Chapter 21
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Chapter 21. Population, Urbanization and the Environment. Chapter Outline. People, Resources, and Urban Growth The Urban Landscape Urban Communities Cities and Social Change. Population Growth.

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Chapter 21

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Chapter 21

Population, Urbanization and the Environment


Chapter Outline

  • People, Resources, and Urban Growth

  • The Urban Landscape

  • Urban Communities

  • Cities and Social Change


Population Growth

  • The rate of population growth increased dramatically in the 20th century, giving rise to the often-used term population explosion.

  • The world’s population is currently estimated at 6.8 billion.

  • According to recent United Nations forecasts, it is likely to increase to about 8.8 billion by 2025.


Population Growth and Doubling Time


Population Growth and Doubling Time


Thomas Malthus

  • Attempted to show that population size normally increases more rapidly than available food supplies.

  • The resulting disease, poverty, famine, war, and mass migrations act as natural checks on population growth.


Demographic Transition

Demographic Transition Progresses through Three Stages:

  • A stage of high birthrates and death rates (the high growth potential stage).

  • A stage of declining death rates (the transitional growth stage).

  • A stage of declining birthrates (the stage of incipient decline).


The Demographic Transition: Sweden, 1691–1963

  • The peaks in birth and death rates in the early 1800s were a result of social unrest and war.

  • The drop in deaths and simultaneous rise in births in the early 1700s were a result of peace, good crops, and the absence of plagues.


Demographic Transition and Development


Demographic Transition and Development


Demographic Transition and Development


Life Expectancy In Global Context

  • Life expectancy is defined as the number of years one can expect to live.

  • Societies with advanced health care and well developed public health systems have average life expectancies in the 70’s.

  • Societies in the earlier stages of industrialization and urbanization have lower average life expectancies.

  • Impoverished societies have life expectancies that are extremely low and may be declining, due to high rates of infant mortality.


Crude Birth and Death Rates: Singapore, 1930–1988


Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy, 2006


Infant Mortality and Life Expectancy, 2006


Environmental Impact of Population

  • The U.S., with less than 5% of the earth’s population, consumes more than 20% of energy resources.

  • We put more than our share of pollutants and earth-warming gases into the atmosphere.

  • Much of this is related to automobiles: there are about 132 million private autos on the road, or 488 per 1,000 people.


Increase in Motor Vehicles, 1970–2010


World Capture FisheriesProduction


Urban Revolution

  • In 1800, only 3% of the world’s people lived in cities with populations of over 5,000.

  • By 1970, one-third of the world’s population lived in cities.


Populations of the World’s Largest Urbanized Areas


Urban Planning

  • Urban sociologists look at the relationship between planned and unplanned aspects of urban growth and the social groups that represent each aspect.

  • The poor and the immigrants represent unplanned additions to the city; the rich guide urban planning to suit their interests.


Models of Growth, Settlement and Land Use Within Cities

  • The Concentric-zone model claims expansion occurs through “Invasions” of successive zones surrounding the center of the city.

  • Satellite cities - cities that grow outside major cities.

  • Strip development model - the incorporation of smaller communities and towns into a larger metropolitan area.


The Concentric-Zone Model Applied to Chicago


Strip Development and Sprawl


The Los Angeles–Anaheim–Riverside Megalopolis


Urban Life

  • Ferdinand Tönnies and Émile Durkheim believed urban life produces impersonal social relationships.

  • Georg Simmel concluded that city dwellers adapt to the “psychic overload” created by urban stimuli by becoming emotionally distant.

  • According to Louis Wirth, the primary psychological effect of urban life is a weakening of the individual’s bonds to other people.


High-Poverty Tracts by Location


High-Poverty Tracts by Race and Ethnicity


Earthquakes of Magnitude 4.0 or Greater, 1960–1989


Environmental Racism

  • Pollution of the earth and water beneath these houses, caused by the criminal dumping of toxic wastes, forced residents to abandon their homes.

  • Sociologist Kai Erikson identified such disasters as a “new species of trouble” with profound consequences.


Quick Quiz


1. According to Malthus, our species is destined to have serious problems (i.e., famine, war, and disease) because

  • of mans' inhumanity to man.

  • human reproduction will invariably outstrip food production.

  • people are by nature only concerned about themselves and their own kind.

  • humans are only imperfect reproductions of God, they do not embody righteousness.


Answer: b

  • According to Malthus, our species is destined to have serious problems (i.e., famine, war, and disease) because human reproduction will invariably outstrip food production.


2. The world has experienced rapid population growth over the past century because

  • death rates have fallen sharply.

  • birth rates have sharply increased.

  • societies have experienced industrialization and urbanization.

  • the demographic transition has been completed in virtually all nations.


Answer: a

  • The world has experienced rapid population growth over the past century because death rates have fallen sharply.


3. According to demographic transition theory,

  • all nations have experienced completion of the transition.

  • industrialization has virtually nothing to do with changing attitudes toward childbearing.

  • the most developed nations of the world have been the least likely to complete the transition.

  • factors related to social and economic development are responsible for the sequence of mortality decline and then fertility decline.


Answer: d

  • According to demographic transition theory, factors related to social and economic development are responsible for the sequence of mortality decline and then fertility decline.


4. Which is false relative to the "concentric-zone model" of Park and Burgess?

  • It was based on the concept of "natural area."

  • The outer zones are largely residential, rather than commercial, in nature.

  • With upward social mobility, people tend to move toward the center of cities.

  • Cities are structurally dynamic as each zone tends to expand outward over time.


Answer: c

  • The following is false relative to the "concentric-zone model" of Park and Burgess:

    • With upward social mobility, people tend to move toward the center of cities.


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