Week 12- Comparative Urbanism-Meghan Foubare

Urban public behavior is important because urban life gives us as the consumers or birds eye viewers different cultures and perspectives on how they operate.  Which if you think about this carefully, can become an issue or small problem when studying how we behave with each other. How we form relationships with others outside our own culture can show a different type of behavior that is considered to be unpleasant or out of the ordinary. When a appropriate well formed relationship is formed between two or more people is when things life interdependency form, which creates networks. Peking known now as Beijing is historically more than 3000 years old, was created in northeastern China for protection.  This city was designed to symbolize everything important to Chinese culture. Beijing was a symbolic culture, founded on cultural instances , focused on harmony within nature, security and power. Power being a top concern of this culture really formed how this city was built. Hellenic Athens was also positioned on the northern coastal part of the Mediterranean. Established in 2000 B.C.E., the Greek peninsula was taken by force of the feudal overlords (aristoi/aristocracy). Athenians believe in a democratic type of government, a fair and equal society as they put it.  These views and actions have contributed so much in our modern day society. From sculptures and paintings to philosophy. Philosophy not being a widely studied subject anymore, still holds an attribute to other subjects such as psychology and sociology. “thinking philosophically doesn’t seem to be a necessity in 2017 when you have other social sciences breaking down the original views for us.

The cultures of Athens and Beijing were similar in that they had extreme inequalities and a great deal of poor housing/living situations, crowded, uneven streets, and important central places of public consumptions.  Each culture having different points of views, made a two sided sandwich.  Chinese culture believed in a god felt leader such as an emperor (a little big for his britches but yes), which they believed was protected Beijing and ensuring the public safety to the highest authority. This was a clear indication of an exclusive need for a  power structure, Athens showing a more humane characteristic such as a president or leader with basic human like powers and abilities.  They encouraged open minded thoughts, communicating, and development among a free society for those who followed this belief system. They didn’t think of people needing to always being one higher then the other, but equal to an extent. For example In most Asian cultures from my understanding, the elders are spoken to in a different context. As in the entire form of the conversation is different then say with your brother or sister. The elderly are held at a higher level, the younger as seen as a step below and not as an extremely important member of the community versus someone who has led a long life and is 50+ years old.

The symbolism of the city changed due to capitalism,  the development of factories changed the structure and purpose of urban folks.  This shift was now the primary foundation of employment for the masses.  Some of the downfalls of capitalistic era was the church, which was no longer the focal foundation of society, thus, its severe decline and down fall of empowerment.  Urban livers began to work longer hours for reduced wages and benefits. This meaning that the factories and large places of employment where taking over.  This new form of living changed the way people acted not only as a single person but towards other, it also changed the physical aspect of these cities, which made capitalism seem all that much better!  Land became “real estate”, also meaning you can put a bigger price tag on it and tax bracket. Capitalism at its best right?

The streets and areas in these urban towns are what we now call gridding. Unsure as to how that applies here? Think of politics, school districts, and public spaces. The grid allows four main modes of transportation, planes, trains, and barges (busses), to reach the urban cities, which also contributed to the transportation of rare out of season goods or medicine. They felt that the gridding process would help build towns and neighborhoods in the cities or urbanized areas. When it comes down to it, its basically and easier  way to pin point who and where you are, even what you come from.

While capitalism produces income for many people as well as the city, there is a downside of a capitalist economy. Think about the hundreds of homeless that surround the city. Capitalism at its core deals with making an empire and spending the least amount of money.

The reason why most urban areas are arranged into a grid system is because the grid system gives the most productive mobility of people, goods, and services. Cities can lose some of there charm because of gridding. Most cities operate in the red, due to the high volume of people occupying the city. Meaning that public property needs to be replaced more often.

One thought on “Week 12- Comparative Urbanism-Meghan Foubare”

  1. Good job.

    Why is urban public behavior important? What does it do? While you discussed this the correct answer was it teaches us how to behavior e.g. stand in a straight line, wait until our number is called versus taking someone else place, etc.

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