Urban Addendum

City planning finds its validation in the intuitive recognition that a burgeoning market society can not be trusted to produce spontaneously a habitable, sanitary, or even efficient city, much less a beautiful one. - Murray Bookchin, The Limits of the City (1986).

According to the theory of Urban Life Circles, cities development dynamics can be described as a circle procedure. In 1982 van den Berg et al. developed a four-stages model of city development, distinguishing the phases of urbanisation, suburbanisation, disurbanisation and reurbanisation. During the first stage of urbanisation mainly because of the loss of jobs in the agricultural sector at the rural areas there are migration flows towards the city, especially to the core. In the next stage, the evolution of land prices and the economic restructuring of the city leads to a shift of population and jobs from the core to the ring followed by growth and sprawl, known as suburbanisation period. In the Western societies these two faces are mainly connected with the industrialization and modernity, the subsequent lower quality in the inner cities because of repletion, social trends and the improvements of transportation.

The next phase is known as disurbanisation, and appears when the total population of an functional urban region (core and ring) declines -shrinking cities- followed by a redistribution of inhabitants and jobs in favour of small and medium cities (a procedure that is connected with the deindustrialization and the globalization). The last circle describes an urban regeneration, marked by an absolute concentration of population in the city’s core. This reurbanisation trend may be due to successful regeneration measures within the city centers, to a selective migration of usually young households in search of urban lifestyles (gentrification/back-to-the-cities movement) or to the newly arising importance of global cities. But how well can this model describe the different cities development models through the world? Is it just a deterministic model for the European cities or it can be applied for all the cities? Moreover, does it take into consideration the political and planning decisions and the various (global and local) social and economic forces or it is a model that leads to extremely generalized conclusions? 

(Source: http://www.uta.fi/FAST/US2/NOTES/urban.html)


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