Monday, February 12, 2007

People & Places to Live: Settlement

Urbanisation - An Introduction....

The increase in the population of towns and cities is known as the process of urbanisation. In MEDC's such as the UK, urbanisation occurred alongside the industrial revolution of the 18th century, with millions of workers being attracted to the new factories and houses built in towns and cities. Urbanisation in LEDC's has however been a far more recent phenomenon, with rapid urbanisation having been experienced since the 1950s. This excellent interactive timescale graphic from the BBC shows the scale of urbanisation across the world since 1955.

It has been projected by the UN that world population will expand from 6.1 billion to 7.8 billion between 2000 and 2025 with 90% of the gowth occuring in urban areas or less developed countries (Population Reference Bureau). In 1800, only 3% of the world's population lived in urban areas, by 2000 this was estimated to be 47% and according to the Population Reference Bureau it is projected to reach 58% by 2025!

In this unit of the course, we will explore the growth of settlements in both MEDCs and LEDCs, looking at the reasons for, and changes in their growth and development as well as the resulting problems. We will also consider the patterns of land-use that have developed and some of the issues faced in managing these urban areas.

Follow Up Links:
Urbanisation in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - an excellent site - well worth having a look!
BBC InDepth - Urban Planet (some fascinating articles here!)
An overview of Urbanisation (Internet Geography)
An Urbanising World (Population Reference Bureau)
In Pictures: the shrinking space in our crowded cities (BBC)
Urbanisation - Wikipedia Article
Are cities growing too fast?

Key Terms Check:
Settlement - a place where people live
Urbanisation - an increase in the numbers living in urban areas (towns and cities)

Photo Source: Val Vannet on Geography Photos

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