A REPORT ON HOW TO HANDLE MAJOR ISSUES IN THE URBAN STUDIES
HEAD OF GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
FRANCES SIMWINGA (STAFF ASSOCIATE)
25TH SEPTEMBER, 2013
The report was called to explain how major issues would be handled in the Urban Studies module. It provides a brief summary of topics to be covered and questions. TOPIC ONE: URBAN SETTLEMENTS AND THE PROCESS OF URBANISATION, PROBLEM OF DEFINATION, ORIGINS AND GROWTH OF URBSNISATION The urbanization process starts gradually from those growth spots that thrive over other growth spots due to some reasons such as economies of scale and deliberate government policy. Hydraulic, religious, military, agricultural and economic theories help explain the origins of urban areas though one cannot be mutually exclusive to others. a) What is an urban or urban settlement?
b) How can the urbanization process be sustainable amidst the challenges that it results? c) What reasons can we give for the rise of the earliest cities? d) Contrast between the growth of the earliest cities and modern urban areas? TOPIC TWO: CURRENT TRENDS OF THE WORLD URBANISATION AND COUNTER URBANISATION. Urbanisation growth rate is higher in cities of the south than those of the developed countries. Many urbanization processes are happening concurrently in the third world while most cities in the north such processes have stabilized with some experiencing urban renaissance. a) What are the common challenges faced in the current world urbanization processes? b) On what scale does counter-urbanization in the north differ from cities of the south? c) Justify the need for counter urbanization in the third world cities. d) Explain the role of globalization the current world urbanization trends. TOPIC THREE: DEFINE CATEGORIES OF CITIES AND THEIR ROLE IN THE GLOBAL SYSTERMS OF POWER. Cities can be categorized by identifying distinct role they play in the city system such as being central places, transportation function. Population can also categorise cities as in Highly Urbanized cities, Independent component cities and Component Cities as done in Philippines (www.nscb.gov.ph/activestats/psc/articles ).There globe cites are marked by massive immigration and control most of the world’s economic transactions. a) Explain the rationale for classifying cities into categories. b) How are cities put into different categories?
c) Explain the role of complex global cities in global systems of power. d) What cases studies are there that indicate the role different categories of cities in the global systems of power. TOPIC FOUR: CITIES DIVERSITY AND IMPLICATIONS OF HETEROGENEITY Cities are often varied with disjointed processes lacking completeness (Hubbard,). They are varied both in physical and social content. The various units within the city link to facilitate the flow of goods and its other function within the city and its hinterland. While heterogeneity sets the city in motion, it can imply difficulty to social cohesion and adoption of innovation in case of different cultural and religious beliefs. They are also diverse over space. From example London is different from Lilongwe. a) What elements indicate that cities are diverse?
b) What implications does heterogeneity has on cities?
c) Illustrate why it is hard to come up with a certain generalized landscape of cities. d) Establish whether the diversity of cities change or remain constant over time. TOPIC FIVE: URBAN SPHERE OF INFLUENCE AND FUNCTION
Every urban area regardless of its position in the hierarchy exerts influence over other cities and the hinterland. They are multifunctional with activities as retailing, wholesaling, political and entertainment. Those of the same size tend not serve each other unless offer specialized activity like political capital of a region or some major university (Fellmann etal, 2007). a) What influence do cities...
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Hubbard, P. Kitchin, R. and Valentine, G (Eds). (2008). Key Texts in Human Geography. London: Sage
Kruse C. and Manda M. Z. (2005). “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Waste Management in Malawi”, In Kruse C. & Manda, A.Z. (Eds.) Lessons in Urban Management: Experiences in Malawi 2000-2005. Mzuzu: ALMA Consult.
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Pacione Michael. The Internal Structures of Cities in the Third World. Vil.86, No.3, July 2001. Geographical association. Retrieved on 23 September, 2013 from http://www.jstor.org/atable/40573577
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