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Flashcards in Exam #1: Part I Deck (64)
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What does Diego Rivera say that modern industry is built on?

The "truth" of surplus value extraction that lies buried beneath the New York skyline.

The temples of modern industry are built on the value extracted from the worker's bodies…now left discarded in a homeless shelter reminiscent of a morgue.

In spite of the fact that the bodies have been used and discarded, the processes of surplus value extraction continue, for "customers" still deposit wealth extracted from used-up bodies in a bank vault that lies even farther below the skyline.


What is a city a mixture of?

Land, labor, and capital


What makes cities unique?

Skyscrapers, subways, and embassies


What is geography?

Geography = The study of physical and human landscapes, the processes that affect them, how and why they change over time, and how and why they vary spatially.


What is one interesting thing about American cities?

One of the interesting things about American cities is the way “we” have constructed our living arrangements (socially and spatially)


How much of the world's population urban and why? What will the future hold?

Continued urbanization over the last 50 years has resulted in a situation whereby half of the world’s population is now urban
The numbers of urban dwellers almost quadrupled between 1950 and 2000 going from 733 million to 2.857 billion
Over the next 30 years (i.e. 2000–2030), the world’s urban population is projected to grow at nearly double the rate expected for the total population of the world
By 2030, demographers predict that around 61 percent of the world’s population (5 Billion people) will be living in urban areas
All future population growth for the foreseeable future is expected to be absorbed in urban areas.


When we build cities what are we trying to capture?

When we build cities we try to capture the best of town and country life.


What is a basic demographic sketch of US?

The United States' population has increased 85 percent from 1950 to 2001, growing from 151 million to 283 million in just fifty years.
Taking into account the recent recession the U.S. population is now projected to be around 399.8 million by 2050 (far short of the 439 million that was projected four years ago).
The United States has historically had one of the highest natural growth rates of any industrialized country in the world.
The US population is growing by about 2.5 million people each year.


In Anglo-Saxon culture there exists a deep and enduring tension between the image of the town and that of the country side. What are some examples of that tension?

It is an imagery of opposites
The rural is virtuous (family, traditional morality, community, peace, innocence) and backward (ignorance, limitation)
“I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health, the liberties of man” (Thomas Jefferson)
The city is full of vice (egoism, materialism, anonymity, ambition) and achievement (learning, communication, light, worldliness)
a blend of progress and pollution


What are some tensions within a city? Why does this make a city unique?

Public services
Welfare provision
Individual Freedom/dependency on others
And intoxication (To cause stupefaction, stimulation, or excitement by or as if by use of a chemical substance)

Maybe what makes the city unique is the attempt to deal with (or make the best of) these tensions


When we address the question of what is a city it is not enough to catalogue features and experiences … we must take into account:

-The scale and intensity of urban life
-The combination of urban elements
-The social significance of the city


Why was Mumford important?

Mumford was critical of the role of planning
-He worried about the tendency to separate different aspects of the city instead of bringing them together
-Work was separated from home
-Rich were separated from poor


What was Mumford concerned about in regards to planning a city?

Mumford was concerned that planners had the notion that if you fix the hard city (the physical design) than the soft problems would be resolved


What did Mumford think was the correct approach to planning a city? What do you need first before you can design anything?

He didn’t think this was the correct approach. Instead he thought that we need to think of the city as a social institution that accommodates relationships that cannot be found elsewhere.If planners couldn’t be convinced that cities were socially organized, then they couldn’t design them to be livable. (we need to think about cities as a series of layers) Critical Point: You don’t begin with design you begin with a discussion of values.


What is Mumford's definition of a city?

“The city in its complete sense, then, is a geographic plexus, an economic organization, an institutional process, a theater of social action, and an aesthetic symbol of collective unity. The city fosters art and is art; the city creates the theater and is the theater. It is in the city, the city as theater, that man’s [sic] more purposive activities are focused, and worked out, through conflicting and cooperation personalities, events, groups, into more significant culminations.” (Mumford, 1937)


What does Mumford mean by the phrase/term geographic plexus?

-Plexus is derived from anatomy and it is used to describe the networks (plexus) of nerves, blood vessels, tubes for air, and food that make up animal bodies
-Mumford meant that the city is made up of many networks through which flows, interchanges, and interactions take place
-The city was like a body, living on its different functions – a combination of interlaced parts


Why do people use metaphors to describe cities?

Many metaphors have been used to comprehend cities
Some stress negative overtones/anti-urban feeling
Some signify the excitement, liberation, and enlightenment of cities


What are the four metaphors of a city that Bob wants us to know?

Jungle, organism, machine, bazaar


How is a city a jungle?

• It's a jungle out there (competition, chaos)
• Densely packed, intricately intertwined, potentially dangerous (a place of perceived threat)
• Lush and fertile
• Diverse species crowd together and battle with each other for room (a struggle for survival, full of snakes, competition for scare resources)
• Dangerous for those who stray from pathways and for those who do not know how it operates (a strange place full of strangers)
• Fragile and delicate (on the brink of disaster?, concern over invasive species/ individuals)
• The production of personal knowledge and predictability (creation of niches, territorial control, sense of identity, comfort, local neighborhoods).
• 4 D's (diverse, dense, dangerous, delicate)
• 3 C's (competition, confrontation, comfort)


How is a city an organism?

• A system of specialized organs functioning together
• A refer to it when you want to make some kind of large scale change (i.e. surgery)
• Each part is dependent on each other (interdependency and interactivity)
• Focus on lived experience (not simply hard stuff like buildings)
• Each part of the body has a role to perform
○ Streets/subways = arteries/ circulatory system
○ Parks = lungs
○ Heart = CBD
○ Sewer = waste
○ Intestines = water systems
○ Communication lines/ power gird = nervous system
○ Bones = topography
• A heart attack might come from traffic gridlock
• Uncontrolled growth might reflect a tumor
• Can we check the pulse of the city?


How is a city a machine?

-Production and wealth creation are the central role
-Controlled by a few
-Enslavement of ordinary citizen
-The well being of citizen is not accounted for
-At times used to reflect issues of design, planning, and architecture


How is a city a bazaar?

- a place of astonishing richness (diversity and activity)
- a place of liberation and opportunity
- a place of potential/ emancipation
- the city is a salad bar of ingredients which an individual can create his or her particular sustenance.


What are the essential physical means of a city's existence?

-Fixed site
-Durable shelter
-Permanent facilities for assembly, interchange and storage


What are the essential social means of a city?

The essential social means are:
Social exchange (the city’s physical form is based on social exchanges or various kinds (economic, institutional, cultural, etc.)
Social exchanges are predicated on specific networks
These networks are geographical in two senses:
They intersect within the city
They stretch beyond the city to other locations
the social division of labor (which shapes both economic life and cultural life)
The shared sense of vibrancy and creativity
“the city may be a personal drama, but it is also a social drama”
The city like nowhere else brings people together into a narrative that is both personal and social


What are the associations that form between individuals and groups within the city?

How do people form associations (or not) with each other?
Where do people congregate? Why?
What influences these associations (Proximity? Distance?)
How do proximity and remoteness change the ways in which people relate to one another?


The manner in which urban institutions operate (business corporations, local government, state departments, bingo halls, churches)

How does the city function?
How is it organized?
How is power distributed?
How is conflict resolved?


Why was Mumford concerned about the urban way of life?

American cities in Mumford’s opinion were producing personal and social disintegration

Mumford feared that as cities became larger they ceased to be places of opportunity and creativity (and American cities were larger spatially than anywhere else)

He felt that cities were increasingly:
Dominated by strangers
No longer places of ‘congregation’ but areas of ‘dissipation’


What was the cause of a rise in urban populations?

-agriculture surplus
-Hydrological factors
-Population pressures
-Trading requirements
-Defense/military theories


How did agriculture surplus cause a rise in urban populations?

- more food = ability to geed a sedentary population
-administration of the surplus required new centralized structures of social organization
-new stratifed structures and instituions were rewquired to to assign rights over resources, impose taxes, deal with propoerty ownership
-building construction required occupational specialization


How did hydrological factors cause a rise in urban populations?

-early cities emerged in areas of irrigated agriculture
-elaborate irrigation projects required a division of labor, cooperation, and the intensification of cultivation
-but not all cities required massive irrigation