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Urban Problems Chapter 13. An Urbanizing World The U.S. Bureau of the Census defines the urban population as all persons living in places with 2,500 or.

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Presentation on theme: "Urban Problems Chapter 13. An Urbanizing World The U.S. Bureau of the Census defines the urban population as all persons living in places with 2,500 or."— Presentation transcript:

1 Urban Problems Chapter 13

2 An Urbanizing World The U.S. Bureau of the Census defines the urban population as all persons living in places with 2,500 or more inhabitants that are legally incorporated as cities, villages, boroughs, and towns By 2025 the vast majority of the world’s population will live in cities The rapid growth of cities creates a number of problems »Crowding »Housing »Crime »Strain on urban infrastructures

3 The American City Up until the nineteenth century the United States was largely an agrarian country The growth of cities in the nineteenth century was related to: »Efficient forms of transportation »Communication technology »Industrialization As cities grew and populations become concentrated in a limited space new social problems emerged

4 Urban Growth and Social Problems The problems of cities »Crowding »Transportation »Death rates were higher than in rural areas »Developing adequate supplies of water and systems of waste disposal »Crime prevention »Marketing facilities

5 Antiurban Bias Antiurban bias in America stems from: »Our rural roots and nostalgia »The view that city environments had a corrupting influence on the individual »Negative portrayal of city life on T.V. One consequence of the contemporary view of city life has been suburban migration

6 The Composition of Urban Populations Cities of today are largely populated by »Descendants of rural Americans »Immigrants »White flight to the suburbs »African Americans / Hispanic

7 The Composition of Urban Populations Voluntary and Involuntary Segregation Residential segregation takes two forms: 1. Voluntary - in which people choose to live with others similar to themselves 2. Involuntary - which are forced on a group by social or economic circumstances

8 The Composition of Urban Populations Immigrant groups at first tend to form their own ethnic enclaves by choice The ethnic enclaves of African American and other minority groups today tend to be involuntary Racial segregation has not declined much since 1980 People of Muslim background constitute a relatively small minority in the United States, but their numbers increased by 8 percent between 1990 and 2000

9 Theories of Urbanism Wirth’s Theory Louis Wirth viewed cities as increasing the likelihood of social and personality disorders City as a large, dense, permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals The city creates a person who is »Aloof, brusque, and impersonal in relationships with others

10 Theories of Urbanism Wirth’s Theory City life results in the emergence of an alienated and antisocial person There are fewer constraints on individual behavior in the city

11 Theories of Urbanism Compositionalism Herbert Gans – Compositionalism- city as a collection of small communities knowable to its members »The small communities insulates the individual from the stresses of city life Personal behavior is shaped by the social life in specific neighborhoods and communities

12 Theories of Urbanism Subcultural Theory Fisher’s theory-cities foster the emergence of new subcultures »College students »Chinese Americans »Artists »Homosexual

13 Theories of Urbanism Subcultural Theory People in cities live in meaningful worlds Urbanism intensifies subcultures through critical mass - the bringing together of individuals who share a common interest and way of life Sometimes, the subcultural groups coexist, while at other times, contact results in conflict

14 Theories of Urbanism Critical Urban Theory and the Los Angeles School City growth is shaped by the economic elites within a city »Politically conservative Profit and benefit from economic development »Automobile »Subsidized by highway construction

15 Metropolitan Growth In 1910 U.S. Census classified twenty-five metropolitan districts. Since 1983 U.S. Census classifies urban residents into three categories: 1. Consolidated metropolitan statistical area (CMSA) – Dallas/Fort Worth are examples 2. Primary metropolitan statistical areas – or core areas ( PMSA)

16 Metropolitan Growth Since 1983 U.S. Census classifies urban residents into three categories: 3. Metropolitan Statistical areas (MSA) – (Urban nucleus of 500,000) Megalopolis – Urban Corridor such as found in the Northeast and West

17 Metropolitan Growth Megalopolitan areas have large scale effects on the environment: energy consumption pollution water supply waste management

18 Rural Depopulation and Its Consequences A major consequence of the explosive growth of metropolitan regions has been the depopulation of rural areas outside these sprawling regions The 2000 census reveals that while the population of the nation grew by 13 percent since 1990, the population of many rural counties fell by 9 percent Steep increases in fuel prices in 2005 threatened to make rural communities even more isolated

19 The Transportation Boom Technological developments led to the growth and expansion patterns of cities »Horse drawn street car »Electric trolley lines and streetcars 1880s »Automobile/ Interstate System in the 1930s led to suburban growth Movement of upper and middle class to the suburbs

20 The Transportation Boom Movement of commercial and industrial establishments Edge Cities Edge cities emerged in the 1980s and 1990s Edge cities are large urban clusters on the edge of metropolitan areas Edge cities rival urban downtown areas in size and jobs

21 The Impact of Suburban Growth Public policy in the areas of urban renewal and highway construction have led to suburbanization Federal Housing Authority and Veterans Administration mortgages made buying homes in the suburbs a more attractive proposition Suburbs have placed strain on city resources and provided little financial support

22 Problems of Cities Major social change affects cities in three ways »1. Decentralization - flight from the city to the suburbs »2. Relocation of manufacturing »3. Financial strain

23 Decentralization Decentralization – flight of city dwellers and businesses to the suburbs 1920 – 1930, suburbanization 1954 – 1977, commercial stores and shopping malls Population migration from the Snowbelt cities of the North and East to Sunbelt cities of the South and West

24 Relocation of Manufacturing Many manufacturing firms relocated to the suburbs to take advantage of the emerging systems of transportation and to reduce costs »Many cities lost jobs to the suburbs

25 Financial Problems Loss of tax dollars to the suburbs Deteriorating infrastructure Declining federal revenue for cities and growing urban problems Increasing concentration of poor in the city resulted in increasing costs for services; at the same time, the property tax base of cities were declining

26 Government A major cause of the problem of cities is the inequitable distribution of economic resources Urban problems often extend beyond city boundaries »Air pollution »Water pollution Non-city residents put a strain on city services

27 Shelter Poverty, Homelessness, and Neighborhood Distress Poor live in substandard housing Problems have been related: »Poverty »Mass removal of slum housing »Lack of affordable homes for low- income Americans

28 Shelter Poverty, Homelessness, and Neighborhood Distress Homelessness Factors related to homelessness »Displacement of poor families by gentrification and urban renewal »Deinstitutionalization of mental patients »Increasing concentration of the poor in central cities »Lack of low-cost housing

29 Shelter Poverty, Homelessness, and Neighborhood Distress Neighborhood distress is measured on the basis of: 1. Rate of poverty in the tract 2. Joblessness 3. Female-headed households 4. Welfare resiliency 5. Teenage school dropouts

30 Shelter Poverty, Homelessness, and Neighborhood Distress Distressed neighborhoods are not the same as poverty tracts. Severely distressed neighborhoods are defined as census tracts with at least three of the following four characteristics: »27.4% or more living in poverty »37% or more of families with related children headed by women with no husband present »23% or more of 16-19-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and not high school graduates »34% or more civilian, non-institutionalized men ages 16-64 who are unemployed or not in the labor force Growing up in distressed neighborhoods has lasting effects on children

31 Social Policy Most social policies at all levels of government have encouraged suburban sprawl Redevelopment and revitalization of the city will be a major issue Housing - providing low cost housing for the poor will become a concern Homelessness - solutions to the problems of the homeless will be a concern

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