Parts 6 Geography AS Edexcel World at Risk - Globalisation, Unit 1



World Cities

*A world city is not defined by size but by influence.

  • Political influence - New York, home to UN
  • Transport & communication - Heathrow - more international passengers than any other airport
  • Economic power -presence of stock exchange & major TNC headquarters


- Become unsustainable due to :

  • lack of adequate housing (due to rapid growthpoverty&adequate resources)
  • poor health (lack of water, sanitation, medical)
  • weak urban governance (lack of will & resources make it more difficult)
  • low environmental quality (poor transport infrastructure, lack of waste system, industrial pollution)
  • poverty (low wages/lack of employment). 
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Sustainable approaches in sustainable cities

Improving slums=important step in making cities more environmentally & socially sustainable.

1. Eviction - an extreme solution

  • rapid, effective, allows now infrastructure projects to be completed, local trust break down, violent, chaotic

2. Consolidation - gradual, bottom-up

  • residents gradually improve their homes, proceeds at an affordable pace, low cost, may take decades, quality of life will remain v.low in early stages, allows community to naturally develope, communities are decreasing, exmpl

Other possible strategies: aided self help, social housing, securing of tenure.

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Sustainable City - Case Study

Dongtang, China: Sustainable City

Plans to build a city on land currently used for farming - solve issues of urban growth in Shanghai & achieve more sustainable development. 

Aims to house 0.5million by 2040, carbon-neutral homes, designed to generate as much energy as they use, renewable energy production - wind turbines outside city & smaller ones on buildings, green transport strategies - vehicles running on petrol or diesel won't be allowed in the city - instead, network of cycleways, walkways & canals, public transport = solar powered taxi's on canal.

BUT not enough government support, costs a lot, & takes time - Shanghai needs quick solutions - comprimises my be made.

Dhaka Slums, Bangladesh - Improving health & environments

Water & sanitation poor, over 90% slum dwellers with no security or tenure = no official water connection, buy water off locals at inflated prices.

DSK (an NGO working with Water Aid) wants Dhaka to connect  slum to main water supply.

Between 1996 to 1999 6,000 households have benefited from 40 simple waterpumps run by communities, households pay around $7 per month.

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Fairtrade/ Unfairtrade?

Fairtrade aims to reduce the economic unfairness of globalisation by ensuring a greater amount of profit goes to poor workers. HOWEVER as the numbers of fairtrade schemes groe, it becomes harder to monitor how fair they really are.

Successful fairtrade scheme - Kuapa Kokoo (cocoa company) benefiting locals

  • Voive of women improved> assist female farmers (now =28% organisation)
  • Offer additional investment projects > clean drinking water, mobile health program, toilet facilities, free eductation)
  • Encourage workers to generate additional income > soap/palm oil making

Mali: The case of Cotton

  • 2.5 million people in Mali depend on cotton (40% households)
  • Mali farmers no longer get fair price for cotton-huge subsidies in US&EU-since 2001 nearly $50m to these countries>coton prices 1/2d last 40 yrs
  • Eliminating these subsidies would boost w.African cotton prices by 13%
  • mockery of aid - Countries giving $50bn aid BUT $300bn to own farmers
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