Category Archives: socy327

Jailyn Williams Week 15

In canada and the United States, destinations for millions of immigrants, cities have long been mosaics of ethnic communities. At the height of the “Great Immigration” between 1880 and 1910, about 1 million immigrants came to these shores each year. 7 out of 10 settled in cities in the northeastern United States. The Great Migration occured right after World War I and the restrictive legislation that followed put an end to the Great Immigration from Europe. As cities such as Chicago, New York, and Boston grew into industrial metropolises, African Americans saw greater opportunity there than in the agricultural South. During the 1920’s, the net black out-migration from the south amounted to almost 1 million people. Slowing during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the massive relocation of blacks once again accelerated when industrial production rose during World War II. Migration remained high until the 1970’s, when urban decentralization and minority movenment to the south reversed the process. Currently, most immigrants are coming from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. And with them they are bringing great diversity.

Critics argue that some urban centers recieve the lion’s share of immigrants and that their concentrated presence strains the communities social fabric and increases their economic burden in education, health, and welfare costs. While immigrants, in general, may enrich the nation, their high numbers and the growing porportion of poorly educated, low skilled workers have negative consequences for lower skilled native workers. I think that newcomers choose to stay in segregated communties because by doing this they are reunited with their own. With people who can help them find their way and they also create their own small worlds with different sights, sounds, and smells reflected in ethnic celebrations, parades, restaraunts, street fairs, stores and other cultural activites that bond them together with others.

The fastest growing group in the United States is Hispanics.In most U.S cities with a population exceeding 100,000, Hispanics outnumber African Americans. Muslims currently experience discrimination and prejudice at a high levels. The attacks by Muslim radicals on September 11, 2001 have heightened prejudices and suspicions among non-Muslim urbanites. This group finds itself the frequent target of racial profiling both in antiterroist law enforcement actions and sterotyping. Native Americans rarely lived in cities until recently, they instead resided mostly in rural areas, on or near reservations. In recent decades, a steady migration to cities has brought many to urban areas.

Industrialized, poor women, mostly from immigrant families went to work at urban factories in low skill jobs for low wages. Women were the main work force in many textile mills and garment factories. Irish women commonly expanded their households to include other relatives or boarders in order to help meet living expenses. Many unmarried women migrated to the U.S cities, primarily to seek domestic work as maids or jobs in textile mills. Most other immigrant women sought work in cities. A different story centers on middle and upper class women, usually born to prosperous U.S merchants and industralists. Men placed them on a pedestal, as towers of moral strength and refinement, as if to balance their own competitive world of work. Prevailing values in the ninteeth and twentith century held that the nature of women was to please and the nature of men was to achieve. This attitude prevailed among the middle class until World War II, when a labor shortage drew women into the work force.

A postwar recession and soliders returning to their jobs resulting in the firing of 2 million women within 15 months after the war ended. They resumed to the pattern of women’s living being confined to the house. By 1970, however, change was under way, resulting in part from the increasing costs of a middle-class lifestyle. The dual-career family became the norm. Mothers also started to join the labor force.

A host of specialized services have emerged, providing child care, household cleaning, lawn care, and shopping assistance to the working woman.Fast food and takeout resturants, laundries, and dry cleaners carry out tasks for which she often has little time. Large merchandising stores and supermarkets, as well as mall and mini malls, make shopping effiecient by minimizing the time spent going from store to sore.

I dont think the built environemnt was desgined with women in mind because it is male dominated. In male dominated society, planners allocate most open spaces to male oriented activites, such as sports, giving little consideration to the needs of women. However, now, now more attention is giving attention to creating safe environments for women and children.



Jailyn Williams Week 14

The United States, Canada, and all other countries are stratified societies. In every nation, people are ranked in a social hierarchy that determines their quality of life. The social hierarchy involves access to jobs, income, schooling, and other resources, which, in turn, affects peoples choices about where and how to live. Because rural communities have more homogeneous populations, they typically have fewer social levels than in cities, where people differ greatly in terms of occupations, incomes, and schooling. Two classical theorists Karl Marx and Max Weber offered ideas about social stratification that still influence sociological thinking. With Webers thinking in mind, most sociologist define social stratification as the hierarchical ranking within a society of various social class groups according to wealth, power, and prestige.

There are several distinctions that are made when examining social class, Upper class, the main distinction between Warner’s upper upper  and lower-upper classess was essentially that of “old money” and “new money”. Upper class citizens live in expensive neighborhoods, enjoy high prestige, and wield considerable political clout. Middle class, consitituting about 40-45% of society and more diverse both racially and ethnically, this population segment is the one most often depicted in films and television and most commonly targeted by advertisers. Less than half are upper-middle class, earning above average income, typically in the range of 100,000 to about 200,000 annually. The working class often called the lower-middle class comprimses about one-third of society and yields a family income below the national average, about 30,000 to 50,000 annually. The lower is about 20% of the population, poor whites as well as poor minorities. Some urban neighborhoods have such extreme levels of poverty and unemployment that social scientists call them hyperghettos.

Those living outside central cities are better off than those living within central cities. The differences between urban and suburban dwellers give us an intital understanding of the greater financial resources available to many of those living beyond the city limits.

Throughout the history of Canada and the United States, cities have traditionally been home to many poor newcomers struggling to survive and improve their quality of life. That pattern continues today. More than two-fifths of the foreign born in the United States live in a central city. Studies show that the income for most immigrants improves with the passage of time, their early presence, and particularly their large numbers creates an ethnic underclass that competes with the long-term urban poor for socioeconomic well-being. You can not conclude from the foregoing information that the presence of immigrants translates into poor neighborhoods.

The different types of urban neighborhoods are Upper-Class urban neighborhoods, they live in the most fashionable neighborhoods, such as Nob Hill in San Francisco, or in luxury apartments or penthouses. Middle class urban neighborhoods live in suburbia, not the city. Working class urban neighborhoods become distinctive by the ethnic and racial minority groups who predominate. The East End of Nashville, Tennessee, is a good example of a non-ethnic working-class neighborhood. Mixed income urban neighborhoods contain people from a mixture of income levels. These neighborhoods may result from intervention, such as public housing designed to reduce the concentration of poverty, or from non-planned result from the social dynamics of people opting to move. Low-income urban neighborhoods are communties that used to be middle-class, or even upper-class, areas that have fallen on hard times. Lastly, the homeless, they inhabit the edges of society. A lack of affordable housing is the leading cause of homelessness.

Working class suburbs developed in the early twentieth century as a home for both factories and their workers. Elsewhere in the United States during the early twentieth century, other working class, industrial suburbs evolved. Some became more urbanized than others, but all offered blue-collar workers the opportunity to live in their own homes and work nearby. Today some of these older, blue collar suburbs are suffering from a loss of jobs as industries close or move their factories abroad. In contrast to the working class suburbs, suburbam cosmopolitan neighborhoods composed of mainly actors, artists, writers, and students have an abundance of theaters, music facilites, and elegant, unusual restaurants. This is because their population is usually deeply interested in “high culture”.

The three types of black suburbs are invasion succession which is when minorites start to enter a community and whites begin to leave. The second one is spillover which are direct outgrowths of center-city black ghettos that move, over time, beyond the center city. Lastly, black migration is a manifestation of upwardly mobile suburbanization, fufilling many blacks dream of owning their own house.


Jailyn Williams Week 13

Civic Culture in the urban way of life is the many diferent types of ways people find an appopriate form of public behavior that enables them, mostly, to get along with one another. The city is not an entity unto itself. All cities reflect and intensify the worlds cultures. North American culture, with its emphasis on free enterprise and the nuclear family, creates cities with skyscrapers downtown (to maximize trade advantages) and single family dewllings outside the city center. Cities are human creations that display the same variety as all humans culture, and we can fully understand a city only by exploring the cultural patterns found throughout its larger society.

Shakespeare noted something that everyone knows: Country ways and city ways are often quite different. Urban behavior is important because it creates social norms. It tells people who live in that city what is acceptable to do and what isnt acceptable to do. The urban behavior in cities keeps people in a safe space. It allows everyone to get along and it keeps the peace. Urban behavior becomes normalized and ends up creating a boundary that people are afraid to cross creating a line of social norms and behaviors that willl be passed down and taught to others.

From Mumford and Spengler we learn that although the city and civilization are not precisley synonymous, the city definitely has a unique power to intensify and symbolize culture. From Monti, we learn the city also generates a civic culture that, to a greater or lesser degree, its residents share and practice. Another aspect of culture is that any city will dynamically and intensely relfect the characteristics of its surrounding culture. Because cultural patterns vary so widely, however, cities may be markedly different from one another. Bejing during the Ming Dynasty and Hellenic Athens of the fifth century capitals of vastly different civilizations and seperated by more than 1500 years.

Established in northeastern China to protect the country from invaders from the north, Beijing grew into a city at least several centuries before the birth of Christ. Kublai Khan transformed Bejiing into a capital city. After the overthrow of the Yuan by the Ming Dynasty in 1368, the Emperor Yung turned the city into a  momument to all of Chinese culture and to himself as a symbolic head of that culture. The design was created to symbolize everything vital to Chinese life, arranged the whole city on a perfect noth-south axis, around which were temples and altars. Ming Beijing revealed the city within the city, surrounding the all-important core where the emperor lived.

The city was about 25 square miles in area and composed of two major sections. The outer city contained most of the cities population and the northern section was surrounded by a massive 50 feet wall. All city streets were arranged in a gridion. Ming Beijing was based on elaborate Chinese cosmology, with its temples and altars serving as religious symbols of the sun, earth, and most important, heaven. The colors and heights of all the buldings had meanings as well. The poor could only have oe story and could paint their roofs gray while the upper status could paint their roofs bright colors. The emperor  was the pivot of the world.

Athens was situated on the rock northern coast of the Mediterranean and was more humane in character. The Greek cultural ideal of citizen participation encouraged openess, communication, and development among its free citizens. Athens was a celebration of the good life. The Athens also believed in democracy. Both of these cities had parallels: substantial inequality; large areas of poor housing; crowded, winding streets; and important central momuments and public buildings.

The downside to capitalism is unprofitable districts have fallen into shocking decay. The dominant focus on material goods and technological innovations means that people are preoccupied with technology rather than being mindful of social and enviornmental needs. The freedom to accumulate wealth, prestige, and power have created a split because some individuals have more of these limited resources than others. Wealth is in the hands of the few, and these people have control over everything.

The grid system was made to facilitate transportation of goods and people. It created lovely sqaures for traffic, highways, and vital space for neighborhoods. But, creating these grids lead to no sensitivity towards natural beauty. Trees were cut down, architectural and historical monuments demolished just to create a terrain that is leveled.

Jailyn Williams Week 12

Different cities have their own distinctive chracteristics. Its own unique personality. For example, New York is the “Big Apple”, Boston is relaxed, cultural and intellectual, Los Angeles is “laid back” the heard of the “new America”, and New Orleans is ” The Big Easy” where life is lower and simple. Most residents develop their image of the city by making distinctons among the various physical parts of the city and organizing these parts in a personally meaningful way. People built their urban images from five common elements. First were the paths, the streets, walkways, transit lines, canals, or railroads along which they traveled. Edges were the boundaries between two areas, including shorelines, walls, wide streets, or breaks between buildings and open space. Districts represent medium to large sections of the city. Nodes stand as points of intense activity, such as railroad terminal, a square, or a street corner hangout. Lastly, landmarks were physical reference points including buildings, signs, stores, domes, gas stations, or hills.

Cultural and social class differences also affect what people include in their cognitive maps. Race plays a key part in how residents understand the city as well. Researchers have found that blacks perceptions of community undesirability differ from those of whites. Generally blacks rate most communities as more desirable than whites do, often favoring communities in which they are the numerical minority. Whites often rate mixed communities as being less desirable, particularly those with higher proportions of blacks, even when blacks are the numerical minority.

Goffman viewed Gesellschaft as pedestrians communally follow a sidewalk traffic code, creating two opposing streams with a dividing line somewhere in the middle of the sidewalk. Within these two streams, they share an intricate set of social rules that enables them to move easily at their own pace, without jostling or colliding with one another. Lofland called “a world of strangers”. Lofland argues that we look for visual clues in order to classify strangers in much the same way as we make sense of the citys physical enviornment. We usually identify strangers by their apperance and their physical location within the city. Using spatial location as a clue to peoples identities is a modern practice. In preindustrial cities, public spaces, such as the town square, usually had mixed uses: schooling, religious services, parades, shopping, general loitering, and even executions. Location provided few clues about who was there. Therefore Citizens put great stock in apperance.

Interpersonal bonds provide a basis for social and pyschological securtity in the city. The study of interpersonal ties is called network analysis. Social class distinctions affect the type of in-person social networks that urbanites develop. Those in lower social classes prefer informal social ties in mostly homogenous groups connected to church, fraternal, or community relationships. Those in upper classes are more likely to have greater diversity of social ties, level of cultural engagement, and participation in formal organizations, including voluntary associations.

Social class distinctions have an effect even among people living together. Working class partners had a strict divison of labor, each maintaining their own social networks and often spending their leisure time seperatley. Middle class spouses were shared or interchangeable, and they typically spend their leisure time together and participated in a shared network. Also, strong urban networks form in stable neighborhoods and around local schools through parenthood. Residents of high poverty form networks to survive.

Neighborhoods are where many urban relationships are set. They contain people who share important social characteristics, such as social class, race, and ethnicity. Friendships are also a way to stay connected. You do need to live close to one another to still maintain a frienship with people who have similar interests. Scenes are places where people gather to socalize with friends, meet new ones, and enjoy themselves. There are four scenes, lifestyle scenes, local, open, and specialized. Also, temporary networks exist where many use this network to make initial or short term personal contact in the city. Examples of these networks include singles clubs, dating agencies, public bathrooms, and call in radio talk shows.

People maintain a sense of self-identity in the face of anonymity in an urban enviornment by generating a social network to help themselves cope with their daily struggles to survive. Mental maps are individualized constructs that people form. Its individualized and  makes them see their surroundings in a different ways. Some current social movements taking place Black Lives Matter, Womens movement, and Gun Control movement.

Jailyn Williams Week 11

The authors claim is that the ecological contribution to the study of inequality has escaped analysis. Ecologist touched on inequliaty-related phenomenona in their research, they never made it a focus of systematic empirical investigation. Neither did they ever make a sustained and/or explict attempt to construct a comphrehensive theory of inequality like that developed earlier by Marx or that developed later by functionalist such as Davis and Moore. Some have suggested that human ecologists ignored the study of social inequality but this was untrue. There is an abundance of empirical and theoretical material on inequality in the writings of the Chicago ecologists. The central concepts are dominance, competition, struggle, and hierarchy.

Human ecologists attempted to explain the structure and functioning of whatever system they had mapped out by interpreting it in terms of a four-stage or four-level struggle for existence amoung system units, a conception they had adopted directly from the work of Darwin and the plant ecologists Eugemius Warming and Ernst Haeckel. The four stages, “competition, conflict, accomodation, and assimilation” have become known as the “interaction cycle”.

Park attempts to delineate the difference between plants and humans via the use of a distinction between a community and a society. A community is the spatial organization of a population within a fixed geographic area according to principles of an all-out, unconcious bitoic competiton for space and resources. A society is comprised of a hierarchy of three additional, interrelated, uniquley human levels or orders of interaction beyond the bitotic, the “economic”, the “political”, and the “moral”. The exact nature of the relationship among the four orders is not entirely clear in Parks writing, but the idea seems to be that they form a pyramid with the ecological order at the base and the moral order at the apex. In the context of this hierachical relationship the orders mirror and mutually determine one another, and, as a result, the biotic and cultural orders become “different aspects” of another.

The four ideas associated with Social Darwinist first is inequality which regarded as natural and inevitiable. Second, by virtue of the close fit between the social Darwinistic account of social inequality on the one hand and the classical liberal views of the best of all possible worlds on the other, social Darwnists gave support to politicans and conservative businessmen then extolling the virtues of laissez-faire ideology. Third, it contained an explicit, biologically based injunction agaisnt melioristic intervention int h law-bound operation of nature. Fourth, it clearly demonstrated the functionalist logic explicitly employed later by Parsons, that social change involved a process of progressive differentiation that created a variety of unconciously evolved structures to fulfill the various functional needs of society.

Another concept important to ecologists account of inequality was “social disorganization” a notion they borrowed from Simmel via Thomas. For eecologists, “disorganization” was a persistent feature of the urban social order. Whether at the level of the individual “personal disorganization” or the group or neighborhood, “social disorganization” the concept consituted a powerful descriptive and explanatory tool. They used it in their accounts of criminality, deviant behavior, poverty, and so forth. It could be reconized in their view by patterns of group or individual behavior that were “pathological”: basically behaviors that were not congruent with dominant, generally middle-class, small-town norms. Social disorganization in turn was a result of a failure to adapt to city life.

The ecological account of inequality is a functionalist one. Some of the specific ideas that Park used derived directly from the functionalist tradition. Park relied on the basic functionalist arugment that society was a unit made up of interdependent parts that was becoming progressivley more differentiated and integrated. Park also drew on the functionlism of a more particularly biological organicism that had its roots in plant and animal ecology, speifically in the idea of “symbiosis” the existence of a relationship of  “unwitting competitve copperation” amoung the units making up an ecological community. The variables the Ecological approach examines are the biological capacity or ecological necessity based on inequality.

Jailyn Williams Week 10

During the early 1970’s, an alternative theoretical approach to urban sociology began to take form. This development was a response to what its proponents saw as deficiencies of the Chicago school. These “new” urbanists emphasized the distribution of wealth and political power in the city. They noted that the wealthiest people lived on the most desirable land and enjoyed the greatest access to the city’s services. Most of its theoretical arguments are quite old and draw heavily from Karl Marx. The heart of this approach is a central reliance on political economy theory and its application to urban life, in terms of the social structures and processes of change that benefit some groups at the expense of others.

Henri Lefebvre a French philosopher, sparked the application of the critical perspective to studying the city. Drawing from the writings of Karl Marx and his associate, Friedrich Engels, he applied the economic categories of capital, labor, profit, wages, class exploitation, and inequality to explain the unevenness of urban development.  He helped develop many ideas about cities, ideas to which Marx and Engels never devoted much attention. Lefebvre became an influential source of new thinking about the city, suggesting that urban development was as much a product of the capitalist economic system as was any manufactured good.

Lefebvre identified another important profit-oriented economic activity real estate investment as the second circuit of capital. This is when one buys property and holds it, expecting it to increase in value over time, or else develops that land for residential or commercial purposes. The circuit becomes complete when the investor takes that profit and invests it in more land-based projects. Lefebvre also came up with themed urban spaces; a transformation of public space into a packaged, themed environment. An example of a themed urban space is the recycling of abandoned factories and docks into redeveloped areas that emphasize a heritage and leisure experience.

Uneven urban growth is an urban development that is not a monolithic growth process, instead, it occurs unevenly. There is a conflict between working-class urban dwellers and the local government because of discrimination by investment capitalist in the housing market, government programs that are linked directly to urban decay of the central city and to growing suburbanization.

John Logan and Harvey Molotch employed the political economy theory in an effort to identify who the central decision makers in North American cities are and to determine why they do what they do. The concentration on the battles between pro and anti-growth factions, their study is essentially an application of Lefebvre’s categories of abstract space and social space.

The shift from manufacturing to service centers in urban areas took place in the 1980’s and the 1990’s. During this time, economic reconstructing and the globalization of the economy that spawned made other changes in metropolitan regions. They were forced to restructure their economies away from manufacturing, large cities evolved into important locations of finance, specialized service firms (advertising, corporate management, information processing), and innovation sources. The demand for many entry-level factory jobs dropped significantly. Instead, there was a demand for computer literate workers with verbal and quantitative skills.

The world system perspective views capitalism as evolving through a long, historical process into a single, integrated, worldwide economic and political system. This system operates as a hierarchy so that countries with various levels of economic power constitute the core, the semi-periphery, and the periphery.

Nested cities are lodged within national, regional, and global systems. A city exists within its own local historical context, but functions within a distinctive national culture and social structure.

The principles used to identify an understanding of urban life is a city’s form and growth result not from natural processes but rather from decisions made by people and organizations that control wealth and other key resources, urban forms and urban social arrangments reflect conflicts over the distribution of resources, government continues to play an important role in urban life, and urban growth patterns significantly result from economic restructuring.

The worlds poor once huddled mostly in rural areas but, no longer. The vast majority of the worlds poor live in cities. In 2012, more than 2.6 billion city dwellers lived in slums. Central cities do not house the majority of the U.S poor. In the United States in 2013, 40% of the nations poor lived in metro statistical areas outside principal cities, 17% in nonmetropolitan areas, and 43% in principal cities. Principal cities, however, do not contain the highest concentrations of poverty, and their poverty rate has been above the national average since the early 1970’s.


Jailyn Williams Week 9

Cities are complex entities that exist within geographic and climatic settings that naturally shape them. The hands and minds of human beings also play a part, as people add new things to their city making it unique. Certain characteristics like waterways, seaports, lake ports, or on major rivers that determine whether an area becomes a city at all. Even cities that aren’t on important waterways are where they are because there were enough streams and lakes to support their populations initially. Environmental, economic, and social factors play a role in creating an urban area. Environmentally, the area cannot be infested with disease-producing organisms, be subject to extreme heat or cold, or exist on a floodplain. Economically, industries relocate closer to its source, where the transportation costs of both raw materials and the final product would be the lowest. Finally, social factors come into play with city location. The seven factors that identify where cities are located are natural crossroads, break-of-bulk points, access to valuable raw material, amenity city, administrative or political city, strategic military location, and religious or educational reasons.

European cities are usually Radiocentric which means they radiate outward from a common center. As any city grows, people want to be close to the center as possible to make travel easier. Most foreign countries look like huge wheels, with central spokes radiating outward. Despite the common radical pattern of most of the world’s cities, North American cities are Gridiron cities. These cities are composed of straight streets crossing at right angles to create many regular city blocks. This type of city was built after the industrial revolution. Open-ended streets serve businesses as well because they allow room for growth as well as easy access to and from the shopping area.

Robert Park coined the term human ecology that focused on what he viewed as an orderly evolution of urban growth and development. He investigated how human beings live in their urban world. He believed that the evolutionary struggle for survival was evident in the everyday competition for scarce resources. Ernest Burgess, one of Parks students suggested that a city develops growing outward in a series of concentric rings or zones over time. He described the city in four main zones with a fifth commuters zone outside the city limit. The loop, zone in transition, the zone of workingmen’s homes, and residential area zones.

Homer Hoyt noticed that numerous city districts did not conform to the purely concentric model suggested by Burgess. He studied the residential patterns of 142 cities in three different time periods, 1900, 1915, and 1936 adding an important historical dimension. First, he found that high prestige sectors formed of varying size. Second, many sectors take a pie-shaped form rather than a ring. Third, lower income sectors often bordered fashionable districts. Fourth, he found a tendency for sectors to move out of the city. Fifth, cities revealed two or three fashionable areas in different places, with factors other than competition and population movement influencing this process. Hoyts Sector theory offered a helpful description of urban expansion along major highways and later, along interstate highways that contributed to the development of suburbia.

Central place theory was created by Walter Christaller.  He sought to explain size, location and the reason behind settling in urban areas. Christaller suggested that more important city’s economic function to a region, the more its population will increase. In turn, the cities hinterland smaller cities, towns, and rural areas become dependent on the large city for many goods and services that their smaller populations cannot support. This would make the city grown even more. He also suggested that cities, especially smaller ones, typically space themselves so that they do not cut into each other’s markets. In other words, cities emerge at ” distance intervals”, with each serving a local hinterland.

Only those who can pay the most will locate in the city’s center. This is why the downtown is primarily a business district, with whatever residential property there taking the form of smaller apartments typically piled high on a small amount of land. Most residents can’t afford the high rent so they live in high-density housing, sharing an apartment with another family or receiving assistance through a rent subsidy program.

The Los Angeles School emerged in the mid-1980’s as a rejection of the Chicago school. Originally focusing on the five-county region of Southern California, this perspective has its emphasis on multicentered, dispersed patterns as the new reality of urban growth.

Jailyn Williams Week 6

In theoretical terms, writers have challenged the view that geographical patterns merely reflect society, suggesting instead that space is integral to economic and social processes. The model assumes that jobs were concentrated near the city center, except for a few large factories at the fringe. It supposes that jobs and low wages kept immigrant workers in central cities, sometimes in sectors along radial rail lines. The processes and patterns of urban development in the U.S and Canada were broadly similar. The importance of jobs, especially in manufacturing, patterns of residence as being dependent on job location and transportation but also on variations in how homes were used as sites of unpaid work. Finally, we see the political geography of metropolitan areas as both an expression and a determinant of social patterns. The point of this article was to give a broad scope of their argument. They explore the major themes and discuss their immediate implications. Their argument is meant to apply equally to Canadian and U.S cities and suburbs.

Nothing matters more to a city than jobs. In the first half of the twentieth century, decentralization was the fate reserved for a few, specific industries, while offices and stores defined and were defined by, the CBD. The authors argue that the decentralization of manufacturing employment began very early and that patterns have long been polynuclear. We also suggest that many offices and even retail employment had developed outside the CBD before World War 2, blurring their supposed contrasts with manufacturing. The geography of manufacturing was concentrated in a zone that encircled the CBD. The most flexible and accurate label for the geography of manufacturing is polynuclear, a term that owes much to ideas first advanced by Harris and Ullman a half a century ago. Visual inspection of the maps of manufacturing districts in Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Montreal demonstrates the inadequacy of zone as a label. By 1940, Chicago had as many employing suburbs as did Los Angeles. Manufacturing location has been interrupted within a Weberian framework, which states that a firms location decision is the result of a rational appraisal of transportation costs, land prices, taxes, labor and proximity to other firms.

In the first half of the twentieth century, there was a good deal more office employment outside the CBD than is generally supposed. Most discussions of suburban retailing have focused on planned shopping centers, which are usually interpreted as a postwar phenomenon. Longstretch has noted that the rapid growth of shopping centers in the 1950’s would not have been possible without the groundwork laid by numerous projects undertaken in the preceding decades. Retail business was not planned it was discussed but, there is nothing to say if it really was or not. Stand-alone stores, commercial areas, and strips had developed with little or no coordination in American cities until the early twentieth century. Planned or unplanned, suburban retailing accounted for a significant amount of metropolitan-wide retail sales and employment.

By mid-century, as informed observers recognized, suburbs, like cities, had long contained all classes of people. By 1920, there was a close association between industry and working-class settlement. There was a tendency for immigrants and racialized minorities to concentrate in cities. African Americans were confined to the central city, in part because of discriminatory lending practices. By 1950, immigrants made up almost as high a proportion of the population of suburbs (9 percent) as of cities (11 percent), the respective percentages for black (4.5 and 12.6 percent) were quite different. Central ghettos have attracted a good deal of attention, but they represented only one part of the immigrant experience. The authors believe that the social geography of urban areas did not conform even approximately to the stereotype of urban ghetto slums and affluent suburban enclaves. The location of jobs was of fundamental importance and the improvements in transportation technology.

Unpaid labor varied with residential location. Cooking and cleaning took longer in areas, usually suburban that lacked piped water. Owner building was easier and sometimes only possible in areas where building regulations were permissive, again typically suburban. This unserviced and unregulated suburb offered households the best opportunity to supplement monetary income with unpaid labor. This appealed to the families of immigrant workers, who were willing to make exceptional sacrifices to acquire a home.

The industrial capital guaranteed that its need for factory sites toward the urban fringe would be accommodated by suburban and city governments. One result was the organized factory district. Usually located in the suburbs, these were planned privately by railway and real estate companies and supported by local government. Varied patterns of house building and land development, as well as the emergence of social diversity at the urban fringe, depended on the fragmentation of government within the metropolitan area. Political fragmentation enabled rich suburbs to exclude the poor, along with racial and ethnic minorities, thereby confining them to the city.


Jailyn Williams Week 7

As Canada and the United States increase in population, additional space is necessary for the construction of residences and businesses to meet the needs of a larger populace. Moreover, the days when most people lived in cities are gone. Now, most people prefer to have their own home on their own plot of land in suburbia. The development of vacant land is a necessity, but it becomes problematic when a lack of regional planning leads to an inefficient impact on the environment and increases costs for everyone. Sprawl is a term referring to spread out or low-density residential development beyond the edge of service and employment areas. It separates where people live from where they work, shop, and seek leisure activities or an education, requiring them to use cars to move between these zones. Sprawl identifies the cumulative effects of development that are automobile dependent, inefficient, and wasteful of natural resources. Sprawl is a  regional problem, and solving the problem requires convincing people that comprehensive, rational planning and strategies to combat it are in their self-interest.

Those seeking to curb sprawl often base their concerns around its impact on the environment, the traffic problems it creates, its harm to cities, and the financial burden it poses to everyone.As new construction emerges in a scattered fashion across the countryside, it often disrupts wildlife habitats and fragments rural regions once abounding in farmland, fields, forests, lakes, and ponds. An example of the latter is the runoff from the streets, parking lots, lawns, and farms that empty pollutants and sediment into waterways, degrading water quality and smothering habitat. Sprawl has disastrous consequences involving the destruction of wetlands and building on floodplains. The consequence of sprawl is too little water, not too much. Cars zipping along highways, or worse, cars stuck in traffic jams spew millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere each year.

The alternative is sprawl is Smart Growth, comprehensive land-use planning to revitalize and build compact, environmentally sensitive communities, ones that are a transit and pedestrian-oriented and contain a mix of residential, commercial, and retail spaces. Its focus is on regional growth within already urbanized areas as well as on newly urbanizing land. Smart Growth public policies seek ways to stop the bulldozing of forests and farms and instead encourage reinvestment in cities and urbanized towns through sustainability, denser development, mass transit, and pedestrian-friendly areas.

A.C Spectorsky coined the term exurb to describe the appearance of new residential areas developing on the metropolitan fringe. This was observational, but a not-too-systematic account of prosperous residential communities on the fringes of the New York City metropolitan area. He noted that the lifestyle of these exurbanites was an intriguing mix of high tech, high culture, and rustic charm. Although they lived in a rural locale, they commuted to jobs in the central business district, combined their love for old things with attraction to new electronic gadgets, and maintained a strong interest in books, theater, and art.

Edge cities or new cities fall into one of three major categories. Uptowns, built on top of pre-automobile settlements, boomers, the typical new city located at the intersection of two major highways and almost always centered on a mall, and lastly, greenfields, a master-planned city by one developer on thousands of farmland acres. Boomers are the most common new city type and the ones least likely to have a political organization.

Gated communities in the U.S trace back to the first planned gated community in 1853. Beginning in the 1980’s, gated communities increased rapidly not only in retirement villages but also in resort and country club developments and then in middle-class suburban subdivisions. People live in gated communities because they are in fear of crime and attempts to establish economic and physical security free from the problems of traffic and noise. They also enjoy their own pay as you go services. Types of gated communities are lifestyle communities, prestige communities, and security zone communities.

The model city is Portland, Oregon. It successfully controls its growth and development. All cities in western North America have undergone boom periods that gobbled up the land, strained the infrastructure, and resulted in congestion, dirty air, and tax-strained school systems. Yet, Portland is a healthy, vibrant city displaying few of the problems found in other urban places. The city planned its future, an effort that reflected portlands long history of concern for the urban quality of life and commitment to the common good. By the end of the twentieth century, four patterns of land development sprawl, new cities, gated communities, and CID’s became so widespread that they will most likely affect both urban and suburban lifestyles for at least several generations.



Jailyn Williams Week 5

Europeans founded the first settlements in North America in the early seventeenth century, at the time when industrialization was transforming the medieval cities in Europe. The lack of regular street patterns and stone houses in early Boston, Montreal, New York, and Quebec City gave these settlements the look of medieval cities. The New World cities began specifically as trade and wealth-generating centers to fuel the growth of European cities. The underlying concept of all these cities was that they would serve as export centers for raw materials going to Europe. By the late 1760’s, the 13 colonies had at least 12 major cities and a total population of 2 million English, half a million people of other European backgrounds, and nearly 400,000 slaves, almost all of whom were in the South. The first census in 1790 identified only 5 percent residing in urban places. Only 24 major cities were established before the Revolutionary War.

The struggle for U.S Independence didn’t take place entirely in cities, it was in many ways a war instigated by the cities, where most colonial economic trade occurred. Merchants and colonist wanted the freedom to pursue their life’s interests as they saw fit, and economic interests were typically uppermost in their minds.

The culture of the United States has always contained a streak of anti-urbanism. As long as the early North American settlements remained small and kept their relatively homogeneous character, few tensions existed between urban and rural sections. The debate on the pros and cons of city life soon took on a new and powerful dimension on the regional level. The small cities incorporated in North America during the 50 year period that ended in 1870 had not been yet acquired many of the now familiar urban characteristics: towering buildings, populations in the millions, and blazing lights downtown. The two historical events would provide the impetus for this transformation: the technological advance of industrialization and the migration of millions of people to urban North America.

During the earliest twentieth century, across North America wherever urban subway and elevated systems extended ever farther, there did suburbs appear. Technology thus spawned the suburban dream, enabling the middle class to move out of the city, separating their place of work from their place of residence. Nothing did more to encourage people to move outward than the automobile. With the paving of more and more roads, the percentage of people living in suburbs moved upwards. From 1900 to 1940, growth was moderate. “Suburban Fever” did not manifest itself until the 1950’s.

Between1870 and 1920, the U.S population increased from less than 10 million to more than 54 million, while Canada’s urban population grew from 3.9 to 8.8 million. By 1920, both countries were predominantly urban nations, with more than 50 percent of their populations living in urban areas. Changing involving reshaping cities caused problems. Only the city government was empowered to provide these incoming millions with water, electricity, jobs, and protection against unscrupulous exploitation. The Cooperation Agreement Act of 1977 made it possible for the federal government to begin to provide funding to cities.

Today’s cities continue to experience three major changes. First, people and businesses are still abandoning many older central cities, continuing the suburbanization trend that began about 100 years ago, a process called decentralization. Second, major population growth is occurring in areas with considerable environmental stresses, whether in U.S cities in the South and West ( the sunbelt expansion). Third, the work typically performed in the central city is mostly oriented toward white-collar jobs, high technology, and services, as Canadian and U.S cities adjust to the postindustrial era of globalization. With decentralization rising, urbanization expanded as workers, unable to find adequate housing in the central city. Noticing this trend, the U.S Census Bureau realized the need to measure more accurately the way cities were growing. They decided to count in its surveys both the central population and the population of surrounding towns and cities interdependent with that central city. Thus was born the idea of the metropolitan area. From 1959 until 1983, the Census Bureau used the term standard metropolitan statistical area.

French geographer Jean Gottmann was one of the first urbanists to note the linkages between many independent urban municipalities in sprawling urban regions. The first such area, which he called a megalopolis, was the unbroken urban region along the Eastern Seaboard if the United States.

By the 1960’s, many industries and manufacturing businesses were moving away from urban industrial districts. High rents and inadequate older buildings unsuitable for expansion had reduced the attraction of a city location. The two labor market trends currently in cities. First is gentrification and second are the city is a major center for finance, insurance, real estate, media, and the arts. The problem lies in an overabundance of low skilled workers and a shortage of workers to fill middle-skilled jobs, ones requiring less than a college education but more than high schools, such as a technical two-year degree or certificate. Companies no longer required many blue-collar workers or as many buildings geared to heavy industrial production.