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Human Geographies Week 7 Notes

by: Mia Notetaker

Human Geographies Week 7 Notes GEO 171

Marketplace > Syracuse University > Geography > GEO 171 > Human Geographies Week 7 Notes
Mia Notetaker
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Notes taken from lecture during the 7th week of classes
Human Geography
Don Mitchell
Class Notes
Human, geography
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mia Notetaker on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GEO 171 at Syracuse University taught by Don Mitchell in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Human Geography in Geography at Syracuse University.


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Date Created: 10/13/16
Human Geographies Week 7 Notes Urban Landscapes I Why is the urban and urbanization important? ● City spaces and urban land use ● ‘Shock cities’, industrialization and urban theory ● Crisis, restructuring and change in American cities Majority of human population now urban (first time in human history) Urban Functions: Mobilizing Decision-making Generative Transformative ● Is the focal point of population growth ● City Spaces and Urban Land Use ○ Neo-classical economics: ○ Land Use based on: ■ (i) utility ■ (ii) trade-offs Sociology: ● Territoriality based on: ○ (i) congregation ○ (ii) segregation Key role of industrialization Generation of ‘shock cities’ Impetus for urban theory 19thc Manchester, early 20 Chicago Engel’s Manchester ● Manchester-the First Industrial City ● rapid growth of slums ● separation of work/home and social classes ● documented by Engel’s ‘The Condition of English Working Class’ (1844) “The whole assemblage of buildings is commonly called Manchester, and contains about four hundred thousand inhabitants, rather more than less. The town itself is peculiarly built, so that a person may live in it for years, and go in and out daily without coming into contact with a working- people's quarter or even with workers, that is, so long as he confines himself to his business or to pleasure walks. This arises chiefly from the fact, that by unconscious tacit agreement, as well as with outspoken conscious determination, the working-people's quarters are sharply separated from the sections of the city reserved for the middle- class; or, if this does not succeed, they are concealed with the cloak of charity” (Friedrich Engels, 1844) The North American City: Park, Burgess and McKenzie’s Chicago, 1920s Ecological Model : Competition between different groups ● Concentric zones ○ (1) Central Business District (CBD) ○ (2) Zone in Transition (new immigrants) ○ (3) Zone of Worker’s Homes ○ (4) Zone of Better Residences ○ (5) Commuter’s Zone Crisis, Restructuring and Change in American Cities ‘Urban crisis’ 1960s/70s due to: ●(i) Deindustrialization ●(ii) ‘White flight’/suburbanization – restrictive covenants ●(iii) Fragmented urban governance These led to: ● (i) Fiscal problems/infrastructure decline ● (ii) Poverty/neighborhood decay – linked to ‘redlining’ ● (iii) Declining city schools --Supreme Court decisions (1972/1974) ● (iv) Urban sprawl The Revival of the American City? ● Gentrification ● The end of sprawl? ● Link to The Creative City (Richard Florida) ● New economy industries and ‘cool’ places (‘Technology, talent, tolerance’) ● But evidence mixed ● Anti-urban bias in public policy Conclusions ● The urban is increasingly the focal point of population growth ● Shock cities the impetus for urban theory ● US cities have undergone significant restructuring Urban Landscapes II The Revival of the American City? Gentrification: ● The end of sprawl? ● Link to The Creative City (Richard Florida) ● New economy industries and ‘cool’ places (‘Technology, talent, tolerance’) But evidence mixed ● Anti-urban bias in public policy Why examine Detroit? ● Detroit presented as a unique, if apocalyptic case of urban decline ● An extreme case, but the causes of Detroit’s decline shared by many other ‘Rustbelt Cities’ ● Attempts to reverse decline and revive Detroit’s fortunes also in common with many other US cities. ● “ This continent has not seen a transformation like Detroit's since the last days of the Maya. The city, once the fourth largest in the country, is now so depopulated that some stretches resemble the outlying farmland and others are altogether wild” (Solnit, 2007, 66) Frontier Settlement to City Detroit- originally a native village ● Founded as French settlement (1701) fur trade ● Late 18thc British-American control ● By 1900 ‘The Paris of the Midwest’ Henry’s Town ● By late 19thc Detroit a leading industrial city- carriages, machinery, engineering ● Henry Ford founds Ford Motor Co (1904) ● Model T and mass production Highland Park (1910) and River Rouge (1927) plants ● Population 1900 (265,000) 1950 (2 million) Arsenal of Democracy ● Detroit reaches peak 1940s as the ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ ● But increasing class and race conflict ‘Detroit is Dynamite’ Life Magazine (1942) July 1943 riots: 34 dead 433 injured ● African American in-migration continues –but occupational/residential segregation ● Despite conflict Detroit attracted waves of immigrants in the 20th c ● 1900-1930 Poles/Russians/Greeks/Italians 1930-1950s Afro-Americans ● 1960s/1970s Arabs ● a tough but vibrant popular culture –e.g. music (Motown) Decline and White Flight ● 1950s/1960s movement of factories out of Detroit ● Clashes over housing, ‘block busting’, ‘redlining’ and white flight to suburbs ● 1967 riots “The Rebellion” ● “Northern industrial cities like Detroit were overwhelmed by the combination of racial strife and economic restructuring. Their impact played out in urban streets and workplaces. The labor and housing markets of the postwar city became arenas where inequality was shaped and contested. (Sugrue, 2014, 6)” Post 2000 Abandonment and Bankruptcy ● By 1980 Detroit in a downward spiral- job/ population/tax revenue loss, rising crime ● Deindustrialization (e.g. auto industry) ● 1940s - 2015 ○ +24 assembly plants 2 assembly plants +200,000 manufacturing jobs 20,000 ● 2008-09 ○ Financial crisis –unemployment rises/revenues decline Urban agriculture and the Creative ● Class to the Rescue? ● Influx of young educated creative workers to central city ● Investment in high end services, gentrification in Greater Downtown area ● “Tough, cheap and real, Detroit is cool again” National Geographic (2015) Creative Class in Detroit ● Detroit a center of urban agriculture –1,300 community, market and family gardens ● Adaptive re-use of abandoned neighborhoods ● Promotes community co-operation, reduces ‘food deserts’ ● Part of strategy to ‘Shrink Detroit Back to Greatness’? (Gleaser, 2010) ● Creative class initiatives can deepen class/race divide (Storper and Scott, 2009) Only 5 % of city (mostly in Greater Downtown) ● New arena investments subsidized by city after bankruptcy ● Urban agriculture still very limited –need for wider policy to link city and suburbs Conclusions ● Detroit an exemplar of a 20th c industrial city ● Restructuring and decline linked to deindustrialization, class/race struggles over housing and employment ● Revival around creative class/urban agriculture incomplete and contradictory Needs to be linked to wider public policies


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