Week 15: Urbanization in the Developed Nations

Grace Blackburn

Week 15; Chapter 10: Urbanization in the Developed Nations

Societies around the world exhibit their own patterns of urban and regional development, which is the result of individual historical circumstances, position within the world system, cultural influences, and other factors. Although, many places do share the increasing regional sprawl characteristics of the United States. Redevelopment and gentrification often occurs within the central city, but most new commercial and residential development occurs in suburban settlement spaces. Income and racial segregation is increasing, and in many cases, has led to serious inequalities in employment, housing, education, medical care, and other aspects of everyday life.

For many years the study of urbanization in Europe was relatively predictable. In recent years though, profound transformations have been taking place is Western and Eastern Europe. Shifts in industry to high technology, declines in manufacturing, and growth in the service sector are common both in the United States and in Europe. In the past, the pattern of urbanization in European countries was substantially different from that found in the Unites States, but due to “postsuburban” settlement and urban sprawl, the United States and Europe have similar tendencies in recent years. Due to phases in urban sprawl, there is an increasing amount of inequalities between professionals and those in service related fields in Europe. There is also a growing problem of poverty as a result of this inequality. There are similarities between Europe and the United State in the declining housing stock, household size, higher incomes due to combined households, and changes in public transportation. These issues are responsible for the uneven development between the wealthy and the poor. Uneven development is the graphic contrast between the wealthy and the poor. For example, the contradictions between progress and misery, remains at the center of the urban dynamic in cities around the globe.

Due to economic restructuring in recent decades in the United Kingdom, police have had to expand their role as controllers of the population as crime and civil unrest have increased. The UK, and London specifically, has led the way in surveillance of urban populations by the installation of cameras n public streets. It is estimated that a person travelling through London in the course of a typically day will appear on more than twenty security screens.

Both the United Kingdom and France have large portions of their populations urbanized, 80% and 75%, respectively. As in the United Kingdom, an extended period of industrial decline has led to the restructuring of metropolitan regions in France. Both countries at one point or another lost a large portion of jobs in the manufacturing sector. Both countries have faced periods of deindustrialization, which greatly affected their economies. The deindustrialization has caused turmoil in both countries. Both countries are seeing problems of racial issues, political issues, and problems between different classes, ages, and genders.


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