Eg. Cairo (City of the dead). Primate cities - A lot of ppl flock to Cairo, unable to cater to housing demands. 500000 ppl live in tombs and mausoleums without running electricity, water and proper sewage disposal. Eg. Lima, Peru, also a lot of shanty towns catering to impoverished job seekers from rural areas Environment Air pollution due to congestion caused by large population: Air pollution in Bangkok recently cost the government $8b billion in health bills. Accentuated by laissez-faire attitude of Thai Govt. Also poor urban planning by the Mexico City has often resulted in the development of factories and refineries near residential areas. This has resulted in a gridlocked city leading to massive air pollution and health problems for the residents.

Water pollution: Frequent sewage leaks into water source of the Bangkok. This may develop into a crisis as the water may be used for agriculture of the source of drinking water of the population. Land pollution: Open sewers and overflowing landfills in Mexico City shows that the country is unable to keep up with escalating populations. Political and Policies Laws are biased towards the primate city: Central government is located in the primate city. Hence laws and policies will be concentrated in the primate city itself. Therefore the other provinces and smaller towns will be deprived of policies that serve to develop their economies. However concentration of a particular sector in the city allows channelling of the resources allows the country to maximise it resources instead of spreading them out. Eg. Concentration of education facilities in Manila such as the University of Manila and many more, allows funds allocated for education to be channelized in region Economy Core periphery dependence: When the economy of the primate city falls, so does the economy of the country. Also, most FDI goes there, little for the other smaller towns, resulting in unbalanced development. Eg. During the 2009-2010 political crisis in Bangkok, the people in the city went on a riot, leading to economic standstill. The economic standstill in Bangkok resulted in an economic crisis for Thailand thus showing the economic hegemony of Bangkok. Solving Primate City Issues Housing: Mexico city - govt allows squatters to take legal ownership of land - such that they can be more proactive in improving facilities. Services provided for unplanned areas eg tanker trucks. Transport: Promote public transport (helping to reduce pollution and congestion). Bangkok promotes monorail (although expensive), CNG taxis, restricting number of cars on the roads on certain days Decentralisation: Creation of new towns, new growth poles and political services. Eg. Cyber Jaya, Putra Jaya in Malaysia have surpasses KL, hence causing KL to lose its primacy.

Urban sprawl
Definition: It is the horizontal expansion of the city, encroaching into rural areas and resulting in the growing disconnection between city centres and outskirts. Characteristics

Inefficient land usage and increasing segregation A consequence of overurbanisation as there isnt good planning due to the uncontrolled rapid growth of the population and country. Eg. Mexico city and Bangkok Characteristic of primate city

Consequences Environmentally

It encroaches into green spaces resulting in negative environmental consequences by killing the green lungs of the Earth while adding pollutant into the environments at the same time. Urban development in the rural areas also results in the loss of jobs there as farms are to give way for urban development.


Due to poor urban planning, the citys economy is not very efficient as a lot of time is spent travelling and transporting from one place to another since urban entity is spaced quite far apart from each other.


Growing number of segregated, isolatory, urban villages where concentrations of the middle to upper class folks congregate. This result in urban dualism where the rich and poor stay separately in designated areas.

World cities
Definition: It is a concept that binds linkages to a city that have direct and tangible effect on global affairs through more than just socio economic with influence in terms of culture or politics. Global city: A city with:

A fairly large population International financial and cultural institutions Contains world-class amenities, facilities Advanced communications infrastructure Geopolitically stable

Characteristics: Similar to global city, but have international, first-name familiarity to it, and are the central hubs of globalisation and modern capitalism. Eg. New York city, Tokyo, Paris and London

Bid rent theory

Definition: It theorizes the relationship between land use and proximity to CBD whereby the most profitable and valuable land will be nearest to the CBD and vice versa and based on the ability and willingness to bid for this space. Strength of theory

Explains why financial, commercial and retail activities are always located and concentrated in the most accessible parts of the city as these activities can afford to bid for such high rents Explains why industrial activities tend to be further away from the city center as there is no need for such a central place.

Critique of theory

Cannot explain some exceptions- Why some residential areas are located very near the CBD area or why certain financial and commercial activities are found in the suburbs. The apparent paradox of having poor people living within the CBD can be explained via the history and subletting of such places. Some of these houses have been there for a long time, prior to urban planning and development where they could have once thrived but due to the development of the CBD, backwash effects or quenching of resources. (eg. mining) The area eventually gets deindustrialised and deserted. Given their run down presence, rents are much lower. Low income families live nearer to the CBD as they have to pay less for commuting and they can further reduce the cost of rent by renting out small parts of the house. (Eg. Bronx in New York and Watts in Los Angeles.) As bit rent theory is essentially a 2D theory, the assumption that there is only 1 line radiating out from the CBD presents a monocentric perspective of the city. A 3D approach looks at the secondary and tertiary growth poles that have their own smaller PLVIs, creating a multiple nuclei effect.

Offices and retail shops

As competition for land is the keenest in the city centre and the cost of land in the CBD is the most expensive due to its accessibility and the shortage of space there. Therefore, retail shops that conduct their business using relatively little space and due to their high rate of sales and turnover, they are willing and can afford to bid such high prices for the land. Also offices which rely on high level of accessibilities need good transport systems and traditionally proximity to other commercial activities also is willing to bid for such high rent cost as there is extra income accruing to a centrally located store through the increased trade. Spatial organization in the CBD points to the importance of accessibility and relative location in understanding patterns of land values and land uses. (Eg. In New York in the 1920s, the peak land value was $22000 per foot in the city center. Half a mile away, the land value dropped to less than $3000 per foot.) Industries Industry bid for land spaces that are less expensive as their factories and buildings take up more space and use it less intensively as the offices and retail shops. While they are attracted to the CBD as they can save distribution costs. The increase in rent will outweigh the cost of distribution. Residential areas Residential areas have the flattest of all the 3 curves is found to be the furthest away from the CBD where land values have decreased due to less competition as house holders cannot afford to pay the same rent as shopkeepers and industrialists. High income residents are able to afford the recurring cost of transportation and tend to trade off those cost for extra living spaces. On the other hand lower income residents are forced to live in land of high cost locations as they are unable to afford the recurring cost of transportation. Hence they opt to live in high density buildings to reduce the cost of housing. Therefore it is a trade-off between preferences for living space versus the utility/need of accessibility. Examples Singapore Office: Shenton way Retail: Orchard road Light manufacturing: North bridge road Low income residential: Redhill and Bukit Merah High income residential: Bukit Timah Heavy industries: Tuas

CBD Dynamics
Citys spatial configuration

Application in US (New York) 1. CBD: Downtown Manhattan( A distinctive area in the central area that possess a specific concentration 2. Zone of transition: Bronx (The poor live near to the CBD to reduce transportation cost. Cost of housing are usually very cheap as the houses there are run down and dilapidated. The poor can reduce the cost of housing even further by living in high density housing, allowing the sharing of rental cost. These places are often associated with crime and gangsterism) 3. Central Area: Manhattan City 4. Greater metropolitan area(GMA): New York GMA ( It consist of the suburban areas of the state that is still considered as part of the city) 5. Rural: Walworth ( Not part of the city but part of the state)

CBD functions Houses the crucial administrative, commercial, financial and political functions of the city. The CBD is located in the most accessible part of the city with good public transportation and a complex structure of highways that are connected to the city. Attracts financial, commercial, administrative and professional production, exchange and consumption due to the advantages reaped from the agglomeration economies as a result of the clustering together of important activities (economies of scale) Eg. Shenton Way Encourages cultural and social exchange by virtue of its large mix of people from all walks of life and invariably, different cultural background.

Parts of the CBD Inner core: This is the highest concentration of the financial and commercial activities. This is due to the accessibility of the CBD as the main routes and ring roads link to the CBD. Within this high demand piece of land, the usage is usually determined by the business or function that can reap the most profit and benefits from it. Commercial activities are usually located in the inner core as they profit the most from their prime location and hence can outbid their competitors. Vice Versa for residential housing. Outer core: Less concentration of high level commercial and retail activities, mixed with other activities such as light manufacturing. Zone of transition: Mixed of old and newer land use. Old uses comprised of low income housing in dilapidated buildings. The poor lives in these areas as it can save them transportation cost when they have to commute to work. However, due to government intervention or organic forces, these places have been undergoing urban redevelopment or

gentrification as the piece of land has no utilitarian value with regards to certain commercial objectives. Furthermore, redevelopment Is also encouraged as the land in the zone of transition is very valuable due to its proximity to the CBD. Reimaging of the CBD Purpose: To meet the changing demands, needs and trends in the face of globalisation. Such as the poor layout of the city, competitions from the neighbouring towns and to better serve the needs of the population. Type of changes and reimaging 1. Expansion of CBD from single to multiple CBD: Thus creating a multiple nuclei/ polycentric city. When the city grows and urban sprawl takes place, the demand for services is increasing. With the development of regional CBDs, it will cater to certain administrative and commercial needs by providing infrastructure, facilities and services. Besides that, these CBDs help spread out growth in the main CBD so that the population will not over concentrate in one area. These secondary CDBs are usually located near the primary CBD or even in the suburbs area. E.g. Singapores expansion from Shenton Way to the multiple growth poles of Marina Bay, Woodlands, Jurong East, Tampines.

Continual redevelopment of various parts of the CBD: Because of the increasing cost and shortage of land in the centre of cities, older buildings that do not meet certain commercial objectives are deconstructed and usually redeveloped into another form of activity such as new multi-storey developments such as skyscrapers often seen in DCs such as New York and Tokyo. These serves to attract new businesses and investments into the country, further contributing to the economy. This method is often used in land scarce countries such as Singapore or in highly congested and cramped cities. While this can benefit the countrys economy, this method is often criticized for destroying a countrys heritage as old historical building as often torn down.


Transformation of CBD from 12 hr to 24 hr CBD: In the past, the CBD will be very deserted after office hours and it is often associated to a ghost town. However, after redevelopment and transformation, a night life is introduced by the construction of pubs and caf for the night time party goers and crowd and for the workers after their office hours. Not only does this increase the vibrancy of the CBD at night, it also provides a form of economy for the country and ultimately employment for the people. Eg. Singapores Clarke Quays construction of pubs, eateries, restaurants and other various night-life entertainments.


Gentrification: It is the change in function of buildings while keeping its outer faade. It often takes place in the zone of transition where old historical buildings that have little commercial value are spruced up and transformed into a mainly commercial and retail areas as these lands are very valuable due to its proximity to the CBD. These gentrified areas, mostly high-end retails, can attract plenty of middle to upper class people to return to the city.

E.g. London Docklands, which had been a decrepit docklands post-WWII, was taken over by the UK government to be gentrified, and now attracts many new businesses with its new retail and commercial areas, and its green spaces.

Influences on city structure

1. Influences of social forces: Invasion and Succession and rich repelling from the poor Process Poor migrants coming into the city will usually stay nearest to the CBD in the zone of transition for accessibility reasons. It will invade into the living space of the richer, more established folks who will then move out further away from the city center into the suburbs. After several cycles of rich repelling from the poor, a concentric circle of population growth can be seen to mark the different land uses and the population in these lands. Account for differences in land use This distinctive land usage creates a spatial rich poor divide within the city, often resulting in urban dualism whereby both social classes live relatively close to each other but in distinctively different areas. The poor would reside in the zone of transition areas as they need to be nearest to the city to save on the transportation costs while the rich, who have higher mobility due to the ability to own private cars prefer to live further away in the suburbs, away from the negative perceptions associated to the inner city. E.g. Los Angeles. Rich whites live in geographically superior areas - Bel Air on the hills overlooking LA Poorer Latinos and Blacks live in Watts, in the valley, subject to pollution and congestion. 2. Influence of transport Process Connecting different nodes of growth together, allowing accessibility, allowing accessibility between different sectors to be increased. This has made expansion of city possible with the advent of private cars ownership and development of road, leading to a growth of city in sectors as seen in the Hoyts sector model.

Account for differences in land use When the city grows horizontally in sectors, it is primarily influenced by the growth of private car ownership. Along some of these routes are the suburban districts where the middle class live while other areas are also regions of growth for light industries and suburban shopping malls. E.g. Singapore, condo belts along major arterial roads like ECP and Bkt Timah Rd 3. Influence of growth poles Process Growth poles are designated areas of development by the government with the primary purpose of attracting people and businesses into the area. This will lead to a polycentric city with a sprawling region of development with many separate centres each with their own levels of functional specialization. Account for differences in land use The government or land authorities are constantly planning and strategizing to maximize land space in the city as well as spread out growth. Having different forms of growth poles means that land use is also influenced by what kind of growth poles there are, where they are and how they have been developed and managed. The eventual landscape is one with many different growth poles, each attracting a different kind of activity. E.g. Govt intervention = Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Universities in Sepang act as growth poles spawning rapid growth by creating jobs and attracting people. Universities require accommodation R&D facilities and F&B to serve students. 4. Influence of state Process The role of state is prevalent in the planning of the city, especially where the state is a major stakeholder of the citys development to ensure efficiency and equity of usage, along with aesthetics. New town redevelopment Urban redevelopment o Reimaging o Gentrification o Deconstruction/construction o Conservation measures Singapore: Ring Concept Plan 1971 = satellite towns and MRT linking CBD to Jurong Export zone

Concept Plan 1991 = aims to rapidly develop, garden city concept, development of unique culture Revised Concept Plan 2001 = High rise housing to deal with land shortage, transport network, attraction of business travellers using Meetings Incentive travel Conventions and Exhibitions 5. Influence of history Colonial cities: a) Were planned based on racial lines in the past, giving rise to racial segregation. Consequently, architecture and urban design in different racial areas were also distinctively different. b) Tend to have characteristics of mixed land use and spontaneous growth. Some of the mixed land uses consist of godowns, administrative blocks, commercial trading area and old pre-war residences. Spontaneous growth of squatter settlement and proliferation of slums could be due to the high influx of immigrants into the country at a rate that is unsustainable such that the city cannot sustain the incoming immigrants as they are unable to provide adequate shelter and jobs. c) National and cultural identity. E.g. Latin America - within CBD = zocalo, commercial spines, metropolitan cathedral, govt buildings, elite area and squatter areas (segregation)

Future forms of cities

1. More multi-nuclei cities: When the city grows and urban sprawl takes place, the demand for services is increasing. With the development of regional CBDs, it will cater to certain administrative and commercial needs by providing infrastructure, facilities and services. Besides that, these CBDs help spread out growth in the main CBD so that the population will not over concentrate in one area. These secondary CDBs are usually located near the primary CBD or even in the suburbs area. This new form of city is often referred to as post modern city. All of these mean that the city, rather than being a single coherent country, each has its own unique entity, specialising at a particular activity. Eg. In Singapore, retail hubs (orchard), Tourist hub (Marina bay integrated resort), Medical hub (NUH), science and technology development (One North and Fusionpolis) 2. Post modern architecture designs: Other than influencing the structure of the city, the architecture and urban design is slowly changing over time. From a more functionalistic designs in the past to cater to the demand of the economy (manufacturing) to a more organic and playful designs. 3. Divided city: As globalisation and industrialisation continues taking place, both these phenomenon will definitely benefit the rich more than the poor, allowing the rich to advance further in their socio economic status while the poor are left behind. This will result in an increasing rich poor divide and this is evident in the city where urban dualism is clearly

observed as people from different economic groups are living in distinctively different area. Some examples of the different living spaces are gentrified areas (yuppies), suburban city (middle class suburbanites), abandoned city (poorest of the poor) and tenement city (working class). 4. Wired cities: The use of high tech communication devices such as fibre optics to facilitate the creation of an intelligent city that makes use of such technology to link the city and facilitate better flow of information, services and better communication. Eg. South Korea national television mainstream channels are broadcasted in full high definition where in other countries such as Singapore, high definition signals from satellites are still at its infancy, showing that South Korea is very much ahead in this area.

5. Cultural city: As migration has been more rampant in recent years, future cities act as a cultural melting pot of different ethnic and cultural groups as many have been more welcoming of foreign talent. 6. Sustainable city: As environmental issues have received the spotlight in the recent decade, many cities are placing sustainability in the city as their forefront agenda. Eg. Masdar city in UAE.

Responses to urbanisation: New towns, greenbelt, gentrification and urban redevelopment.

A. 3 main solutions to inner cities

Urban renewal and gentrification Deconstruction and construction: Because of the increasing cost and shortage of land in the centre of cities, older buildings that do not meet certain commercial objectives are deconstructed and usually redeveloped into another form of activity such as new multi-storey developments such as skyscrapers often seen in DCs such as New York and Tokyo. These serves to attract new businesses and investments into the country, further contributing to the economy. This method is often used in land scarce countries such as Singapore or in highly congested and cramped cities. While this can benefit the countrys economy, this method is often criticized for destroying a countrys heritage as old historical building as often torn down. Eg. Old library to SMU b) Gentrification: It is the change in function of buildings while keeping its outer facade. It often takes place in the zone of transition where old historical buildings that have little commercial value are spruced up and transformed into mainly commercial and

retail areas. Gentrification often takes place in the inner city as the value of land is very high due to its proximity to the CBD. Eg. Gentrification of boat quay and Clarke quay to a recreation area with pubs and Cafes c) Green space creation: Green spaces have been implemented into the city to reduce the hard look of the city. Not only does this have environmental benefits, it draws in the middle class suburbanites back into the city. d) Novel marketing strategies: Aggressive and novel marketing strategies to attract investors and business into the inner city. Advertisements, campaigns on tv and more have been utilized to publicized the new inner city.

Clearing of slums and squatters


Governments in the past as unable or unwilling to invest in upgrading of slums. Slums and squatters were perceived as an area of dire poverty and beyond the hope restoration. So massive demolition and eviction by governments or other legal authorities, aided by the police or even military to force these migrants back to the rural areas. These often lead to clashes between authorities and squatters. However, such a scheme is not very effective as the squatters often return to the area again once it permits and the area of the squatter and slum region is too large to be entirely cleared.


Settlement relocation (more recent initiative) Cheap housing: The government introduced cheap housing for the poor however, many ended up in failure as prices went up too quickly for the poor to afford and some of these areas have very poor public transportation hence it is not very popular among the poor as they do not have private cars to get to the city hence they rely very heavily on public transportation. In the end many of these places end as urban slums that are associated to high level of crime and poor living conditions. Eg. Sao Paulos Cingapura project at public housing was rather successful at rehousing the poor but not all the poor can afford it.

b) Self help housing scheme: The government of legal authorities teach the poor

how to build thus entrusting them with the ownership to build their own house. This gives them a greater sense greater responsibility over their community and also a sense of self worth. At the same time, it discourages the impression that staying in the city was a paradise or haven. Eg. Self help scheme in India


New towns and green belt creation: New towns are affordable public housing developments built generally to rehouse populations from the congested city centres as part of decentralization which is spatially separate from the parent city and self sufficient to support itself. New town creation help check urban sprawl and regenerate declining and peripheral regions that and it may serve as a magnet for future growth. These new towns will give the poor in the inner city new employment opportunities that will help them get out from their poverty cycle. To ensure that the new town is successful, the government has to adjust to the needs of the local population and ensure that the prices of the buildings are checked and the quality of the building is adequate or else the new town will become a modern slum associated with crime, drugs and decay. The green belt is a specially designated piece of greenery primarily to check urban growth and prevent urban sprawl. This helps to reduce environmental pollution. However, it increases rent in the urban area as the green belt has greatly restricted expansion. However, many cities have decided to leapfrog the green belt by developing beyond the green belt to produce suburbanisation and Counterurbanisation. Eg. Bishan New town and London new town

Consequences of urban growth: Inner city decay Inner city (DC)

Causes Economic: From the 1960s onwards, many manufacturing based cities in the UK like Manchester, Liverpool and Hull suffered massive closure of factories. Deindustrialisation impacted greatly on the working class people who were staying in the inner city, causing massive unemployment and inability to pay for rent and upkeep their surroundings. The place which they stayed in suffered as well. Physical: Many houses in the inner city were built during the industrial period and in the early 20th century. Due to their sheer age, there were signs of deterioration and decay and as they lack several modern amenities, this made living unattractive and contributed to further decay. Poor urban planning in the city is often blamed to be one of the causes of inner city decay. The tower block in UK is a classic example of how the poor urban design and planning failed to meet social needs of the Britons in general. As a result, the blocks eventually undergone urban decay and eventually transforms to a modern slum where negative perceptions such as crime, drugs and gangsterism.

Pollution from the once traditional heavy industries in the inner city, together with the vast numbers congregating in the same sector, contributes to inner city decay in terms of air, land and noise pollution. Socio-cultural cause: Many inner cities in world are inhabited by ethnic minorities (Bronx in New York, Skid Row in LA and London Dockland). These folks are often caught in the cycle of poverty for various socio-cultural reasons. Being mainly ethnic minorities, these groups usually are discriminated from the job market because of language barrier, racial difference and lack of skills, leading to social disorder.

Inner city (LDC) aka slums

Causes A city experiences severe housing shortages when it overurbanises. When overurbanisation takes places, the rate of urban growth greatly surpass the rate of growth of the citys ability to cope with the growth in terms of housing, amenities and services. Through rural- urban migration and natural increase within the city, the infrastructure becomes very strained, causing overcrowding and congestion. Squatter settlement is a result of congestion and overcrowding. Poor folks are just too poor to afford formal housing, hence they make do with make shift homes on empty spaces of land wherever they can find. This phenomenon usually occurs in primate cities where the backwash effect is very strong, hence with people flocking into the city, many will be unable to find a house thus resulting in the development of squatter and slum settlement. Bangkok and Manila are good examples of cities that are experiencing severe housing shortages. Location of slums and squatters Usually in areas of disamenity which is a place that is unfit for formal housing and lacks basic amenities such as water and electricity. 1. On rubbish dumps: Smokey mountains in Manila ( Many poor migrants come to this place to scavenge whatever recyclable material they could find in order to earn a meagre profit just to survive on a daily basis. Hygiene is also very poor and infant mortality rate is very high. While there have been governmental efforts to clear out this squatter settlement, the residents return to this area some time later. 2. Cemeteries: Cairo, Egypt 3. Steep slopes: Favelas of Brazil (Housing on steep slopes of hills are very dangerous as heavy episodes of rain and shower could result in a lahar that will destroy the houses, killing many along with it.

Urban transport
General causes of transport problems

Rapid increase in private car ownership: Due to convenience as cars provide point to point transportation b) Increased reliance on private cars: Due to low level of walking and public transportation and more complex commuting patterns that cannot be met by public transportation. c) Population growth within cities: Natural increase and massive rural to urban migration. d) Higher demand for commuting: more people are working, increasing affluence hence greater travel for recreation and tourism purposes, retail suburbanisation and residential suburbanisation

Causes of transport problems in LDC


Very rapid population growth: Rapid rural-urban migration resulted from the bright light phenomenon. The poor have the impression that in the city they will rise up in their social status and become successful. Due to such mindsets, many rural folks have left for the city thus resulting in a high rural-urban migration rate. This will result in natural increase as many of the migrants will have a family in the city and not to mention bear children hence leading to natural increase.

b) Poor road infrastructure: Shortage of roads are due to inadequate public spending

and laizsse faire government attitude, hence little transport development occurs due to poor governance. Furthermore, delay in mass transit systems due to the same reasons and costly fare of such transits. Some countries rely more on informal transport system such as trishaws which contribute more to the congestion problem as these vehicles travel at varying speed.
c) Lax emission controls: Poor vehicle maintenance and older engine are more

pollutive. Many of these engines do not comply with the latest carbon emission guideline for car engines. The use of cheaper fuel would worsen the problem as they undergo less efficient burning and hence more soot and pollution is emitted by the vehicle. Eg. Sri Lanka/ Bangkok, nonexistent emission standards, although Bangkok has improved in recent years with the implementation of CNG taxis

Causes transport problems in DC


Due to overreliance of cars and lack of usage of public transportation, rush hour traffic is very common in the DC, also leading to increased pollutions as vehicles would end up spending more time on the road. Eg. Due to traffic jams, Americans spend an average of 100hrs/year commuting, indicating increased pollution, increased congestion and decrease productivity.

b) Increased suburban travel patterns: Due to retail suburbanisation, malls and hypermarkets are located further away from the city in the suburbs as they have the space for future expansion and sufficient space for car park, also land is cheaper there. Therefore, there is a need for private transportation as such areas are not accessible by public transportation. This increases travelling and results in more pollution. This discriminates those without private cars as these places have low accessibility and lack public transportation. Residential suburbanisation increases travel time as commuters have to travel further daily and the lack of public transportation worsens the situation. This increases pollution out of the city as well. With increasing affluence, there are more travelling for recreation and tourism. This inevitably increases pollution. E.g. Vicious cycle - suburbs have poor public transport, people rely on private car ownership, poor demand for public transport in suburbs, public tpt does not develop in suburbs. For example perth suburbs - public tpt overcrowded, infrequent. Many complained that govt should have improved public highway instead of public tpt

Higher demand for bigger engines: With increasing affluence, many families in the DC not only demand more cars but bigger ones as part of their dream. This greatly increases noise and air pollution from motor vehicles. E.g. USA of new vehicles is an SUV, making it the most popular American vehicle. THis is accentuated by cheap, subsidized cars and fuel.

d) Inconvenience of public transportation and usage: Crowding and discomfort especially in Japans subway during peak hours. Also the inability to reach destination quickly and comfortably discourages people from taking public transport Management of transport problems a) Transport system measures Road pricing: Used to discourage people from taking a certain road hence diverging the traffic to prevent traffic jams. However, it is argued that such pricing discriminates against lower income car owners. Also there is a high political cost for authorities to implement as the general public would oppose the concept. Eg. Electronic road pricing in Singapore is cashless, hence easy to implement and enforce. E.g. Bangkok/Beijing cars with certain number plates are only allowed onto roads on certain days. Park and ride schemes - many countries

including Singapore and Sweden. Sweden - further reinforced with congestion taxes levied on cars entering CBD. Auto restraint: Public is encouraged to take public transportation by increasing cost of cars, increasing car fines or even ban cars from the city. Park and ride schemes are also implemented to reduce travelling by car. Ride sharing: Reduce congestion by discouraging solo drivers E.g. In many freeways in USA, such as in Southern California, one or two lanes are set aside for cars with more than 1 passenger. These lanes are usually free of traffic and help bypass jams. Improvement of Public Transport: Provides alternatives for people to bypass jams and helps to reduce congestion and pollution. E.g. Bangkok - Monorail system. Easy way of getting around city, but may be expensive for working class. b) Non transport initiatives Promote alternative work schedule: Flexible working hours, working at home and decentralize office centres Eg. Singapore- OCBC relocates back to Tampines, cutting down travel time for employees who do not have to travel to the CBD. Also Vancouver, Canada, alternative work schedules encouraged allow for more off peak commuting to cut down on congestion. Integrated urban planning: Public transportation factored into urban planning in the initial phase not a consequence of planning. Eg. Singapore concept plan- Plan to have new towns connected by MRT lines. By planning towns in such a way from the start, the urban structure is more organised with the transport ease a priority.