Global Urban Growth: A Reference Handbook

Global Urban Growth: A Reference Handbook

Global Urban Growth: A Reference Handbook

Global Urban Growth: A Reference Handbook

Synopsis

ABC-CLIO's celebrated Contemporary World Issues series-available in both print and eBook formats-provides accurate, unbiased reference handbooks on the major topics of the day. Subject categories are: Book jacket.

Excerpt

Urbanization is the physical growth of cities that takes place over time as people settle into a place of relatively high population density. It is a process that is triggered by attractions that built urban environments offer to those seeking out a new way of life. It may also be pushed by less desirable conditions experienced in rural areas related to poverty, undesirable social conditions, isolation, or even war. the establishment and expansion of urban places is always accompanied by a host of challenges for leaders. Where will all of the newcomers be housed? How will these people find their way through the transportation system? Will sufficient urban services (water, sewage treatment, education, etc.) be provided to meet the needs of this teeming population? Cities have always been places of wealth and power. So urbanization also offers many lucrative opportunities to those who control scarce resources such as land or have services to offer newcomers. Enterprising politicians also have much to gain from those in need of assistance as they adjust to the urban environment.

Historical patterns of urbanization in long-established industrial societies like the United States and France contrast sharply with the experience of many developing societies that have only urbanized on a mass scale in the past few decades. the scale of this growth is staggering. It took New York City (the world’s largest metropolis in 1950) nearly a century and a half to expand by eight million residents. Mexico City and Sao Paulo, already far larger than New York, will add this number in the next 15 years. the cities of Asia, Africa, and other parts of Latin America are also experiencing similar levels of explosive urban growth. This book is concerned with the rapid expansion of urban areas that has taken place across the world, and especially the type of growth that has occurred within the previous 50 to 100 years. It . . .

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