Academic journal article Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis

Urbanization: An Introduction to Urban Geography, Third Edition

Academic journal article Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis

Urbanization: An Introduction to Urban Geography, Third Edition

Article excerpt

Urbanization: An Introduction to Urban Geography, Third Edition Paul L. Knox, Virginia Tech, Linda M. McCarthy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Prentice Hall, 2012, 480 p. ISBN-10: 0321736435, ISBN-13: 9780321736437

Urbanization is a continuous challenge for the geographical research due to the complexity of the process that is always changing and has new forms and methods of manifestation. The book "Urbanization: An Introduction to Urban Geography, Third Edition" captures precisely these urbanization features, from the perspective of its effects on population in various development stages. The analysis of the current urbanization patterns is made with an approach to the specific development directions of urban geography. Thus, general theories or those related to the urban space issues are correlated with the evolution of cities, going through case studies and geographical analysis of recent situation conditioned by the urbanization process.

The book has a strong theoretic and synthetic footprint of the urban geographical researches, following a historical perspective of the urbanization process. The urban space is investigated through the United States of America urban system, but the analysis direction is global and includes detailed perspectives from the less developed countries.

The five parts of the volume, distributed in 15 chapters, start with a general statement of the theme and follow with a detailed critical analysis of the urbanization phenomena. Thus, the first part makes a short summary of the research approaches and methods of urban geographical issues, highlighting a number of related concepts and also, general effects of the urbanization. The urban geography objective is established to identify the spatial patterns of urban land use and of spatial models generated through demographic and socio-economic differences in the population. Space, territoriality, distance and place are the notions considered to be the foundation concepts of urban geography through the relation and the direct influence they have over the population. The geographical approaches, such as the spatial descriptive analysis, the behavioural, humanistic, feminist one and the post-structural ones are explained for their complementarities in the description of the urbanizing process. The comment of the different research approaches in the urban geography is followed in the next chapters of the book by some classical concrete examples. The urbanization results are analysed as comprising the economic, demographic, political, cultural, technological, social and environmental changes observed in the character and the dynamics of the urban system, the social ecology and the urbanism, seen as the whole of the social interaction forms and the ways of living developed in the urban environment.

The second part represents a historical investi-gation of the urban spaces evolution, from the appearance of the first towns to the new forms of hyper-urbanization. Starting with a brief mention of the factors that gave rise to the development of human settlements as cities, the emergence regions are analyzed and the global urban expansion directions, until the industrial revolution stage which was the moment of decisive transformation in the urbanization patterns. The chapter concerning the detailed analysis of the United States of America urban system is supported by the examination of the evolutionary American urban geography theories, which have become classics and a reference point in the trial to explain the forms of urbanization. The urbanization process is seen also in the context of North American cities transition to widespread phenomena of metropolis development and suburbanization. The globalization phenomenon is supported by completing the chapter with case studies concerning the Canadian, European, Australian and Japanese urban systems.

The peculiarities in the urbanization process of the less developed countries are captured in the third part of the book. …

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