Habitats for Children: The Impacts of Density

Habitats for Children: The Impacts of Density

Habitats for Children: The Impacts of Density

Habitats for Children: The Impacts of Density

Excerpt

Gary W. Shannon Department of Geography University of Kentucky

Ellen Cromley Department of Geography University of Connecticut

With apologies to Wolf Schneider (1963), Is Babylon Everywhere? Are we now living in or moving inexorably toward a world of cities? Moreover, will this world of cities be a dream or a nightmare? Selected aspects of the latter question as it pertains to the habitat of the child are addressed in subsequent chapters. The present discussion is directed toward the former questions. The purpose of this chapter is to paint, albeit with a rather broad brush, a picture of current settlement patterns and selected future trends in settlement as they reflect changing population density. The disjuncture between the scale of deliberation of this chapter and the detailed and in-depth reviews and analyses of subsequent chapters may seem abrupt. Nevertheless, while examining in detail the many trees of specific associations between children, their development and density, it is important also to keep the forest of general settlement patterns in view.

Patterns and trends in the concentration and distribution of population in urban settlements are presented and assessed on three levels. At one level a description of the current world patterns of urbanization as well as the distribution and growth of large urban agglomerations is presented. At another level, information is presented pertaining to inter-urban or inter-metropolitan variations in population density. Finally, examples of variations in density within cities and metropolitan areas are presented. Emphasis is directed, especially in the latter two instances, toward the United States' experience.

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