Chapter 3: The Foundations of the American Urban System. Frontier Urbanization: European Colonization to Independence Mercantile Period (1790-1840) Local Markets and Central Place Early Industrial Expansion and Realignment (1840-1875) Industrialization (1875-1920) Uneven and Unstable
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Entrepots began to emerge. Places with better natural port/trade advantages, and could better coordinate shipping schedules with other ports (ex. New York, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, and Newport)
Key: Settlements associated with long-distance trade are seen as leading central places of the urban system rather than settlements associated with local markets. Long distance trade, “fixes” the spatial pattern of the cities that come to function as leading central places of the urban system rather than local markets.
***Vance synthesizes elements of staples theory, economic base theory, innovation diffusion theory and central place theory dynamics to account for the history of settlement in North America.
1840s – Transition from a trading economy to a mature agricultural and growing industrial economy in US (Technologies from Europe, improved Ag. Production and immigrants from Europe)
New Industrial Technologies had specific location requirements
Power Sites – Industries that needed significant amounts of energy (ex. H20). Industrial towns along fall lines of New England and the Appalachians.
2. Mining Towns-Provided coal and ore. Appalachian coalfield towns Norton, Virginia
Transportation Centers-Strategic locations made by canals and railroad networks (Roanoke, Virginia)
Heavy Manufacturing Towns – Dependent on large volumes of raw materials tie to the source area. Ex. Pittsburgh. Already a river port and wholesaling center.
Reason for growth in these cities included the idea of Initial Advantage:
Capital and Profits from craft and Wholesaling were reinvested into factories and machineries
Knowledge and Tradition of entrepreneurship, investment & lending supported industrial development
Largest Pools of Labor
Largest and Most Affluent local and regional Markets
Initial Advantage special case of an External Economies – Cost advantage that accrue to firms because of their locational setting
Local specialized labor, pools of capital, accessibility to specialized business services
More traditional factors include physical infrastructure such as roads, harbors, RR, and utilities.
External Economies derives from any advantage that stems from the COLLECTIVE, rather than the EXCLUSIVE use of any of the elements necessary for profitable activity. Often referred to as Agglomeration Economies or Urban Economies
Localization Economies include only certain types of firms being able to benefit from external economies (ex. Shipwrights, research institutes, legal services, entertainment production)
Explains Economic Specialization in Cities
Ex. Seattle-Airplanes, LA - Film
Trade and marketing in 1800s allowed for development of regularities in spacing and patterns of towns and cities
Settlements evolved to match distance that could be covered by river, canal or turnpike within a day’s travel
Gave rise to Cities and Towns serving as Local Service Centers, or Central Places
Brought a logic or order to the spatial distancing of towns and cities based on the variety of services they provide
1930s, Walter Christaller observed striking regularities in size and spacing of settlements in S. Germany
Accessibility of settlements is based on Distance.
Foundations of Central Place is a dependent on the principles of “range” and “threshold” of goods and services.
Range of a particular project is the max. distance a customer will travel for a product
High Order Goods-Might have a range of several hundred miles (Medical care, specialized equipment, professional sports teams) infrequent need/travel
Low Order Goods-Perishable or required at large amounts frequently (saloons, bakeries, hair salons, post offices)
Threshold – Minimum market size required to keep product on offer (minimum distance necessary to secure a hinterland with enough potential customers to keep an enterprise profitable - Hospitals needs thousands of people whereas a grocery store needs a few hundred)
Christaller developed a hinterland hexagonal pattern (competitive zone at margin of each hinterland)
Led to a Nested Hierarchy of City-Town-Village-Hamlet
Using a market principle, all service providers profits would be kept to a max if central places were kept to a minimum (k=3)
So, 1 City = 3 Towns = 9 Villages = 27 Hamlets
Used still in consumer behavior and distance travel for site selection of stores, used to plan new settlements in the Dutch polderlands and new settlements in Israel.
Drawbacks- Does not focus on manufacturing and long distance trading functions, also a static model that is not responsive to pop. densities, spending power, transportation technologies or communication
Industrial Capitalism in full swing; RR allows urban places to serve as regional center (e.g. Birmingham, Jacksonville, Memphis and Houston to emerge as central places and with regional status); pop. Expanded – natural increase and immigration (12 million immigrants arrived in US between 1890-1910) (Saw Economies of Scale actualized – Ag. In California and west, minerals in central west, coal in Southeastern US)
Fueled urban growth – NY-4.75 million; Boston. Chicago, Philadelphia, & Pittsburgh - ~1.5 million; LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Kansas City, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Baltimore, Providence – 500,000 people
Logic of Industrial Location influenced patterns of urban growth
Manufacturing belt was consolidated due to Initial Advantage @ a Regional Scale.
Had large markets (growing consumer base), advanced transportation networks, & coal reserves
Efficiency of telegraph services, postal service, rationalization of banking, reduced energy costs
(1) Local Specialization directed to National rather than local markets – Brewers in Milwaukee and St. Louis took advantage of refrigerated rail cars and mechanized production techniques; Chicago took advantage of meat packing, printing and furniture making; Boston took advantage of musical instruments and men’s clothing. Smaller cities became even more specialized (signature boutique production)
(2) Specialization provided the foundation for Increased Commodity Flows between towns and cities of the Manufacturing Belt
Bound the region even more tightly together. With a combination of $, commercial linkages, and technical expertise – region was attractive to new industrial activity with large or national markets. Thus, other cities could not compete @ this scale or intensity. Other cities and regions could not attract manufacturers of mass-produced goods for the national market.
Rise of the internal combustion engine & Fordism post WW I – Great Change
Auto competes w/ transit
Continued mechanization of farm equipment
“Great Migration” of Americans of African heritage to northern cities 1916-1918
Decline of small towns and communities dependent on coal and RR centers
Development of satellite cities and “bedroom communities” led to Regional Decentralization (signature process of US cities)
Rise of large companies through Horizon Economic Integration – cutting out similar smaller firms via price reduction
Vertical Economic Integration-Taking over companies that provide inputs/purchase outputs
Diagonal Economic Integration – Purchasing profitable companies that have activities unrelated to original firm.
Resulted in loss of local ties to companies situated in many cities
Late 1920s, economy took a downward slide of the third Kondratiev cycle – October 1929 Stock Market Crash!
Followed Price Deflation (type B economic growth) “Roaring Twenties”
Resulted in Ag. Being a victim of its own success (Bushel of Wheat fell from $1.80 in 1920 to $.50 in 1930
Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act-led to recession of world wide trade
Industrial and financial markets were over-speculated
Led to unemployment rates rising from 3% in ’29 to 25% by 1933!
Heavily industrial cities like Pittsburgh & Detroit were around 50%
Seattle and Philadelphia were more diversified-Unemployment between 20%-30%
Overaccumulation Crisis – Surplus labour, surplus production capacity, surplus capital or “underconsumption” insufficient demand in relation to capabilities of economic system
Circuits of Capital Investment into Secondary Circuits (machinery equipment & buildings) could not absorb surplus capital.
The calamities of the Great Depression led to increased government intervention in the economy
Taxes were used to channel capital into Tertiary circuit (R&D, education, health, and welfare)-Maintain economies productivity and healthy workforce
Know as Keynesianism-Increased public expenditures used to stimulate demand, provide public employment – absorb surplus labor
Ideology of “Free Enterprise” or Competitive Capital was severely shaken
FDR was elected in 1932 on a platform of government intervention that provided relief, reform, and recovery.
Increased role of government Had great effects on notions of urbanization
Also gave rise to a pact between government, big business, and organized labor – Established the foundation of the era of Organized Capital
Era of Post Post WW II – Current -Advanced or “Disorganized” capital began to dominate in latter portion of era
Economic Recovery and Growth (1945-1972)-Rise of Service Economy
Economic Crisis and Reorganization (1972-1983) - Led to uneven Deindustrialization
1983 – Current – Sunrise Industries High Tech and Telecommunications
Rise of interstate highway system and a network of regional and subregional passenger airports
Led to both Regional Decentralization & Metropolitan Consolidation
Region Decentralization Allowed cities in the South and West to grow rapidly since not heavily unionized. Benefited from 4th Kondratiev Upswing (high tech - electronics, aerospace, and petrochemicals)
Cities in Manufacturing Belt were suffering from Agglomeration Diseconomies
Metropolitan Consolidation – Rise in HQ firms and R&D Laboratories became increasingly organized in larger metropolitan areas.
Due to corporate mergers and acquisitions
Differing growth and changing pattern of economic specialization within urban system
Control Centers (HQs) emerged in LA, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, whereas Cincinnati, Detroit, Philadelphia & Pitts. declined
Rise of R & D facilities – traditionally tied to the location of the parent company
R&D became more critical to conglomerate companies – R&D facilities began locating close to HQ and also centralized laboratories.
Led to a centralization of R&D in large Metro areas
Rise of “Innovation Centers” – Places with strong university research centers, Federal science presence and cultural and recreational facilities(Silicon Valley, Route 128, Research Triangle)
1973 – Due to Arab-Israeli conflict, Arab nations imposed embargo on shipments of oil to US and Europe
OPEC then quadrupled oil prices
Rising oil prices and US economic structural problems plunged the US into Stagflation-falling demand and rising inflation
Foreign competition from Japan, Germany and NICs (4 Asian Tigers & Mexico)
Shifting to Fifth Kondratiev cycle (Informational Economy) – The new type of economy needed a new setting
Led to massive deindustrilization in manufacturing belt
Keynesian approach to macroeconomic management began to fall out of favor.
Led to neoliberal macro economic policies (tax payer revolts-less taxes and privatization)
President Regan began retrenching US government – Federal responsibilities were decentralized to State and City governments (cut funding by 33%) between 1978-1974
Traditional manufacturing sector hit hardest – Cities that had specific manufacturing specialties hit even harder (Youngtown, Ohio)
Detroit lost over 166,000 jobs by 1980
Led to Cumulative Causation in Reverse
“Will the Last Person Leaving Seattle Please Turn Out the Lights?”
-Sign posted at the City Limits of Seattle in 1982
Oil companies made massive profits during this time
Overaccumulation Crisis-Surplus labour, surplus $, & idle production capacity
Circuits of capital moved into secondary circuit of capital (buildings in metro areas & tertiary sector R&D)
Large quantities of excess capital was also invested offshore
Led to rise of an “Informational Epoch” and increasing separation between domestic capital and US residents (Global flows of $)
Since 1970s three kinds technologies were crucial to rise of Informational Economy
Production Process Technologies -Have increased the separability & Flexibility of production processes (offshoring)
Transactions Technologies –Firms can be locationally and organizationally flexible (Just-in-manufacturing)
Circulation Technologies- Reduced the time & cost of communications & distribution. Led to a wider geographic market
Led to reorganization of US economy
Transformation of relationship between corporate capital & labor. Mechanization, Offshoring, women & immigrants, decline of strength of traditional unions (End of Organized Capital)
New role for State & Public sector – shifted away from collective consumption (tax & spend on schools, hospitals, and community services) to public/private partnerships, deregulation, $ into high technology & DEFENSE
New International & Intermetropolitan Divisions of Labor Greatest proportional growth of professional & business services has occurred in midsized metro areas Boston, Washington DC, San Jose, Austin, Raleigh-Durham, Colorado Springs
Source of productivity lies in the quality of knowledge (essential to the new production process)
New urban system based on “Spaces of Flows” rather than a relative location (distances does not matter)
What is now crucial for an urban system is to be “hooked in” to the flow of ideas, capital & people
Can lead to a Rise of an Informational City – Manual Castell’s term for a city that is a focus for info. And depends on high tech networks to create new knowledge (outputs)
Globalization and the Urban-an increasing interconnectedness of people and places around the world via economic, political, and cultural change and exchange. The tendency towards a global culture (most pronounced in World Cities)
Major urban centers become a microcosm of what is happening globally.
Now, transnational corporations drive the “means of production – information and communication technologies” in urban systems. TNCs drive, finance, and operate this infrastructure (and labor) according to global market standards (and demands)
Problem – TNCs are detached from local processes of urban development, critical network infrastructure is highly uneven in its access, serving only certain neighborhoods, cities, and metropolitan areas –called Splintering Urbanism – Extreme Geographical differentiation between different cities and within cities regarding uneven evolution of networks of information and and communications technologies. Both propels the economy forward, but further divides the urban rich and poor.