Urban Key Words

An increase in the proportion of people living in towns and cities.
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A city or urban area with a population of more than 10 million people.
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A conurbation with more than 20 million.
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Urban Growth
An increase in the number of urban dwellers.
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Urban sprawl
The spread of an urban area into the surrounding countryside.
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The movement of people from large urban areas into smaller urban areas or into rural areas, thereby leapfrogging the urban-rural fringe.
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The movement of population and industry from the urban centre to outlying areas.
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This refers tot he loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector, which occurred in the UK in the second half of the twentieth century.
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The buying and renovating of properties, often in more run-down areas, by wealthier individuals.
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The movement of people from living in the inner parts of a city to living on the outer edges, It has been facilitated by the development of transport networks and the increase in ownership of private cars. This has allowed people to commute to work.
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Urban Resurgence
Refers to the regeneration, both economic and structural, of an urban area which has suffered a period of decline.
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World city
These are cities which have great influence on a global scale, because of their financial status and worldwide financial power. For example, New York, London and Tokyo.
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Urban Policy
Refers to the strategies chosen by local or central government to manage the development of urban areas and reduce urban problems.
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Urban Form
Refers to the physical characteristics that make up urban areas, including the shape, size, density and organisation of settlements.
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Edge City
A self-contained settlement which has emerged beyond the original city boundary and developed as a city in its own right.
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Fortress Landscape
Refers to the landscapes designed around security, protection, surveillance and exclusion.
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Cultural Diversity
The existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups with a society.
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Economic Inequality
The difference between levels of living standards, income etc. across the whole economic distribution.
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Social Segregation
When groups of people live apart, from the larger population due to factors such as wealth, ethnicity and religion or age.
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Urban Social Exclusion
Economic and social problems faced by residents in areas of multiple deprivation.
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The day-to-day conditions in the atmosphere around us.
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The average weather of a place, including its extremes.
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Micro climate
The small-scale variations in temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed and evaporation that occur in a particular environment such as an urban area.
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Urban Heat Island
The zone around and above an urban area, which has higher temperature than the surrounding rural areas.
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The reflectivity of a surface. It is the ratio between the amount of incoming isolation and the amount of energy reflected back into the atmosphere. Light surfaces reflect more than dark surfaces and so have a greater albedo.
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Particulate air pollution
A form of air pollution caused by the release of particles and noxious gases into the atmosphere. Emissions of particles can occur naturally but they are largely caused by the combustion of fossil fuels.
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Temperature inversion
An atmospheric condition in which temperature, unusually, increases with height. As inversions are extremely stable conditions and do not allow convection, they trap pollution in the lower layer of the atmosphere.
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Photo chemical Pollution
A form of air pollution that occurs mainly in cities and can be dangerous to health. Exhaust fumes become trapped by temperature inversions.
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Wind redirected down long straight canyon-like streets where there is less friction.
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Venturi effect
The squeezing of wind into an increasingly narrow gap resulting in pressure decrease and velocity increase.
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Radiation Fog
A cloud that forms at ground level as a result of heat radiating back into the atmosphere leaving the air nearest the ground cooler than the air above it.
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Hygroscopic Nuclei
Particles which attract water molecules and enable them to condense more easily.
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Dew Point
The temperatures at which water vapour condenses.
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Drainage Basin
An area of land drained by a river and its tributaries.
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Measures the river discharge at a measuring station on a river. The rivers discharge is the amount of water passing a given point in a given period of time.
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SUDS - Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
They are designed to mimic natural flows e.g. infiltration and storage processes. Historically, the idea was to get rid of the water as quickly as possible. SUDS are used to manage water where it falls rather than where it ends up.
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River Restoration
It is about taking away or removing human modifications to a river to allow it to flow more naturally, to conserve river environments as well as manage flooding. It is a form of soft engineering.
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Waste Streams
It is the complete flow of waste from its domestic industrial or commercial source through to recovery, recycled or final disposal. In HICs this is highly regulated and managed. However in LICs improper disposal is common.
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Unregulated waste disposal
This is when waste is disposed of in a uncontrolled way with no regulation.
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The burning of waste. It turns the waste into gas, heat, steam and ash. This mostly leads to energy recovery, through the burning process generating heat and electricity.
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This is the placement of waste in man-made o natural excavations such as landfills. It is a common final disposal site for waste from urban areas.
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This happens when waste is dumped in oceans. It is banned by international convention, but the UN have evidence of it happening in countries lacking strong governance.
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Global Waste Trade
The international trade of waste between countries for further treatment, disposal or recycling.
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carried out when materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products.
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Resource Recovery
The selective extraction of disposed materials for a specific next use such as recycling or energy generation.
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Ecological Footprint
A measure of the amount of bioproductive land and sea required to support a persons lifestyle. It includes the space needed to grow their food, dispose of their waste. and absorb their energy emissions.
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Water Pollution
The contamination of water sources, including rivers, lakes, oceans. It occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.
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Atmospheric Pollution
Caused by the release of particles and noxious gases into the atmosphere and this has a negative effect on human health.
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The state of buildings having been abandoned and become dilapidated.
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Brownfield sites
A term used in urban planing to describe land previously used for industrial purposes or some commercial uses.
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Greenfield sites
An area of undeveloped land.
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Land remediation
The removal of pollution or contaminants from the ground which enables areas of derelict former industrial land to be brought back int commercial use.
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T he characteristics of a city which improve the quality of life for the people living there.
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Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
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Sustainable city
A city that provides employment, a high standard of living, a clean healthy environment and fair governance for all its residents.
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Economic Sustainability
It is about maintaining economic growth without causing long-term negative effects.
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Social Sustainability
It is about how people live together, their quality of life, and the availability of basic services e.g. healthcare and education.
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Physical/Natural Sustainability
It is about how the environment, resources and waste are managed.
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Urban Resilience
The capacity of individuals, communities, institutions,businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and grow, no mater what kinds of chronic stress and acute shocks they experience.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2




A city or urban area with a population of more than 10 million people.

Card 3




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Card 4


Urban Growth


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Urban sprawl


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