Urbanization on Earth ecologically/biologically sustainable

Urbanization on Earth
âž” What is urbanization? Urbanization refers to the population shift from rural areas to
urban areas, the decrease in the proportion of people living in rural areas, and the ways
in which each society adapts to this change.
➔ Davis states that “the earth has urbanized even faster than originally predicted.”
âž” In 1950, there were 86 cities in the world with a population of over one million.
âž” In 2015, there were at least 550.
âž” Since 1950, cities have absorbed more than two-thirds of the global population.
âž” Megacity: A megacity is a very large city, typically with a population of more
than 10 million people.
âž” The combined urban population of China, India, and Brazil equals that of
Europe and North America.
➔ China is urbanizing at a speed “unprecedented to human history.”
➔ Mumbai is projected to attain a population of 33 million, although some don’t
believe it is ecologically/biologically sustainable.
The Gulf of Guinea
âž” The Gulf of Guinea with Lagos, which is a network of 300 cities, will soon
have a population comparable to the east coast with five cities over a million.
âž” This will essentially create a total of more than 60 million inhabitants along a
600 km strip of land.
âž” This is supposedly the biggest single footprint of urban poverty on Earth.
Megalopolises & China
âž” The Shanghai Economic Zone is the biggest subnational planning entity in the world.
âž” With this, China has been aggressively planning urban development.
âž” This planning encompassed the metropolis and five adjoining provinces with an aggregate
âž” These new Chinese megalopolises will be increasing inequality within and between cities of
different sizes and economic specializations.
âž” But, as a result of the planning, since the 1970s the Chinese state has embraced policies to
promote a balanced urban hierarchy.
India, Africa, & Latin America
âž” In contrast to China, India has not done enough to plan; towns and cities have
lost economic traction and demographic share.
âž” From the 1990s to the time of writing, the urban ratio in India had soared from
one quarter to one third of the total population.
âž” During the census at the time of writing the book, 35 Indian cities were above
the one million threshold, accounting for a total population of 110 million.
âž” In Africa, the growth of Lagos has been matched by many small towns.
âž” In Latin America, secondary cities are booming too, with the most rapid
increase in cities of around 500,000 people.
âž” Urbanization needs to be conceptualized as a structural transformation.
Urban-Rural and Hermaphroditic Landscapes
âž” Anthropologist Gregory Guldin said that urbanization must be conceptualized
as structural transformation along every point of an urban-rural continuum
â—† Southern China: cities are migrating to the people
â—† Malaysia: Fishermen
âž” The collision between rural and urban areas in places like
China and Southeast Asia have caused a hermaphroditic landscape
â—† HL: a partially urbanized countryside
âž” Thomas Sieverts: diffused urbanism
is a defining landscape for the 21rst
Extended Metropolitan Regions
âž” David Drakakis-Smith states that extended metropolitan regions are a fusion
of urban and regional development and the distinction between rural and
urban is blurry
â—† Indonesia: rural/urban hybridization is advanced in the Jakarta Region;
Desakotas (“city villages”)
â—† Traditional landscapes or a new type of urbanism?
“Region-based Urbanization”
âž” Urban systems without clear rural/urban boundaries are surfacing
âž” Example: Mexico City, Buenos Aires
➔ Mike Davis’ opinion
Back To Dickens
âž” Third world urbanization
➔ China’s industrial revolution
◆ Rural → Cities
â—† Consequences
âž” Developing Worlds:
Lack of manufacturing
export engines
â—† Consequences
â—† Urbanization and
Back To Dickens pt. 2
Disparities between population and GDP rankings for metropolitan areas
➔ Why Urbanization without growth? Mike Davis’ Opinion
Third World Urbanization
âž” 1980-1990: In third world countries, wages fall, prices rise, and more people
become unemployed.
âž” Africa experienced a rapid population growth while simultaneously
experiencing a harsh economic recession.
âž” Many jobs created by rural agriculture. Market deregulation made it difficult for
poor farmers to earn a living with their work. Many farmers suffered from the
environment ruining their crops or from health issues, both of which put them
in a difficult economic position.
âž” Countries are troubled by warlords and civil wars caused by foreign
âž” Defined by the reproduction of poverty, not of jobs.
âž” Large agricultural business sustains rapid urbanization.
âž” Rapid urbanization is the primary cause of slums, as urban centers are
created and populated before government can establish proper living
conditions and strengthening the economy.
âž” Most people are forced to built housing for themselves in order to be
sheltered, resulting in poorly made structures, “shanties”, and “shacks”, most
of which are unsafe for people to live in.
âž” Subsistence work is the main financial supplier of urbanization, most of which
is not really urbanization, but the production of slums.
Growth of Mexico, Asia, and Africa
âž” Many people in Mexico, especially women, are having to build their own
homes on unserviced land, without proper utilities set up, and no proper city
âž” In China, reports are that almost 200,000 migrants arrive each year, 90% of
which populate the slums. In India, 500,000 people migrate into the country a
year, most of which populate and grow slums.
➔ 1989-1999: 85% of Kenya’s population growth is in slums. The UN predicts
that “Africa will only have universal education by 2130, 50% poverty reduction
by 2150, and will get rid of avoidable infant deaths by 2165… By 2015, Africa
will have 332 million slum-dwellers”.
Discussion Questions
1. Should more financial options, such as international loans, be available to
people in developing urban areas?
2. What is the biggest problem that can result from urbanization?
3. What is something positive that can come from urbanization?
4. Where you live is there a clear distinction between urban and rural areas? Are
they distinguishable from one another? What are these areas like?
5. Overurbanization is an unpredicted outcome of neoliberal industrialization.
What other kinds of unpredicted outcomes can you think of?

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