World Cities

HideShow resource information

Urban Areas and Urbanisation

  • Millionaire city: urban area with over a million people living there (Budapest)
  • Mega city: urban area with over 10 million people living there (Mumbai)
  • World city: city that has influence over whole world, centres for trad and business, hubs or culture and science (LDN, NY, Tokyo)
  • Millionaire cities: more than 400. In past, found in developed world, increasingly in developing world
  • Mega cities: more than 20. 2/3 in developing countries
  • World cities: in developing countries.  Over time, more in developing countries such as India and China
  • Urbanisation: growth in proportion of a country's population living in urban areas
  • Suburbanisation: movement of people from city centre to outskirts or suburbs
  • Counter-urbanisation: movement of people from cities to rural areas
  • Re-urbanisation: movement of people back to city centre
1 of 12

Urban Areas and Urbanisation

Urbanisation caused by rural-urban migration and naturally increasing populaiton.  Migrants are young people looking for work.  They have children, increasing population.  Takes place because of push and pull factors.

In developing countries: Push:

  • desertification, land cant support population
  • farmers take out loans, crops fail, cant pay back so lose land
  • conflict and civil war, killed or injured - less people wokring so food shortages
  • natural disasters
  • changes in land use
  • mechanisation of agriculture


  • more jobs - better pay
  • health and education services
  • family members help find work and homes
  • perception of better quality of life
2 of 12


Urban population grows; need for space,resources, services increases; if cannot be met, poor quality of life

Developing countries cannot afford extra needs and growth or urbanisation. -ve impacts:

  • not enough houses; live on streets or shelters
  • build own - slums/shanty towns
  • competition for jobs in formal sector, have to accept low wages/poor working conditions
  • informal sector, dangerous
  • pressure on roads and railways, increasing congestion and air pollution


  • new housing to replace slums
  • improving servics in slums
  • residents involved in improving area
  • redeveloping slums into independant townships
3 of 12

Urbanisation - Mumbai

Mega city.  Major port, financial centre, hub of industry and services.  Cultural centre.  5.9mil in 1907 - 12.5mil 2011 - more than half population live in poverty.


  • poor living conditions
  • poor health care
  • cant meet demand for water
  • road congestion and air pollution
  • waste


  • redevelopment project in Dharavi
  • slum sanitation program - comunal toilet blocks
  • rainwater harvesting
  • alternative forms of transport
  • public transport upgraded
4 of 12


Push:  housing in city is poor quality - clear low qual housing and build new houses out of city; deindustrialisation - lose jobs - unemployment increases - less money - shops shut

Pull: planning laws more relaxed; improvements in public transport and car ownership; businesses and shops move out of city centre

Impacts on city centre: abandoned, run down;  lower living standards and poverty - unemployment;  people are poorer/foreign = economic and ethnic segregation;  commuting - increased congestion and pollution

Impactss on suburbs: new housing - affects wildlife habitats;  more ground conreted over - increased surfact runoff and risk of flooding;  own cars - cars on road increase = congestion and pollution

Managing impacts: redevelopment schemes encourage moving back, improving brownfield sites; greenbelt to prevent urban areas getting too large - protects countryside; schemes to reduce traffic congestion in city centre; flood defence schemes

5 of 12

Suburbanisation - Surbiton

SW London

141000 1970 - 160000 2011

Transport links, good quality housing, shops and restaurants, schools and parks


  • cars, on street parking, buses cant get through
  • london travel zone 6 - fares to central london expensive
  • high house prices - economic segregation


  • widening roads
  • local decision making
  • reclassify Surbiton station as zone 5 = less expensive
  • secure bicycle storage units
6 of 12


Push: escape air and noise pollution; cities have congestion and problems parking; house prices rise, not getting value for money

Pull: housing developments less densely packed; quieter and open space; improve quality of life; improved communication services = work from home; technological improvements = companies move to rural; increased jobs; increased car ownership; increased rail services; commute to work

Impacts on rural areas

Positive: increase in business; residents have higher disposable income; farmers make money selling unwanted land/buildings; schools in rural areas can stay open

Negative: developments unattractive; rural shops and services shut (wealthy residents have cars); roads and infrastructure cant cope with extra traffic; schools close if residents dont have kids; house prices increase = old population

Manage: developments allowed if similar to current buildings; companies offer mobile services (banks); local occupancy clauses

7 of 12


St Ives: 70 miles N of London.  1961 - 3800 2010 - 16400.  Road access and rail links to Cambridge and London


  • increased house prices (commuters earn more than local workers)
  • housing built on river banks and flood plain
  • more shops and services in town
  • families changed population structure; was ageing now youthful = pressure on schools


  • 2010 = 200 new homes - 75 affordable housing
  • expand primary schools
  • flood protection works (£8.8mil); new embankments and flood walls
  • £116mil guided busway, reducing congestion
8 of 12


Pull: redevelopment of brownfield sites (new developments); urban development corporations = buy land and plan how to use to encourage businesses and people to move back; universities; young single people want to live close to work with good clubs; once it has started it continues

Push: lack of jobs; less leisure/entertainment facilities; high house prices

Positive on city centre: boosts economy; less unemployment; tourism increases; state schools benefit

Negative: cant afford housing as prices increase; tension between old and new; new jobs unaccessible to original residents; upmarket shops replace shops for original residents

Manage: re-urbanisation projects guarantee affordable housing; charitable projects imrpove skills of existing population

9 of 12


London Docklands: 19th and 20th centrues globally importan.  1960s+ decline.  1980 - derelict, 150000 unemployed, 20% housing unsuitable for living. 1981 - LDDC redeveloped

Positive: economy - 1998 2700 businesses 85000 jobs; housing - 24000 new homes, 6250 affordable; transport - 1987 Docklands Light railway, walking and cycling routes easier and safer; community - watersport centre, shopping, health centres; education - new schools and colleges, existing improved; environment - docks refurbished, outdoor spaces new

Since 1980 population doubled

Negative: conflict between old and new residents; orginial residents unable to find jobs

Manage: 40% new housing sold at affordable price; training centres to improve literacy, numeracy, IT; skillnet - provide people with skills needed for work in area

10 of 12

Urban Decline and Regeneration

1. Decline in industry - movement of manufacturing oversees, sites outside city centre

2. Increase in unemployment - industry decline = job loss, people move away for work - jobs unskilled/low paid

3. Shops and services decline - fewer people ot use shops, remaining have less money, shops close down

4. Physical environment declines - empty buildings = derelict = vandalism and grafitti, parks neglected = crime, becomes unattractive = more decline

Gentrification - regeneration by wealthier group

+ves: housing improved; value of housing increases; new businesses = jobs; crime rates fall

-ves: high demand for housing = tennants forced out - landlords sell for money; children of original homeowners unable to buy/rent; original shops/services replaced by upmarket shops; tension between old and new

11 of 12

Gentrification - Islington

Large Georgian and Victorian houses; 19th century; railways expanded; wealthy moved to suburbs; poor moved in; overcrowded; run down.  1960s; middle class began to buy because:  increase in jobs in service sector - live close to city centre; well connected by underground; large and attractive houses; cheaper - rennovate; more and more wealthier lived there


  • improved housing
  • new businesses


  • increased house prices
  • wealth gap
  • busnesses closed

Manage: London living wage £8.3 ph = larger income;  charities to improve education

12 of 12


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »