Contemporary urbanisation processes

Contemporary urbanisation processes

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Urbanisation - Causes

Natural population growth - urban areas have low age profiles (15-40 years). They are in their fertile years and so the rates of natural increase are higher in cities than elsewhere.

Rural-urban migration

Push - high levels of local diseases and inadequate medical provisions - agricultural problems such as desertification due to low rainfall - wars and civil strife cause people to flee - natural disasters such as floods, tropical stroms and earthquakes.

Pull - employment in factories and service industries which is better paid - better quality social provisions, from basic needs such as education and healthcare to entertainment and tourism - percieved better quality of life in the city, fed by images in the media

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Characteristics - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Housing - three types: Condominiums - luxury housing blocks within the city and on the periphery with high walls and gates. Corticos - inner-city dilapidated rental accomodation in subdivided tenemant blocks, with one room dwellings. Favelas - informal settlements made up of small, poorly built dwellings

25% of all brazils vehicles circulate in Sao Paulo

Two landfill sites and two huge waste incinerators, each buring 7,500 tonnes a day

Major industrial centre with manufactoring and service industries.

Largest city in the southern hemisphere with a population of 19 million and a pop density of 21,000

70% of the area is substandard housing and 60% of the population growth in recent years has been absorbed by the favelas

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Housing - Modern high quality semi-detatched and detatched properties - South dale drive, Gedling - A range of amenities - Westdale lane, Gedling

Traffic - Less congestion - Close to ring roads - A612

Industry - Out of town retail parks - Victoria retail park - growth of modern industrial estates - Victoria park industrial estate

Social - Less crime - Less ethnic diveristy

Enviromental - less air and noise pollution - individual gardens - closer to the countryside - 1.5km

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Increase in public transport and car ownership led to many people being able to commute to work - wealthier people.

Since the 1950s suburban expansion has been increasing due to large constructions of council housing taking place on the suburban fringe - made it more available for people to live in the suburbs.

In the 1970's there was a move towards home ownership, which led to private housing estates being built, also on the urban fringe. Buildings in these areas allowed for people to have land for gardens and more public space (PVLI in CBD)

Also as car ownership increased, the demand for more space became increasingly important. Therefore the edge of town became a favured location for new offices , factories (Closed down speedo factory) and shopping outlets.

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Early suburbinisation in the 1930s had very little planning control. Therefore a the growth was built along main roads, creating a ribbon effect. By thr 1940s this growth, and growth between the ribbons became a cause for concern

By the 1940s this growth, and growth between the ribbons became a cause for concern as land was not being used properly. This led to the creation of green belts - areas of open space and low-density land around towns where further development was strictally controlled.

With the increase in shopping areas, factories and offices, the 'strict control' of green belts was not always kept to

Long-time residents may be displaced by new commuter residents due to rising house prices

Some suburbs have more recently been built ahead of adequate transportation infrastructure, thus spurring the development of roads and public transportation systems. These can take the form of light rail lines extending from the city centre to new suburbs and new or expanded ringroads, whose construction and traffic can lead to the community becoming part of a larger conurbation.

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New Housing in the UK

1997 government population projection suggested popualtion growth would be 7% while the househld growth would be 18%

There would also be an increase in the adult population (accounts for 77% of the household market)

Change in the way people choose to live (71% of new households will be single people - more divorcess and later marriages)


Increase the number of people living in homes that already exist (tax incentives to take lodgers, use empty council houses, for example)

Build new homes on brownfield sites i.e Speedo factory

Allowing building in rural areas on greenfield sites i.e Mapperly top

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Counter-urbanisation is the migration of people towards rural areas. It does not lead to suburban growth but to growth in rural areas. it reduces the differences bewteen the urban and rural areas.


Escape of air pollution, noise and crime to clean air, quiet and low crim countryside

Car ownership increase and a greater affluence allow commuting to be possible

Improvement in technology (internet) allows more freedom of location

Rising demand for second homes and early retirement - due to the rising levels in affluence

Agricultural farmers sell land in order to gain income - property developers buy

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Increase in the use of commuter railway stations, including car parking for commuters - Lowdham, 17 min train journey

Increase in the value of houses - £350,000 for a detatched

Construction of more executive housing build on old property land or designated building land - Old tannery development

Conversions of former farm buildings to executive housing - The avenue, Lowdam

Increase in number of convience services i.e resturants, supermarkets, takeaways - Co-operative

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Rural turnaround

Counter-urbanisation contributing to social and demographic change in rural settlements

  • Out-migration of young village-born adults seeking jobs, Urbanism and high house prices
  • In-migration of young middle aged married couples with families seeking safety, good education, better housing and cleaner enviroment
  • In-migration of younger more affluent people resulting in the services of the village changing i.e more alchol stores, takeaways and convience stores
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Attitudes to counter-urbanisation

Incomers to not contribute to the villages stability, with them moving on within a few years

Rising demand for the area increases house prices and local people are unable to afford the house prices

Do not keep in line with the villages culture i.e more bbq's, drinking, socialising - villages eventually lose their characteristics and become more Suburbanised villages, so the orginal social and physical features of the village become watered down and the area becomes more like a suburban area with resturants and retail areas

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