Urban Environments

A growing percentage of the world’s population lives in urban areas.

The global pattern of urban change.

Urban trends in different parts of the world including HICs and LICs.

Factors affecting the rate of urbanisation – migration (push–pull theory), natural increase.

The emergence of megacities.

Urban growth creates opportunities and challenges for cities in LICs and NEEs.

case study of a major city in an LIC or NEE to illustrate:

  • the location and importance of the city, regionally, nationally and internationally
  • causes of growth: natural increase and migration
  • how urban growth has created opportunities:
    • social: access to services – health and education; access to resources – water supply, energy
    • economic: how urban industrial areas can be a stimulus for economic development
  • how urban growth has created challenges:
    • managing urban growth – slums, squatter settlements
    • providing clean water, sanitation systems and energy
    • providing access to services – health and education
    • reducing unemployment and crime
    • managing environmental issues – waste disposal, air and water pollution, traffic congestion.

An example of how urban planning is improving the quality of life for the urban poor.

Urban change in cities in the UK leads to a variety of social, economic and environmental opportunities and challenges.

Overview of the distribution of population and the major cities in the UK.

case study of a major city in the UK to illustrate:

  • the location and importance of the city in the UK and the wider world
  • impacts of national and international migration on the growth and character of the city
  • how urban change has created opportunities:
    • social and economic: cultural mix, recreation and entertainment, employment, integrated transport systems
    • environmental: urban greening
  • how urban change has created challenges:
    • social and economic: urban deprivation, inequalities in housing, education, health and employment
    • environmental: dereliction, building on brownfield and greenfield sites, waste disposal
    • the impact of urban sprawl on the rural–urban fringe, and the growth of commuter settlements.

An example of an urban regeneration project to show:

  • reasons why the area needed regeneration
  • the main features of the project.

Urban sustainability requires management of resources and transport.

Features of sustainable urban living:

  • water and energy conservation
  • waste recycling
  • creating green space.

How urban transport strategies are used to reduce traffic congestion.

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