Contemporary urban environments

  • Created by: barry
  • Created on: 24-05-18 23:30


The increase in proportion of people living in urban places



  • Desertification- unproductive it cannot provides food for population who then move away.
  • Farmers take out loans to help them improve their yields, if these crops fail they may be unable to pay these loans back and may lose land.

  • Conflict and civil war may cause people to flee their homes.

  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods may damage homes and farmland which people cannot afford to rebuild or repair.


  • There is often a perception that quality of life will be better in a city. 
  • More jobs in urban areas, which tend to be better paid.
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Urbanisation 2


  • Low quality of life as shanty towns are createdwith poor sanitation
  • Little chance of employment and the idea may cause social tension especially during ecnomic recesion,
  • Increases pressure on roads and railways causing congestion and air pollution.
  • Lack of basic services e.g clean water and waste disposal = disease
  • Little education = hard to get a well paid job
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Urbanisation Case study

Mumbai, India

  • India’s largest city with around 14,350,000 people.

  • India’s financial center, a major port and industrial are and the home of the ‘Bollywood’ industry and a center for culture

Causes of growth:

  • The port is known as the ‘Gateway to India’  and has become very industrialized, processing goods for exports and handing imports
  • Banking finance and insurance sectors allowed Mumbai to become India’s centre of finance.


  • 52% live in slums
  • 1/3 people have respiratory issues
  • 1 million people illegally living 60% of Mumbai population lives like this.
  • Dharvi is a slum of despair as the working conditions are very poor, with poor air quality.
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Urbanisation Case study 2


  • Slums will be replaced by modern seven story homes so more people can be housed.
  • Those who can prove they have been living in Dharavi since 1995 will receive free accommodation
  • The new buildings will have to have infrastructure including roads, water, drainage, schools, industrial estate etc.

Solutions problems:

  • However, the project cannot go ahead unless the majority of the registered residents in the shanty town agree. However, the unregistered people will have their views ignored
  • There are fears amongst the people that the government won’t actually build alternative accommodation but instead will be replaced with higher value developments for businesses and companies to allow the city to continue to expand.
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The outward expansion of urban areas from the CBD, urban growth as the size of the city increases.


  • Improvementsto public transport and increasing car ownership mean people can live further from work and commute in to the city each day.
  • Disposable income has increases so more cars- 30 million in the uk, makes surburbanisation more possible
  • Percived better life in the Suburbs
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Urban waste 2

Types of waste

Domestic waste: human generated such as cooking, cleaning, repairs etc.

  • Categorised as biodegradable, recycalble

Municipal waste:

  • This results from municipal activities and services such as street cleaning, abdonded vechiles

Commercial waste:- from offices, wholesales and retail stores.

  • This waste is categorised as biodegrable, recyclable

Institutional waste: from instatutions such as schools, hospitals and reseasearch facilites

  • Considerd to be haxardous to the public, which requires specialised disposal stratagies.

Industrial waste: range of substances from diffrent industrys.

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Suburbanisation 3

Impacts on city centre:

  • As people and businesses move to the suburbs, buildings are abandoned and may become derelict. These lead to city centers becoming run down.
  • As businesses leave unemployment increases, which leads to lower living standards and poverty.
  • Wealthier people may move to the suburbs where there is a better quality of life. The people left behind the poorer and are often foreign immigrants. This lead to economic and ethnic segregation forming enclaves.

Impacts on the suburbs:

  • New housing estates are often built on open countryside, this affects wildlife habitats
  • As urban areas spread, more ground is concreted over. Increasing surface run off and risk of flooding.
  • Most people who live in the suburbs own their own cars. This means that the number of cars on the roads increases causing congestion and pollution.
  • New retail and buisness parks follow the population this creates employment and wealth in outer urban places.
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Suburbanisation case study

Surbition, London

South West London in the borough of Kingston Upon Thames.

Causes of growth:

  • Imporovements in public transport, the railway station (built in 1838) made the area accessible 
  • Access to the A3 into centeral London 
  • Disposeible income has increses car ownership which has allowed people to commute between central London and home.
  • Percived better life for familes with good state schools


  • 40% of the residents commute to work by car- increasing congestion and air pollution.
  • House prices increased, typical house price for 4 bed is £950,000- first time buyers find it dificult to afford it
  • Village feel has been lost according to the orginal elderly people.
  • Social segregation has increased in London becuase the low income have been left
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The increase in proportion of people living in rural or semi rural areas


  • Many people move out of urban areas to escape the air and noise pollution of towns and cities
  • Suburbs and city centres often have problems with congestion and parking
  • As suburban areas become more popular house prices rise. People feel they are not getting value for money and move further from the city 


  • Less pollution = Better quality of life

  • Improved communication services make it easier for people to live in rural areas and work from home

  • Increased car ownership and improved rail services mean people can live further from work and commute.

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Counterurbanisation 2



  • Some services see an increase in business. This is because the newer residents are often professionals or retired people who have higher disposable incomes.
  • In some rural areas, school have closed due to lack of pupils. If families move to a rural area then schools can stay open and children of existing residents can continue to go to school locally.


  • Development can effect character of rural settlements
  • Rural roads and infrastructure may struggle to cope with additional traffic, causing congestion and air pollution in rural areas.
  • Schools may close if new residents are older people without families.
  • There is more demand for houses so house prices increase. Younger people may not be able to afford to buy a house, which can mean the population is dominated by older people.
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Counterurbanisation case study

St Ives, Cambridgeshire

  • Small town in Cambridgeshire
  • Close to A14 (congestion) and other main roads
  • Population increase form 4000 in 1960 and 16400 in 2011


  • Improvememts in transport made St Ives accessibble to commuters 
  • House prices expensive in inner London so its cheaper to move out and commute to work
  • People want to move out due to preceptiion of lower levels of crime and polloution


  • Housing prices increased from 130,000 to 450,000- local first time buyers priced out
  • 25% population commute to work in London- congestion and polloution
  • One section is aging the other is becoming more youthful population
  • More shops and servives which creates employement however local chains will close down to increased compatition
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Urban regeneration

  • Urban resurgence is the process by which urban places are given ‘new life’ as new investment aims to bring improved social, economic and environmental conditions to urban places.
  • Urban regeneration schemes which can be Property led schemes (London Docklands), Partnership schemes (London Olympics) or by a process called Gentrification. 



  • Lack of jobs in some rural or suburban areas- Rural areas provide fewer leisure or entertainment facilities
  • Counter-Urbanisation may cause high house prices in rural areas


  • Movement of industry and business out of city leaves land derelict. Government policies favour redevelopment of brownfield sites in city centres over development of greenfield sites.
  • One re-urbanisation starts, it tends to continue as it encourages other businesses and people back.
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Urban regeneration case study

The 2012 London Olympics

  • Aims to create a lasting legacy of homes, environmental improvements.
  • Decision makers- UK government are responsible for planning and designing, London mayor also had an input.

Positive effects-

  • S- 2500 homes have been derived from athlete’s village, 1200 affordable. A legacy implemented
  • EC- 4600 jobs will be created, 2000 resulting chain
  • EN- 4000 trees have been planted, a new habitat breeding programmes been set up.

Negative effects-

  • S- Only 1200 affordable homes were derived from atheletes village when the orginal plan was 2000
  • EC- 1000 people forced to relocate
  • EN- Aim was to create largest urban park in Britain which didn’t happen.
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Urban regeneration gentrification


  • Urbanisation occurs and large multi story houses were built for the affluent
  • Suburbanisation occurs which means that areas are now surrounded by new less expensive properties
  • Inner urban areas undergo Urban decline as population and jobs decline
  • Large multi storys dwellings are broken into flats which are now deprived
  • Rapidly rising house prices and a desire to reduce commuting create demand for homes
  • Affluent indviduals or property developes buy these empty properties and renovate it to make profit
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Urban regeneration gentrification 2

Notting Hill, London

The aim was to buy derlilct places and renovate them to sell and make profit or to build your own house. This was done by property developers and affluent indaviduals.

Positive effects:

  • The local enviormnet has improves as areas are more safer
  • Council tax revenue increases as the value of the property increases
  • Residents have better facilities such as restraunts and cafe

Negative efffects:

  • Property prices increases as hosuing demand increases. Typical 5 bed house cost 4million, negative for first time buyers and for familes.
  • The commuiniity will become polarised with the gap between the wealthiest and poorest increases
  • Traditional community spirit is lost aswell bevause people will have left due to landlords wanting to sell the property
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Urban decline

Urban decline-  is the deterioration of SEE of a urban place 


  • Boarded up shops and houses
  • Empty and derelict buildings
  • Low levels of employment and educational attainment
  • Crime, vandalism, graffiti, drugs, ****
  • Lack of open space
  • Pollution, low environmental quality

Inner city problems

  • Economic decline
  • Population loss
  • Poor physical environment
  • Political problems
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Urban waste case study 2

Southwark waste stream-

Recycling:- Southwark waste management recycles the waste which is recyclable.

  • Enviormentally sustainable- as the re use of raw materials, also less space is used up at landfill sites.
  • Socially sustainable- as communities play a part in the organisation of recycling by sorting the objects 
  • Ecnomically sustainable- as land is not being used up and new products can be made.

Incineration:-waste is converted into solid fuel blocks, these solid  fuel blocks are sent to SELCHP were blocks are combustes to produce energy

  • Enviormentally sustainable- because coal burning is reduced, the waste blocks emmisions can be neutralised by using filters.
  • Ecnomically sustainable- as it is a cheaper option than coal and provides electricity, heating and hot water for 10,000 houses

Landfill-: if waste is not recyled and non combustible it is sent, 95% of MSW is diverted landfill sites

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Urban waste

People living in high income countries will produce 10-30 times more waste than residents in low income countries. As people with more money produce more waste.


  • Positive- safe disposal of hazardous waste and less land is needed rather than for landfill
  • Negative- Emissions produces can be harmful and they contribute to global warming.

Landfill sites-

  • Positive- cheap solution and methane can be vented out and used as a fuel, it can be very safe if well managed.
  • Negative- environmentally unsustainable as it attracts vermin and causes visual pollution and produces methane which is a powerful methane gas.


  • Positive- Reduces space on the landfill and new products can be produces
  • Negative- Public recycling points generate noise an litter and public lack of engagement in sorting of materials.
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Urban waste case study

Dhravi, Mumbai-

  • Mumbai does not have an organised waste program
  • It is ecnomicall sustainabe but not social or enviormental
  • It has rag pickers who collect, sort and recycle the waste
  • 80% successful recycling rate
  • Economically sustainable, generates icome for 300,000 people which help Dharvi maintain an 80% successful recycling rate.
  • Socially unsustainable- 300,000 ragpickers which poses serious health risks to diseases. Also, children will be picking waste when then should be in school.
  • Enviormentally sustainable- 20% of waste is left on landfill sites that decompose and release greenhouse gasses like methane which contribute to global warming.
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Reasons for:

  • Increased car ownership means more people drive to shops, out of town shopping centres are close to motorways so are easy to get to by car and have less congestion.
  • High parking prices in city centre
  • Cheaper land prices out of town

Impacts- City Centres:


  • Less customers in city centre =  this can force shops to close, loss of jobs
  • Can lead to decline


  • Local councils and government invest money to improve city centre and attract custom.
  • Pedestrian zones, renovating older shopping malls and organising events.
  • Congestion and pollution may decrease
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Decentralisation 2

Rural Urban Fringe:


  • Out of town complex = lots of construction such as infrastructure, makes pollution and congestion


  • Create jobs for people in the suburbs
  • Built on brownfield sites
  • Houses have easy access increase in value.
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Urban form

  • Urban Form: the physical characteristics of built-up areas including the shape, size, density and configuration of settlements.


  • Transport, business and trade hub- they dominate the global trade and consumer activity, contain international financial institutions and a lot of billionaires.
  • Production hub- most of the manufacturing is carried out in developing countries, has offices located in medc
  • Political hub- politicians often dictate trading & economic links. They participate in worldwide affairs and national events.
  • Migration hub-world cities have influence because they attract large numbers of qualified talented people e.g. Sydney
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Urban form 2

Post-Modern modern cities

A postmodern western city is an urban form associated with changes in urban structure, architectural design and planning and reflects the changed social and economic conditions of the late 20th century in some western cities.


  • Urban Structure: chaotic multimodial structure; high tech corridors and post sub-urban developments.
  • Urban Architecture and Landscape: celebration of the past through historic reference
  • Urban Economy: service sector dominated, globalised
  • Planning: spatial fragments designed for aesthetic as opposed to social ends.
  • Culture- high levelsof social polarisation and highly fragmented
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Urban form 3

World City

  • Definition- A interconected global economic centre, that has influence over the world economy- 50%. New York, London, Tokyo
  • Characteristics:
    • They are hubs of trade, business, culture and transport
    • Transport moving and out of the country- Heathrow airport
    • Production hub- many decions about global marketing and production are made by TNCs whoms headquarters are based in London.

Mega City

  • Definition-A city with a population of more than 10 millionpeople. Mumbai, Tokyo, New York, Mexio City
  • Characteristics:
    • Population density of 2,000 persons/km2.
    • Formal and informal economics.
    • Poverty, crime and social fragmentation (high levels).
    • As of 2011 there are 21 megacities.
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Urban form case study

Millionaire city- Definition- A city with a population of over one million. London, Mumbai and Shanghai 

  • Generally found in MEDC’s
  • Increase in globalisation they have spread to LEDCs 

Leicester's urban form-

  • Technology- access to super-fast broadband changes urban form, allows people to work at home a not travel to work every day, changes urban size as people move out from urban areas.
  • Socially- population has increased to around 333,000. Future growth may lead to shortages in services like health and education.
  • Political- Government and council decided to increase the size of Leicester city centre affecting the urban size.
  • Environmental- the green belt around Leicester effects the urban shape and size as estates and buildings are being built in another direction.
  • Economic- Deindustrialization, retail parks moving away from the city people travel to get to Fosse Park. Meaning the city gets bigger and changes the urban size.
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New urban landscapes

Town centre mixed developments- These are city centres which include more than retailing and are partly a response to decentralisation. The aim is to make the CBD more attractive by adding: Leisure and entertainment facilities such as theatres , restaurants. Residential land use to encourage ‘city living’. These are likely to be apartments aimed at young affluent professionals. Hotels and conference centres to attract more business use of the CBD

Cultural and heritage quarters- Involve the production of cultural or craft based goods. Heritage quarters could focus on the history of an area. The aim is to regenerate old industrial sites which have deteriorated following de-industrialisation by changing their function.

Fortress developments- These are self contained settlements which have developed beyond the boundaries of existing cities. 

Gentrified areas- These are inner city districts which have been regenerated through the activities of affluent individuals. Improvements are made to the physical condition of the area and new services are developed to meet the needs of the new inhabitants.

Edge cities- These are usually high class residential areas or shopping developments often protected by gates, security cameras and guards. They are likely to result in social segregation.

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Urban climate

Urban Heat Island: a significantly warmer 'island' surrounded by a rural 'sea' of cooler temperatures, reasons for this.

  • Urban areas have lower albedo. Extensive dark surfaces e.g. tarmac absorb heat during the day and slowly release it at night.
  • Large expanses of glass and steel reflect heat into surrounding streets,
  • Buildings 'leak' heat through poor insulation in winter and A/C pumps hot air into the streets in summer.
  • Power stations, industries and vehicles generate heat.

Thermal gradient- is the temperature decline from urban centres to rural-urban fringe. 6 degrees during summer and 2 degrees in winter.  Urban Canyons: relatively narrow streets bordered by high-rise buildings funneling and so concentrating winds.

Management strategies:

  • Cool cars- making lighter coloured cars (reflect more sunlight). This reduces the use of AC as the light-coloured roof will cool the inside, reducing the cities air pollution levels.
  • Vehicle control and public transport- congestion charge in 2012 £12. In ULEZ 2020 in central will be zero or low emission.
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Urban climate 2


  • Temperature are higher especially at night. Temperature gradient shows it is 6* higher than rural areas.
  • Darker surfaces are common in urban environments (bricks and tarmac) and they absorb heat.  Also, building and cars release heat outside and store cool air.


  • Urban areas have 5-15% more rain fall and thunder storms are more common.
  • Higher precipitation rates because there is more condensation (there is more cars and buildings which give out warm air which rises and leads to condensation)

Wind speed

  • Windspeed 30% lower and Greater variants in wind speeds in urban places.
  • More buildings which slow wind speed in urban places. Canyon effect wind is forced along streets with high buildings= increasing the force
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Urban climate 3

Visibility and pollution

  • 10% more cloud, mist, fog in urban places.
  • More air pollutants in urban areas and double the C02 used in urban areas which contribute to climate change
  • Carbon monoxide causes heart problems, headaches and tierdness
  • 10x more nitrogen oxides lead to respirtory issues and acid rain
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Urban drainage

SuDs­­­- sustainable urban drainage system to hold back and slow surface run off.

The lambs drove, Cambridgeshire 2006


  • Too create a sustainable water management within a new residential homes and to show another viable option to prevent flooding which is a major concern.
  • European funded project FLOW 

Techniques used- 

  • Water but, collects rain water used for garden irrigation.
  • Permeable paving, the pavements have gaps between the paving allow water to enter storage zones and to filter out pollutants.
  • Green Roof, small green sedum roof is included to reduce runoff by absorbing rain water.
  • Swales, collects excess water and slowly releases into the soil.

Project has been proven to be a huge sucesses, increase in bio diversity in the area and has lead to improvement of quality of water leaving the system compared to the orginal pipe system.

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Urban drainage 2

River restoration- Sheffield blue loop 


  • Involves restoring the river bank to the initial state it was in before the pollution in the river DON destroying habitats.

The scheme involves

  • The increase use of wet lands and vegetation on the flood plain which therefore reduces the risk of flooding.
  • Environmentally- Bio diversity improved considerably for marine animals such as fish and otters.
  • Economically- Use of volunteers to help maintain the river, saves share holders (national lottery) money, making it viable.
  • Socially- 13km of walking space will encourage families and friends to socialise outside, gives people space for recreational activities
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Urban sustainability

Sustainable city-

  • Livelability-  refers to features of a city whichallows for a high QOL- employment, high standard of living, clean environment and good governance
  • Features-  Green and efficient transport focus on public transport restrict car usage. Green built environments use energy and water efficiently and produce low amounts of MSW. Planned urban expansion focuses brownfield sites are regenerated before greenfield sites are used.
  • Ecological footprint- way to measure the enviormental impact of a city. HICs and urban areas have a higher footprint.

Copenhagen, Denmark sustainability –

  • Environmentally sustainable with 249 miles of cycle lanes because of this 50% commuters travel by bike which means less cars being used.
  • Socially sustainable with 98% Copenhagen’s employees work less than 40 hours a week => more time to socially active with family and friends.                                                                
  • Economically sustainable as the city has some of highest wages in the world, people have more money and less working hours = improved standard of living.
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  • London is an Alpha ++ World city. It has a population of 8.6 million. It is expected to become mega-city within the next decade. London is located in the SE of the UK.
  • Reasons for growth:
    • Technology- London was the first city to a have a significant underground railway which opened in 1863. It has been advances in technology which has made the construction of buildings over 500m possible.
    • Economic- London has been an port and was the gateway to the UK market for goods. London is now is now one of the world’s key financial centres
  • Residential land use is mixed with the sprawling suburbs. Districts such as Surbiton in Kingston are home to affluent commuters and retired residents. The inner city boroughs such as Tower Hamlets contain a mix of 19th century terraces and flats, these house a younger, poorer and more ethnically mixed population.
  • Surbiton-  White= 74   Asian= 16

  • Tower hamlets-  White= 45   Asian= 41

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Mumbai is a mega-city and a world city. It has a population of close to 20 million. Mumbai is located on the west coast of India.

  • Increasing number of residents (middle class) due to India’s growth as an NIC. This is social segregation which is the result of economic inequality. New urban areas such as Vasai and Malabar Hill are being developed
  • Mumbai has a culturally diverse population with migrants arriving from all parts of India at the rate of 1000 each day. All 16 of the major languages of India, including English, are spoken here.
  • 60% of the population lives in slums

 Mumbai, Dharvi-

  • Located- North of the centre of Mumbai, India
  • 1 million people illegally living 60% of Mumbai population lives like this. Dharvi is a slum of despair as the working conditions are very poor, with poor air quality. 85% employment in the slum large proportion of the workers are children. Poor sanitation runs sewage outside peoples houses Water is rationed which suggests overall there is limited water.
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Mumbai 2

Vison Mumbai:

  • Benefits- There would be upgraded services like schools, water, sewers and health care, socially sustainable as there would be less diseases being spread improve QOL. Prove of living in the slums since 2010 will receive new housing which is socially sustainable. 
  • Negatives- The plan will involve people losing out as not everybody can evidently prove they have lived there, which means they will build a shack elsewhere which is socially unsustainable. Economically unsustainable as the employment rate will decrease from 85%.77


  • Mumbai is the centre if the Asais film industri Bollywood- global cultural impact- Cultural 
  • Many of Indias TNCs- Tata and Bank of India- are based in Mumbai- Buisness
  • Inportant produces of textiles and jewlerlly which exporteded globaly - Production
  • Over 1000 new migrants arrive in Mumbai each day, mainly from rural areas- Migration
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London 2


  • One of the worlds leading finicaial centres  with the HQs of Barclays and Shell. 40% of the worlds largest companies are located in London - Buisness
  • Little is produced but makes decians which affect millions globally - Production
  • London is the destination for international migrants, 300 languages spoken- Migration/Cultural
  • Heathrow is the worlds buisest international airport with 100,000 flights a month- Transport
  • Lonodon is the capital and gov decisians are made which affect the UK- Politcal
  • Culturally diverse population with 44% of the population were classed as black or ethnic minortiy in 2014.
  • Significant cap between rich and poor- in 2015 London fairness commision reported for every £1 of wealth by the poorest household in London the richest earn £172
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