Geography AQA Gcse Urbanisation Case Studies

These notes provide case studies which refer to the topics in the Urbanisation section of the Aqa specification A Geography Course.

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  • Created on: 01-06-11 15:42

Issues for people living in Urban areas in richer

There are various issues created by urbanisation in MEDC cities. Housing is often in demand and house prices increase because of the rapidly increasing poulation. More people leave home younger to get married and due to divorces and people living longer, the government has to be able to provide new housing to meet demands.

Another Issue is the Inner City: Various Strategies have been used to satisfy demand for housing in the inner city and improve living conditions.

E.G The 1980s strategy of the Urban Development Cooperation in The London Docklands:

In the London Docklands funding from a combination of the public and private sector was used to improve the area. 144km of new roads, 2.3km of comercial/industrial floor space and 24,076 new houses were built. The Docklands Light Railway was also built to connect the docklands area to the rest of London. Many derelict buildings were also reclaimed. There was an encouragement of new and existing commerce and local land and buildings were put into effective use. The community was provided with social facilities to encourage people to live and work in the area, for example schools and colleges.

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The Issue of Traffic in the inner city

Traffic has become and increasingly apparent issue because more people have cars becuase of increased income. This increase causes air and noise pollution in urban areas as well as congestion which can cause health problems such as athsma.

These Problems can be reduced, for example in London:

Park and ride schemes and improving public transport make alternatives to driving appealing to people. Congestion charges are also used to discourage the use of cars. Cycling is also encouraged through the use of reward schemes in buisnesses which reward workers for commuting to work on bikes rather than by car.

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The issue of multicultural mix/segregation in the

In the inner city there is sometime segregation between imigrants and others living in the city because people of a similiar ethnic origin often cluster together in the same area as each other.

In Leeds, the council has tried to reduce this segregation by:

  • Improving education in deprived areas and improving literacy in areas where english is a second language.
  • Increasing community involvement so the needs of the community are understood and can be met.
  • Provide facilities that encourage meetings of all sections of society rather than seperate ethnic groups.
  • Increasing employment by providing training, access to information and basic skills so that people from ethnic minorities can get jobs.
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Squatter Settlements

Squatter Settlements are often found on the outskirts of a city and are created when urbanisation occurs at a pace which doesnt allow for neccessary time to build houses or for the economy to grow to provide jobs.

An Example of how a squatter settlement can be improved is Kibera, Nairobi in Kenya:

  • A Charity called 'practical action' developed low cost roofing tiles which are a cheap alternative to concrete building blocks meaning that self help schemes can progress.
  • The UN Havbitat programme has provided electricity to some parts of the squatter settlement at 300 kenyan shillings per shack.
  • The Council and world bank have provided 2 water pipes, the world bank one costs
  • Charities and students on gap years provide medical facilities which prevent disease and provide contraception.
  • The Kenyan Government and UN habitat created a large scale 15 year project in 2003 which has rehoused 770 families into flats with showers, toilets, running water and electricity.


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Rapid Urbanisation

Rapid urbanisation can often cause environmental issues in LEDCS.

Examples of these issues:

  • Bhopal in India suffered a leak from a plant in 1984 which killed 3000 people and left 50,000 suffering from a permanent disability.
  • In Shanghai there was a construction boom which created 3000 tonnes of waste per day and in Shanghai 73% of electricty is created from coal fires which results in 400,000 deaths every year.
  • Huagpu river in shanghai has had a fallen rate of water quality due to an increased ammount of waste.
  • The Ganges river in India contains untreated sewage, chemicals, disease causing microbes and cremated remains. People wash and drink from this river.
  • In India 4.5 million computers are imported each year and many are sent to landfill where the poor melt, boil and take apart parts to get gold which causes lead to enter the blood causing health risks.
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Solutions to the problems of rapid urbanisation

These environmental problems, often largely in Asia, can be reduced by;

Waste disposal:

  • In China in Shanghai, an effective waste disposal unit has been installed into most homes.
  • After the 1984 Bhopal incident, the waste was packed up and sent to America where it could be disposed of safely.

Water and Air Pollution:

  • A Carbon tax may be induced.
  • In Shanghai some industries use low sulphur coal which reduces pollution.
  • Improving public transport and enforcing congestion charges.
  • The Ganga Plan, in 1986 planned to improve water treatment but failed due to population increase.
  • In Shanghai, the world bank has granted a $200 loan to improve water quality in the Huangpu and Suzhou rivers. 
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Sustainable Cities

A Sustainable city is an urban area which doesn't damage the environment and the economical and social fabric can stand the test of time due to local involvement.

An example of a sustainable city is Curitiba in Brazil:

It has a Bus rapid transport system which provide direct line buses and speedy buses with linked stops. It also provides inter district buses which join districts without crossing the city and feeder mini buses which pick up people from resedential areas.

It also has a good housing system provide by the city's public housing programme (COHAB) which seeks to provide homes rather than just shacks. They provide 50,000 homes for the poor and homes that have housing units with garbage collection which is 43% more than the rest of Brazil. Providing a better quality of life for the Curitiba inhabitants.

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