Guide The city : a world history

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Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The City by Andrew Lees. The City: A World History tells the story of the rise and development of urban centers from ancient times to the twenty-first century.

It begins with the establishment of the first cities in the Near East in the fourth millennium BCE, and goes on to examine urban growth in the Indus River Valley in India, as well as Egypt and areas that bordered the Mediterranean Sea. Athe The City: A World History tells the story of the rise and development of urban centers from ancient times to the twenty-first century. Athens, Alexandria, and Rome stand out both politically and culturally. With the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, European cities entered into a long period of waning and deterioration.

But elsewhere, great cities-among them, Constantinople, Baghdad, Chang'an, and Tenochtitl? This urban growth also accelerated in parts of the world that came under European control, such as Philadelphia in the nascent United States. As the Industrial Revolution swept through in the nineteenth century, cities grew rapidly. Their expansion resulted in a slew of social problems and political disruptions, but it was accompanied by impressive measures designed to improve urban life.

Meanwhile, colonial cities bore the imprint of European imperialism. Finally, the book turns to the years since , guided by a few themes: the impact of war and revolution; urban reconstruction after ; migration out of many cities in the United States into growing suburbs; and the explosive growth of "megacities" in the developing world. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The City , please sign up.

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The City: A World History

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Sort order. This book came to my attention by way of a Choice Reviews Online laudatory review.

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While brief, this book is an excellent introductory text to the five thousand years of the city as a human construct. Content covers the early cities in what is now Iraq, to the challenges of the modern megalopolis. The text also eschews the white man, Eurocentric worldview, devoting portions of the text to exploring African and Asian cities. The chapters are brief, but very detailed. As any worthwhile academic This book came to my attention by way of a Choice Reviews Online laudatory review. As any worthwhile academic introductory text should, the end of this book not only offers the expected notes, but has a multi-page recommended reading grouped according to geographic location.

Jake Stern rated it really liked it Jan 23, Juan Luis rated it really liked it Jan 05, Adora rated it did not like it Nov 26, For countries with initally high urban shares, this rate of increase was relatively slow over the second half of the century. Urbanization across many low-to-middle income countries has increased rapidly over the last 50 years. Urban shares have more than doubled for many.

In Nepal and Mali, for example, the share of people living in urban areas more than quadrupled; in Nigeria and Kenya, they more than tripled. Today the majority of countries have more people living in urban areas than in rural. How many people in total live in urban and rural areas? The chart below shows the urban and rural population from onwards. Here we see that in there were twice as many people in the world living in rural settings 2 billion versus urban 1 billion.

Over the second half of the 20th century this gap closed, not as a result of absolute declines in rural population, but through rapid growth in urban areas. Since the crossing point in , urban population has continued to increase rapidly whilst rural population has grown only marginally.

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The past 50 years in particular have seen a rapid increase in rates of urbanization across the world. Are these trends likely to continue? The UN World Urbanization Prospects provides estimates of urban shares across the world through to Across all countries urban shares are projected to increase in the coming decades, although at varied rates. In fact, by there are very few countries where rural shares are expected to be higher than urban. Why, when most countries are expected to be majority urban , does the global total just over two-thirds?

In the chart below we see estimates of urban and rural populations in absolute terms, projected through to As of we see that there is around 7. By , global population is projected to increase to around 9. Using our timeline map of urbanization you can explore how countries are expected to transition from predominantly rural to urban in the coming decades.

Journal of World History

Quality of living standards in urban centres is of course an important measure of wellbeing. One metric of living standards is the share of the urban population living in slum households. A slum household is defined as a group of individuals living under the same roof lacking one or more of the following conditions: access to improved water, access to improved sanitation, sufficient living area, and durability of housing. The share of the urban population living in slums by country is shown in the chart below. This data is available from the year Here we see that in the latest data, most countries across Asia and Latin America had between 10 to 30 percent of urban populations living in slum households some slightly higher.

Slum households were most prevalent across Sub-Saharan Africa; most had more than half of urban populations living in slum households, and some such as Sudan, South Sudan, and Central African Republic had more than 90 percent. We see that over time, for most countries, the share of the urban population living in slums has been falling.

From to , for example, the share of the urban population in slum households fell from:.


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How many people are living in urban slums? In the chart below we see the total number of people living in urban slum households, and the urban population not living in slums. Here we see that despite continued population growth and urbanization rates across most countries, the absolute number of people living in urban slum households has also been falling across many countries.

A map of total number of people living in urban slum households by country is available to explore here. In the chart below we show the percentage of the total population which live in agglomerations greater than one million people i. These figures are available in absolute terms the total number of people living in large urban settings , found here. Here we see large differences across the world. Smaller city-based nations such as Kuwait, UAE, Japan, Puerto Rico and Israel tend to have high rates of large urban agglomeration: more than half live in large cities.

Across much of the Americas, 40 to 50 percent live in large urban agglomerations. Most other countries across Europe, Asia and Africa lie somewhere in the range of 10 to 40 percent. We can also look at this centralisation effect through the share of the urban population which lives in the single largest city. This is shown in chart below.

Overall, this share tends to be higher in countries across Africa and Latin America; a share of 30 to 50 percent is common. Rates across Europe, Asia and North America are highly variable, ranging from over 40 percent to less than 10 percent. Many cities across the world have grown rapidly over the past 50 years in terms of total population.

Beijing in , for example, had a population of 1. By this was more than 10 times higher, at more than 18 million. Dhaka capital of Bangladesh increased from less than half a million in to almost 18 million in and projected to reach 31 million by In the chart below we show the relationship between the share of the population living in urban areas y-axis and average income gross domestic product per capita on the x-axis.

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Here we see a strong relationship between urbanization and income: as countries get richer, they tend to become more urbanized. The link between urbanization and economic growth has been well-documented. Is there a causal feedback by which urbanization is also a predictor of future economic growth? Some examples include:.

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Note, however, that it is difficult to infer causality between urbanization and these examples. Since urbanization shows a strong correlation with income, such relationships may instead simply show the effect of higher incomes on electricity access, sanitation, drinking water and nutrition. Furthermore, there can also be significant inequalities within urban areas; this is evidenced by the fact that across many low-to-middle income countries a high share of the urban population live in slum households which lack access to all of the basic resources. It would be expected that changing where populations live will have an impact on types of employment.

In the chart below we see the share of people employed who are in agriculture y-axis versus the share of the population living in urban areas. Here, in general, we see that agricultural employment tends to decline with urbanization.


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  • Although this agriculture-urbanization link tends to hold true for most countries, there are a couple of clear outliers.