World Cities Case Studies

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 31-05-13 09:58

Urbanisation - Singapore (1)


  • Large and rapidly increasing number of slum dwellers
  • An overcrowded and unplanned central area


  • Houing and Development Board (HDB) set up in 1960
  • Cleared old properties close to the CBD
  • Created purpose-built estates instead with 10,000 - 30,000 people in these towns
  • Initially flats were for low-income families with low prices = 1-3 bed closely packed high rises
  • 1/4 of wage earners' salary automatically put into central pension fund and this can be used to buy your own apartment or flat
  • Since 1974 4 or 5 room units have been built for higher incomes
  • Large estates = functional in design and developed on neighbourhood concept
  • Each estate has greenery as well as amenities
  • All new towns are linked to city centre within 30 mins = Mass rapid transport railway
  • Each estate has its own light industry e.g. producing clothes 
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Urbanisation - Singapore (2)


  • By 1994 there were 14 new towns with 12km of CBD
  • In 1994 87% of Singaporeams lived in government-built housing and 80% owned their own homes
  • Each estate is pristine = fines for litter and grafitti
  • HDB put sensors in the floors of lifts to detect the salt from urine
  • By 1994 the HDB had built over 700,000 flats


  • Now the aim is to provide every householder with a minimum of 3 rooms
  • This is done by pulling down early apartment blocks or emalgamating them
  • 3 room flats also sold on the open market and they are sold at discount prices to low-income families
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Suburbanisation - Rickmansworth

Where: A small town in the south east along the Grand Union Canal


  • Grew during 1920s and 30s as part of metro land = Rickmansworth Station on the underground line
  • 1851 population = 4,800
  • Today population = 15,000


  • Excellent transport links (London in half an hour)
  • Good links to Luton and Heathrow airports
  • Close to M1 and M40
  • Contained within the M25
  • Classified as one of the top ten neighbourhoods for quality of life
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Counterurbanisation - St Ives, Cambridgeshire (1)


  • Around 100km north of London
  • 25km northwest of Cambridgeshire
  • Close to A1 and Main East Coast Railway

Changing Town:

  • Majority of land outside town is farmland but over recent years has been changing into new housing developments
  • Apartment blocks built in town centre for more exclusive housing

Changing population:

  • One side of the town is ageing and the other is becoming more youthful
  • Area has affordable housing and good transport links = commuters to London
  • Largely young families or retirees = rural oart of town for more land but still good transport
  • People in St Ives have higher incomes and living standards than anywhere else in the UK = boom in property demand for water-side properties
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Counterurbanisation - St Ives, Cambridgeshire (2)


  • 25% of St Ives population commutes to London daily
  • Railway line was electrified = cut journey times
  • Station in Huntington = 50 minute journey to King's Cross
  • Annual rail ticket = £3.920 which makes living in St Ives still cheaper than living in London

Services in the Town:

  • Now come in to meet the demands of new residents
  • Low order services still exist e.g. greengrocers (though many have expanded to meet the new demand)
  • High order services now beginning to appear e.g. restaurants and  designer clothes shops
  • Secondary school intake has risen
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Gentrification - Notting Hill


  • Once an 18th century hamlet with a low population density
  • Industrialisation brought workers from the countryside
  • Landlords built terrace housing to house these workers
  • Victorian era = rough,working class area
  • 1950s = area of slums and deprivation
  • 1958 = race riots
  • 1976 = Notting Hill Carnival Riot


  • Over last 30 years Gentrification has sent property prices booming 4 bed detached = £1 mil
  • Many open spaces = one of most desirable neighbourhoods in London for families
  • Celebrities in the area
  • Fashionable and exclusive places to eat e.g. Veronicas
  • August Bank Holiday = world's largest carnival outside of Rio = over 1 million people over 3 days
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Reurbanisation - El Raval, Barcelona (1)


  • Originally built up due to its proximity to the port
  • During industrial revolution the tenement blocks grew into high-rise slums
  • Soon became known as a centre of low life and sex industry
  • Low rent prices attracted many migrants to the area = large Filipino Community - language barrier

Regeneration Scheme:

  • Schemes put in place to solve the problem that the area was overly populated and a centre for crime and the sex industry
  • Led by public funding, the EU Social Cohesion Fund as well as private investment
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Reurbanisation - El Raval, Barcelona (2)

Positive Effects:

  • Depopulation in a sustained way and in relation to depopulation of Barcelona as a whole
  • Employment risen significantly
  • Main road in the Upper Raval is now a sought after location for local business linked to the tourist trade
  • Crime rate reduced to Barcelona average
  • Some small businesses and workshops have remained
  • Tenement blocks have begun to be refurbished and some have been demolished

Negative Effects:

  • Low qualifications in the area means jobs often go to other areas and so family income has fallen
  • Left some people thinking that the heart has been ripped out of the area
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Reurbanisation - Thames Gateway Plan


  • Europe's largest regeneration scheme = £446 million in govt funding and £1.5bn needed in private investment (2012 = 1/3 secured)
  • Completion aimed for 2016
  • Designed to accomodate London's expanding population which is set to rise to over 8 million by 2016

Where: The area stretches 40 miles from London's Lower Lea Valley along the Thames

The Plan:

  • Over 12,00 new homes = at least 35% to be affordable
  • Estimated 225,000 jobs to be created
  • Part of the fund would go towards education, transport and new affordable homes
  • New homes intended to be 'carbon zero' with 80% built on previously developed land
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Planning and Management - Cambourne (1)

Where: 15km from Cambridge City Centre

What: A new village whose planning application was submitted in 1992 and work began in 1998

The Plan:

  • 8000 to live there
  • 3000 houses with 900 of those being affordable
  • 3 villages with services to include a church, primary schools, sports centre, bowling green etc.
  • System of balancing lake control from the site to Bourn Brook
  • Developers provided funds for a park and ride scheme, cycle tracks and buses
  • Roads between Cambourne and Cambridge became duel carriageway
  • Business Park which included shops and offices
  • Houses were sold quickly
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Planning and Management - Cambourne (2)

Arguments For:

  • Enables people to work and live in the community = reduces commuting
  • New wildlife habitats will be created e.g. for badgers
  • Aims to enhance the environment with 69ha of woodland, 56ha for country park and construction of lakes
  • 3000 jobs in the business park
  • Solution to the housing crisis

Arguments Against:

  • 400ha of rural land lost
  • Otters protected at Bourne Brook may suffer
  • No need for so many new homes - estimated 5 million more by 2016 with population rise of only 0.2%
  • Highest part of west Cambridgeshire = possible drainage problems
  • Eyesore
  • Delayed 12 months - drainage and sewage plans had to be agreed
  • Too far from city centre = away from concentration of jobs
  • Several similar new villages planned countryywide
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Out-of-town Retailing - Westfield (+ve)

Economic Impacts:

  • Cost = £1.6bn
  • Several other developments in surrounding city district
  • 3rd largest shopping centre in UK
  • 5 years to build, employing over 8000 to do so

Social Impacts:

  • Transportation reform = Shepard's Bush station remodelled, new overground station, new bus interchange, new taxi stand and 570 new cycles on cycle routes
  • Replaced a brownfield site
  • Over £4mil provided by Westfield for physical regeneration of the area
  • Over £170mil into regenerating local transport infrastructure

Environmental Impacts:

  • Solar panels = 20% of energy for bus station, 60% public transport and 50% recycled materials
  • Urban nature reserve created
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Out-of-town Retailing - Trafford Centre


  • 5.5 million people live with 45 min drive of the centre
  • Good motorway links (M61, M62)
  • 11,000 free parking spaces
  • 120 capacity bus station but transport links remain difficult with 87% coming by car


  • Stimulates local economy = 27mil visitors a year with average spend of £100
  • Employs 7000 local people
  • Offers a massive range of services
  • 24% of shoppers visit once a week or more


  • Poorer people turned away = no homless
  • All chain stores as smaller businesses cannot afford to rent a place within the centre
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New Town - Milton Keynes

When: Site chosen in Jan 1967 = equidistant from London, Birmingham, Leciester, Oxford and Cambridge

Intention: To become a major regional centre for housing and employment in its own right


  • Milton Keynes Development Cooperation (MKDC)
  • MKDC wound up in 1992 and is now under control of English Partnerships (EP)

Main Aims:

  • Create MK as modern interpretation of Garden City Movement
  • No building should be higher than the highest tree (since been scrapped)
  • River vallets, water courses and landscape buffers around MK = environmental assets have been intergrated into development
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Eco-Town - Western Otmoor (1)

Where: Proposed eco-town site in northern Oxfordshire

The Plan:

  • 828ha = 84% working farmland with 250ha of Oxford greenbelt
  • 35,000 people
  • 15,000 dwellings
  • 12,000 jobs


  • Eliminate the need for a car = excellent transport links including a free tram and railway
  • Small communities
  • Use of 'green infrastructure' e.g. allotments
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Eco-Town - Western Otmoor (2)


  • Unsustainable and unrealistic e.g. 100% shift to rail = unrealistic
  • Inappropriate and unnecessary - 12,000 new homes already planned nearby and new jobs not required as unemployment is half the national average
  • Impact on existing towns e.g. Bicester needs redevelopment
  • Water Stress - site is on a floodplain
  • Ecological Impact - Entirely greenfield site, 25% = Oxford greenbelt
  • Social Aspects - would become a rural ghetto
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Urban Decline - London Docklands

Why: Development of container ships which could not fit into London Docklands' Port so business was moved to Tilbury (where they could fit)


  • Area was a wasteland
  • Quality of life in the area was very poor
  • 80% of all accomodation was council housing and 30% was unfit for human habitation
  • Companies and businesses located elsewhere when the docks began to close
  • Unemployment hit an all-time high = 35% (national average at the time = 10%)
  • 1 in 3 shops closed down in the area


  • London Docklands Development Cooperation (LDDC) - 1981
  • Huge area of the Docklands was converted into a mixture of commercial, residential and light industry area
  • Canary Wharf
  • Docklands Light Railway
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City Centre Redevelopment - St.Stephens

Where: Kingston-upon-Hull


  • Brownfield site = mixture of ownerships and uses
  • General ambience of neglect and decay in the area
  • Opened in September 2007
  • Sponsors include: Kingston-upon-Hll city council and Yorkshire Forward


  • Mixture of retail outlets
  • 10,000m squared food store
  • A leisure complex
  • A hotel
  • A new home for the Hull Truck Theatre Company
  • 1550 parking spaces
  • Over 200 residential units
  • New intergrated transport interchange = £10 mil
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Transport Management - London

Docklands' Light Railway:

  • Created to try to regenerate the area
  • Used existing dock rail structures and linked important areas of the docklands
  • 3 stages = 1985-7, 1996 and 2004
  • Cost £77mil

Boris Bikes:

  • Launched 30th July 2010
  • Ran by Serco and sponsered by Barclays Bank
  • Started with 5000 cycles with 315 docking stations = 17 square miles
  • Approx. £140mil
  • Easy to use and environmentally friendly and cheap!

What else?

  • Congestion charges
  • London underground = electric
  • Oyster Cards
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Waste Management - Curitiba, Brazil


  • In the late 1980s it was the first city to offer a wide variety of recycling services
  • Curitiba recycles 2/3 of its household waste = one of the highest figures in the world
  • Cans are recyled (1/2 price of making new ones), nothing is wasted and books sent to public libraries

The Process:

  • Recycling plants are made up of those who would find it difficult to find employment e.g. immigrants or disabled
  • Colour co-ordinating teams collect the waste that has been seperated in inorganic and organic waste
  • Then sorted and sent out to recycling plants

Green Exchange (1990):

  • Encourage poor to recycle in return for food or bus tickets
  • Cost same has landfill= 30,000 benefitted from the scheme
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