An analysis of the form of cities and urban settlements

A human settlement is defined as a place inhabited more or less permanently. The houses may be designed or redesigned, buildings may be altered, functions may change but settlement continues with time and space. The first urban settlement to reach a population of one million was the city of London by around.

An analysis of the form of cities and urban settlements

As we move towards the general election, addressing city concerns is going to be a key, perhaps even decisive, election debate. This post draws on map visualisations from the LuminoCity3D. London and the South-East: Population Change in the South East region.

Inevitably it is strong economic growth that underpins this rise in population. Employment growth is much more unevenly spread across the South East, and arguably booming Inner London is taking jobs away from other centres, or pressuring some into becoming dormitory suburbs through soaring demand for housing.

This is most clearly seen in Outer London in centres such as Croydon and Bromley where employment has fallen, while resident population has risen.

An analysis of the form of cities and urban settlements

Employment density change in the South East region. The IT industry is an important growth sector, and has traditionally been concentrated in Reading, Bracknell and surrounding towns, an area dubbed the Western Sector by Sir Peter Hall in the s.

So with so many success stories, you be forgiven for thinking everything looking rosy for London and the South East. Unfortunately this is not the case. Soaring population growth has in no way been matched by new housing construction.

House prices in the South East region. Soaring prices may seem like great news for property owners, but ultimately cities rely on their ability to attract talent and new businesses. And the situation is in danger of getting worse before it gets better.

Mapping new-built housing sales leaves a sea of white, largely because there have been so few new houses constructed to sell.

Urban morphology - Wikipedia

The recession presented an ideal opportunity for investing in housing and addressing unemployment, but this opportunity was missed. Solving the housing crisis requires reform on a number of fronts. More power for local authorities to borrow money and make compulsory land purchases would certainly help.

Linked to this is a desperate need for property tax reform to encourage housing to be used efficiently. Similar arguments are made in favour of a land value tax to encourage land to be used efficiently and stop land banking.

Perhaps the most controversial issue is whether the green-belt can be retained in its current form. The debate really needs to switch towards how a controlled release of green belt land can be managed to avoid car-based sprawl and develop sustainable urban areas.

Mapping rail infrastructure and urban density in the South East as shown below indicates that there are many potential locations with rail stations and room for growth. It is interesting that recent entries for the Wolfson prize were focussed on this approach. Rail infrastructure, the green belt and urban density in the South East region Northern Evolution: Starting in the North West and Yorkshire we can see rising populations in all the major city centres.

By the regional definitions used in LuminoCity3D. Population growth is greatest in Leeds city centre, but is evident across the region, particularly in Bradford and Huddersfield. Despite West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester being two of the most dynamic northern regions, there is very little travel interactions between them due to poor transport links, and this surely needs to be a policy priority.

Population change in the North West and West Yorkshire regions.Urban areas (cities, towns and conurbations) can be seen as systems in which relatively slow-changing urban forms provide the setting for more rapidly changing ‘flows’ of capital, people, pollutants, cultures and technologies (Wong et al., ; Castells, ).

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The study aims to investigate the concept of Smart Sustainable Cities in traditionally planned and organically grown settlements.

Smart Cities Mission is an ambitious project of Government of India targeting cities for improving their urban quality of life. On May 8, , Elena Besussi (and others) published the chapter: The Structure and Form of Urban Settlements in the book: Remote Sensing of Urban and Suburban Areas.

A Glossary of Ideas. Accessibility Design 2.

Urban Resilience Officer, (Dakar (Senegal)), Deadline: 9 December – UN-Habitat

Accessibility design is urban design that takes into account the full spectrum of other-abled (including elderly, disabled, and handicapped) individuals by creating a user-friendly urban and domestic environment.

Sometimes people talk about cities as if they are outside people’s control, like the weather. We are using the word designing in the name of our course, because everything that happens to shape cities is actually the result of decisions made by governments, business investors, and citizens.

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