Geography World Cities A2

Key terms and facts relating to the World Cities module.

  • Created by: Lozza 14
  • Created on: 05-03-13 11:16

Urban areas and urbanisation

Millionaire city - Is an urban area with over 1 million people living there, e.g. Budapest, Hungary.

Mega City - An urban area with over 10 million people living there, e.g. Mumbai, India.

World City - Has an influence on the entire world. These types of cities are centres for trade and business and they are known as "hubs" of culture and Science, e.g. London, UK.











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Four processes affecting the population of cities

Urbanisation - The growth of the country's population that lives in urban areas.

Suburbanisation - The movement of people from the city centre to the outskirts or suburbs.

Counter Urbanisation - The movement of people from cities to rural areas.

Re urbanisation - The movement of people back to the city centre.

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Reasons for rural to urban migration

Push factors

  • Human activity and changes in climate can cause desertification (when fertile land becomes barren desert.) If the land becomes unproductive, it cannot provide enough food to support the population and people are forced to move elsewhere.
  • Conflict and civil war may cause residents to flee from their homes. Also, if many people are killed in the war, there will be less people to work on the land which may result in food shortages.
  • Changes in land use within rural areas can drive people out, for example farmland may be flooded when dams aee built to generate hydro-electric power.
  • Mechanisation of agriculture means that fewer people are needed to work the land, therefore, there is a shortage of jobs.

Pull factors

  • There are more jobs available in urban areas.
  • Jobs in urban areas are usually better paid than jobs in rural areas.
  • Better access to health and education facilities.
  • Perception that quality of life is better in urban areas.






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Negative impacts of urbanisation in urban areas

There are various negative impacts that urbanisation has on urban areas:

  • When migrants move to a city, there are often not enough houses for them or they are unable to afford housing.
  • Some migrants are forced to live on the streets or in shelters.
  • There may be conflict between old and new residents, which may influence and increase the crime rates.
  • High competition for jobs.
  • Rapid population growth can lead to increased pressure on roads and railways, which will increase congestion and air pollution.



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Managing urbanisation

There are ways that urbanisation can be managed to reduce the negative impacts that may develop:

  • Building new housing to replace slums, allowing more people to live in better quality housing and improve quality of life.
  • Improving the services available, for example free education and health care.
  • Getting residents involved in improving their local areas
  • Redeveloping areas of slums into new independent townships, e.g. Dharavi slum in Mumbai.




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CASE STUDY: Dharavi slum, Mumbai

Mumbai in India has experienced rapid urbanisation

  • Mumbai is a mega city on the west coast of India.
  • Migrants from rural areas over India have moved to Mumbai in search for jobs. As a result of this, the population increased rapidly from 5.9 million in 1971 to 12.5 million in 2011.
  • The city has struggled to handle the rapid urbanisation caused by immigration - more than half of the population live in poverty in slums which cover large parts of the city.


  • Living conditions within the slum are poor - the homes are cramped and poorly built often without water supply and sanitation.
  • Health services cannot meet the needs of the increased population. As a result of this, outbreaks of disease are common.
  • The increased population adds to the demand for water. Mumbai's water supply is entirely dependent on the monsoon rains, and in the dry years water has to be rationed.
  • The road network has become severely congested.


  • In 2004, the government first announced a redevelopment scheme to clear Dharavi slum and create an independent township. Plans include rebuilding new apartments, water and sewage systems, hospitals and schools.
  • The slum sanitation program was introduced in 1995 by a group of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's). It successfully built 330 new communal toilet blocks in slums in Mumbai.
  • People are using alternative forms of transport such as motorbikes and scooters, to avoid being stuck in congestion.
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