1.1 urban settlement into large towns, then into cities

1.1  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY (3)  “Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out thetrees then names the streets after them.”                                                                                              –William E. Vaughan  From caves to skyscrapersmen have gone a long way in search of his home. The history of human settlementis as old as the age of modern man. From the first thought of civilization,man, the natural geographer, was in search of ‘space’, which can be classifiedin rural and urban.

The difference between rural and urban has always been anissue of debate among academicians. The primary distinction between them can bedrawn on the basis of the way of living and utilization. Utilization of spacein terms of population and economy differentiates towns, the primary unit ofurban centres from villages. And thereafter economic growth drags populationfrom surrounding areas in search of employment opportunities.

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This leads betterto say forces that small primary unit of urban settlement into large towns,then into cities and ultimately to conurbations.  Landuse of cities aresculptured by frictional output of the push and pull factors which constantlytakes place as a result of social transformation. Rapid and continuoustechnological development and resultant job opportunities work as a centripetalforce and keeps on active the in-migration from surrounding rural areas. At thesame time high land value in the city centre, congested landscapes of high risebuildings and traffic pollution also work as a catalyst to push people awayfrom the CBD in search of better living. And this works as a centrifugal forcewhich compels the city to expand its boundary spatially, more specificallyhorizontally. The best choice is always the suburbs, sometimes called therural-urban continuum or rural-urban fringe which is gradually consumed by everexpanding cities. Lack of planning restricts the compactness of the landsuseand thus cities start to sprawl. The nature pattern and rate of expansiondiffers from country to country and with the level of development.

 Every step in theevolution of urban settlement has one thing in common, i.e. crisis for space.

The crisis is solved by the expansion of the utilization of space both inhorizontal and vertical dimension. Higher technological development and priorplanning in economically developed countries restricts the horizontal expansionand give more importance to vertical growth. On the other hand the third worldcountries engulf more horizontal space to meet demand of ever increasingpopulation. This thesis is designed to provide a comprehensive idea about thesprawl development in third world urban space.       1.

2 CONCEPTUALFRAMEWORK: URBAN SPRAWL (15) 1.2.1 Componentsof ‘Urban’ Before analysingthe concept of urban sprawl it is important to acknowledge the origin andgrowth of the term ‘urban’. The word’urban’ became part of an English dictionary in early seventeenth centuryevolving from a Latin word ‘urbs’ and ‘urbanus’ meaning ‘a walled town’ inancient Rome. According the Oxford dictionary it explains the nature of a townor city.  In general the characteristicsof a town indicate the administrative criteria, having a defined political boundaryor a specific amount of population except the extent of scale of theseparameters. Therefore the term ‘urban’ comprises both the cognition of bothhaving a tangibility of an area as well as an abstraction of some property.

Every country of the world defines its urban area individually depending on theproperty of the criteria.  Most of themconsider corporations, municipalities, boroughs, cantonment boards etc to bedesignated as an area which is urban.  But population is the most important determiningfactor to define the urbanity of an area along with its specific sub-criterialike absolute number of persons, density and economic activity (Frey, W. H. & Zimmer, Z., 2001). There is no international bench mark of these population criteria toseparate urban space from a non-urban one.

It varies from 2501 persons in Denmark, 2500in United States, few countries have taken minimum population of 4000 or somehave taken 20,000 populations as a threshold being defined an area as urban. Accordingto Indian census three criteria of population have been taken intoconsideration. First the absolute number of population to be 5000, secondly thedensity which is to be 400 persons per square kilometer and thirdly thefunction of the population where it says 75 percent of the population should beinvolved in other than agricultural activity.   1.2.2 Ajourney from urban to suburban space through urbanization The term urbanization needs a clear identification before the journeystarts. It is simply a process of becoming more and more urban (Blackburn, 2013).

 All land of the earth  classified into urban or rural.    1.2.3 URBANSPRAWL There are various definitions ofsprawl, a prime feature of all these definitions is this: Sprawl is the haphazardexpansion of a city over its suburbs involving the conversion of rural landinto built-up areas over time.

  1.3 SIGNIFICANCEOF THE STUDY (1) Land is a finite natural resource which cannot becreated but can be converted into artificial surface to meet the socialrequirement. The conversion is a tangible part of the process called’Urbanisation’. The conversion of rural landscape into urban built up areas hasalways been a central issue of interest to environmentalists and urban planners.A lot of research in the context of urbanization, urban growth, urban expansionand of course urban sprawl has taken place worldwide as well as in India butmainly keeping the metropolitan cities under observation. But the urban centresof secondary importance like the satellite towns or cities surrounding theurban agglomeration that in near future tend to merge with the conurbation arenot monitored with importance.

The study tries to broaden the perspective ofsprawl beyond large urban centres to smaller ones in the context of third worldcountries.