Geography - Sustainable Cities

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  • Created by: ZodiacRat
  • Created on: 06-06-15 11:39

KQ 1: How can cities be classified?


  • Range of facilities.
  • Commerce/manufacturing/service industries.
  • Conurbations (urban areas gradually fused together with different centres).
  • Metaconurbations (bands of contiguous urbanisation) - e.g. European Banana from heartland of Europe from northwest UK to London, Nord region of France, the Netherlands and Belgium, Rhine Valley, Paris, Rhone Valley, Po valley in northern Italy and Mediterranean France.
  • Megacities (population over 10 million, e.g. Mexico City, Seoul, Mumbai, LA, Jakarta, Osaka, Delhi, São Paolo).
  • Global hubs (give huge influence throughout the globe, e.g. London, New York, Tokyo, maybe Shanghai in future), millionaire cities (population of 1 million or more, dated conept).
  • Population employed in tertiary sector.
  • Areal extent.
  • Extent of redeloped or new areas.
  • Vertical extent(?).
  • Size of younger age groups (future citizens).
  • Number of private vehicles. 
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KQ 1: How can cities be classified?

Rate of growth:

  • Urbanisation is the process by which the proportion of the population living in an urban area increases.
  • Multi-strand process whose characteristics vary over time and space.
  • Urbanisation in MEDCs took place longside industrialisation (C19).
  • Urbanisation in NICs and LEDCs has taken place without industrialisation, centres for services and government.
  • In 1900 only 5% of the world's population lived in cities, in 2008 over half lived in cities.
  • Urban population expected to reach 6.4 billion/70% of global population by 2050.
  • Developed world city populations are increasing slowly.
  • Some cities in eastern Europe lost population as a result of migration to the EU (e.g. Sofia, Lodz, Budapest).
  • In North America regional migration accounted for changing populations - Phoenix, Houston and Dallas (southwest) grew while Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit (industrial north eas) lost half of popuations (-59% between 1970 and 2000).
  • Asia urbanising rapidly, rate is forecast to slow down when they become wealthier (like in India and China), for example Shanghai, Shenzhen, Mumbai, New Delhi, Jakarta and Seoul.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa also rapidly urbanising, people moving to cities despite economic stagnation.
  • 200,000 people migrate to cities across the world each month. 
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KQ 1: How can cities be classified?

Level of development:

  • Urbanisation commonly thought to reduce poverty, homelessness, social exclusion, segregation and crime and increase equality, but in highly urbanisaed Western Europe in recent years, contracting economic growth has increased inequalities in cities in the UK.
  • Urbanisation in developing countries is causing increased levels of poverty in cities, more slums, 1/4 of households in the developing world live in poverty, rises to 40% in African cities.
  • 25-50% live in informal settlements (shanties, favelas, slums, bidonvilles), fewer than 35% of people in these cities have their waste water treated.
  • 1.2 billion people globally (equivalent to the population of India) have no access to clean waer. 
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KQ 2: What are the pressures confronting cities?


  • Difficulties providing adequate healthcare/benefits/pension.
  • Pullution/congestion.
  • Overcrowding (London, Tokyo).
  • Inequality.
  • Urban sprawl.
  • Increasing pollution due to reproductive age migrants.
  • Stress.
  • Quality of environment.
  • Terrorism.
  • Providing transport (old tubes).
  • Vulnerable to recession.
  • Repair/maintenance on sewerage.
  • Services under pressure.
  • Dated infrastruture. 
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KQ 2: What are the pressures confronting cities?


  • Can't provide basic needs or majority.
  • Pollution/congestion.
  • Difficulty provding energy for growing middle class.
  • Providing transport (rickshaws).
  • Foreign companies exploit locals.
  • Terrorism.
  • More informal employment - less tax revenues.
  • Local companies closing down/getting into debt.
  • Hyperurbanisation. 

Main issues for all cities:

  • Transport/communications.
  • Inequality/disparity of wealth.
  • Areal extent/urban sprawl.
  • Environmental quality. 
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KQ 2: Pressures - Case studies

  • London.
  • Mumbai.
  • Los Angeles.
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KQ 3: Sustainable solutions - London

Transport and communications - Congestion charge: 

  • A fee charged for some categories of motor vehicle to travel at certain times within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ). 
  • Introduced in central London in February 2003, and extended into parts of west London in 2007.
  • Standar charge is £10 for each day between 7:00-18:00.
  • A penalty of up to £180 is charged for non-payment.

Low Emissions Zone:

  • Introduced in 2008 to encourage the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles driving in the capital to become cleaner.
  • LEZ covers most of Greater London.
  • Vehicles must meet certain emissions standards. 
  • London's air pollution is still a concern - in 2012 the standards became more stringent so more vehicles were affected. 

Oyster cards: 

  • Form of electronic ticketing used on public transport services primarily within the Greater London region of England. 
  • Cards must be 'recharged' with money at certain points, such as tube stations and post offices. 
  • Designed to reduce the number of transactions at ticket offices and the number of single paper tickets sold on the London transport network. 
  • Offers substantially cheaper fares than by paying with cash. 
  • First introduced in July 2003. 
  • By 2010, over 34 million Oyster cards had been issued and more than 80% of all journeys on services run by Transport for London used the Oyster card. 

Barclays Cycle Hire / 'Boris Bikes':

  • Barclays Cycle Hire (BCH) is a public bicycle sharing scheme that was launched in July 2010 in London.
  • Commenced operations in 2010 with 5,000 bicycles and 315 docking stations across the city and parts of eight London boroughs. 
  • Coverage zone spans approximately 17 square miles. 
  • Currently 6,000 bikes and 400 docking stations, which have been used for more than 4 million journeys. 
  • Can require initial payment of registration or can be used as casual cycle hires by non-members with a credit or debit card. 
  • Didn't become as popular as had hoped but not unsuccessful. 

Disparity of wealth - First Steps/First Buy: 

  • Offers a range of housing options to Londoners who cannot affort to get a foot on the housing ladder.
  • Equity loan of up to 20% of the value of the property, then buyer needs to get a mortgage of 75%, so the deposit they will have to put down will be just 5% of the purchase price of the property. 
  • Must have a household income of less than £60,000 and unable to afford to buy on the open market in their local area. 
  • For first-time buyers buying a main residence. People with existing mortgages not eligible.

Urban sprawl - Green Belt:

  • A policy for controlling urban growth.
  • A ring of countryside where urbanisation will be resisted, maintaining an area where agriculture, forestry and outdoor leisure can be expected to prevail.
  • Prevents urban sprawl.
  • Metropolitan Green Belt first proposed by Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935.
  • Purpose is to: check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas.
  • Prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another.
  • Assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment.
  • Preserve the setting and special character of historic towns.
  • Assist in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

Environmental quality - BedZED:

  • UK's first large-scale mixed use sustainable community with 100 homes, office space and community facilities. Completed in 2002.
  • Inspiration for low carbon neighbourhoods and One Planet Communities.
  • Residents at BedZED can reduce carbon emissions of their whole lifestyle by nearly 50%, inclusing energy use, transport and embodied carbon in food and consumer goods.
  • 80-90% carbon reductions needed in Europe can be achieved.
  • Total energy use is 60% less than for average homes. 
  • Photovoltaic supply around 20% of electricity, biomass energy plant and off-site renewable energy will mean **** carbon emissions.
  • Higher reported quality of life and strong sense of community.
  • Lower use of energy for heating (77% lower than local average) and electricity use (45% lower).
  • Reduced water consumption - 58% lower than local average.
  • Lower rate of car ownership and annual mileage reduced by 74% compared to national average. 
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KQ 3: Sustainable solutions - Curitiba


  • Experienced rapid urban growth -- 1940 - 125,000 people, 1960 - 360,00, 2012 - 3 million.
  • Squatter settlements, pressure on resources, poverty, inequality, poor levels of literacy, flooding.
  • Substantially-sized city which has become unsustainable.
  • Jamie Lerner, mayor and urban planner.

1. Pedestrianised streets (Rua das Flores).

2. Public transport - 3 lanes, middle lanes for buses. 80% use public transport. Triple-articulated buses, boarding tubes to buy tickets, connecting roads from outskirts to city centre. 500 times cheaper than subway and same capacity. Normal bus = 1000 passengers/day, Curitiba bus = 4000 passengers/day.

3. Green spaces, allow parks to flood.

4. Recycling - 70% of waste recycled, green exchange for slum dwellers.

5. Housing help - small plot of land and rights to the land, 2 trees, 1 hour with a top architect to help design house with a low interest mortgage. House prices have gone up around bus routes and green spaces. (favellas)


  • Difficult to commute in areas beyond the bus routes.
  • Houses near transport routes and parks have risen in price and attracted more middle-class residents, resulting in inequality/disparities in wealth.
  • Curitiba continues to attract large number of migrants - increased pressure on resources.
  • As Brazil gets wealthier, cars become more affordable and a desirable purchase for the growing middle class. 
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KQ 3: Sustainable solutions - Mumbai

Vision Mumbai:

  • Economic growth has slowed down and quality of life has deteriorated, want to turn the city into a world-class location. 1.1 million low-cost homes built, slum populations were expected to fall to 10-12% of their 2000 level. Tried to get rid of slums - didn't succeed with Dharavi. 
  • Private developers were given land for less than its worth, for every square foot of new housing they built for the poor, they could have 1.3 square feet for commercial development. High-rise blocks for slum dwellers built next to new shopping malls, offices and apartments. 
  • Mukesh Mehta - re-locate slum dwellers to the edge of the city.

In 2014 Mumbai opened a monorail. 

Navi Mumbai: New planned area of Mumbai for up to 3 million people, built of mainland opposite the island city of Mumbai, already 1.2 milliion residents - most middle-class business people. Trains/stations are more efficient, land reclaimed from sea, holding ponds retain rainwater, sewage, floodwater - prevents flooding. 

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KQ 3: Sustainable solutions - Los Angeles

Progressive Los Angeles Network (PLAN):

  • Employers must pay their workers a decent wage.
  • Provides community benefits such as childcare and affordable housing.
  • Increase in urban parks and clearing up of contaminated brownfield sites.
  • Promotes clean fuel vehicles and green energy.
  • Requires developers to build affordable housing in all new residential developments.
  • Attracts food markets, farmers markets and community gardens.
  • Improved public transport with clean buses and new rapid bus lines.
  • Universal low fare card that allows easy transfer between buses and trains.
  • Promotes safe, walkable and bikeable neighbourhoods.
  • Promotes smart growth land use where people can drive less and live nearer to where they work, shop, study and play.
  • Bans new 'big box' retail stores which undermine local retail and community activity. 
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