The Global Pattern


A world city is a city that has an influence over the whole world. World cities are hubs for trade and finance, and also tend to be hubs for culture and science, e.g. London, NYC and Tokyo. Term coined by Peter Hall in 1960. Exact number hard to define. Tend to be in MEDCs, but over time it’s likely that more cities in developing countries will be world cities e.g. China, India.

Millionaire city: >1 million people e.g. Budapest, Hungary. Over 400.

Mega city: >10 million people e.g. Mumbai. More than 20.


There are four processes that involve the movement of people in and out of urban areas.


Urbanisation is an increase in the proportion of a country’s pop living in urban areas

Suburbanisation is the movement of people from the city centre to outskirts or suburbs

Counter-urbanisation is the movement of people from cities to rural areas.

Re-urbanisation is the movement of people back into the city centre.


These processes may occur one after the other as a country develops, called the cycle of urbanisation. However, in many cities all four processes are occurring at the same time but in different parts of the city.




Urbanisation is caused by rural-urban migration and population growth.

Migrants tend to be young people looking for work, who may then have children, increasing the population. Rural-urban migration takes place because of push and pull factors:


Pull factors


-Human activity and changes in climate can cause desertification, leaving unproductive land that can’t support the population.

-Some farmers take out loans to improve yields (e.g. buying fertiliser). However, if their crops fail they may get into debt and lose their land.

-Conflict and civil war may cause people to flee their land. Many killed in war means less to work land.

-Natural disasters

-Changes in land use in rural areas (e.g. building a hydroelectric dam).

-Mechanisation of agriculture



Push factors


-More jobs available in urban areas, which are usually better paid than rural ones.

-Better access to health and education services.

-Other family members may have already moved and can help migrants find work.

-Perceived better quality of life in the city.







Urbanisation in the UK


Causes in the 18th and 19th centuries


·       Industrial revolution from 1750s: promise of employment and better wages in urban areas.

·       Rural to urban migration due to decline in farming employment after mechanisation.

·       Stage 2 of DTM: high birth rates and low death rates, fertile age migrants.

·       Social reforms such as legislation to improve working conditions, provision for poor.

·       Development of the inner city, with terraced housing for workers.


Environmental impacts


Increased congestion: with more living on the edge of London congestion has worsened as people drive into the city centre to work. Large roads often


San Salz


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