9TH Grade Global Issues Semester 2 Unit: URBANIZATION & MIGRATION PowerPoint 1: An Introduction to Urbanization. Topic : A Brief History of Cities. Key Questions: What is the definition of a city? When did people start living in cities? What was the first city like?
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The Demographic Definition of a City
This definition was first codified by sociologist Louis Wirth in his influential 1938 paper, “Urbanism as a way of life” (Wirth 1938). Cities, according to Wirth, are defined by four characteristics:
1. Permanence2. Large population size3. High population density4. Social heterogeneity
This sounds pretty good to most modern ears. It certainly fits contemporary cities, although there is always room for quibbling with quantitative definitions (How many people? How much heterogeneity?). To use the demographic definition, one looks at a settlement, makes some measurements, and decides whether or not it is a city.
The Functional Definition of Urban or City
Although there may be precursors, most modern functional definitions of cities derive from mid-20th century economic geography, where central place theory focused on the regional distribution of retail market centers. Market centers provisioned a hinterland, and the larger the hinterland (and the more goods and services provided), the more important the center. In these models retail marketing is an urban function—an activity or institution located within a settlement that affects people and places beyond the settlement. Later developments in anthropology and geography expanded the notion of urban function beyond economics to include politics and religion (Fox 1977). From this perspective, the Classic Maya jungle cities can be considered urban because their kings ruled city-states larger than the individual settlement, and their temples were the focus of worship for peasants as well as urban dwellers. From the demographic perspective, on the other hand, the Maya centers were not big enough to be called cities. To use the functional definition, one cannot simply look at a settlement and decide whether it is urban; one has to look at the entire regional context, including the hinterland and other nearby settlements. If the settlement in question was the setting for people and institutions that impacted a larger realm, it can be considered an urban settlement.
Economist Intelligence Unit Worlds most livable cities
Study at least 3 different websites and answer the following questions:
(1a) What cities have world class & high quality public transportation?
(1b) How can other cities followed this model?
(2) What are the economic benefits for a cities that reduce congestion?
(1) How much green area do urban planners need to set aside to improve livability?
(2) What cities around the world are noted for their outstanding parks, open areas and recreational opportunities? Are these man made or natural?