The Transformation of Cities: Urban Theory and Urban Life by David C. Thorns

By David C. Thorns

The purpose of the publication is to ascertain the transformation of the town within the overdue twentieth century and discover the ways that urban existence is based. The shift from modern-industrial to information/consumption-based 'post-modern' towns is traced throughout the textual content. the point of interest is not only on the USA and Europe but additionally explores towns in different elements of the realm as urban development within the 21st century could be predominantly outdoors of those areas.

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Example text

The founder of the school was Robert Park, who was a somewhat unusual academic as he came to the university via journalism. He was very much grounded in his experience of living in Chicago, which in the 1920s, was experiencing tremendous growth. Chicago had a unique position as a trade, financial, manufacturing, and transport centre for the opening up of the Midwest. What intrigued Park (1952) were the patterns of urban growth and the development of distinctive subcultures located in different parts of the city.

7 per cent indicating the rapid growth of the wider metropolitan region. The 1990s has seen a third stage of development with economic restructuring leading to the de-industrialisation of the core and further metropolitan decentralisation. Industry has moved out and relocated looking for cheaper locations. This has meant job losses creating increased levels of unemployment (Da Silva 2000). The urban economy has become ‘tertiarised’ favouring finance, commerce, and other service sectors. Downtown has been redeveloped around high-rise office and residential accommodation for the wealthier urban service class which has emerged.

The dispersed spatial structure of the city owes a lot to the individual consumption emphasis which flows from owneroccupied separate housing on its own plot of land. Urban form is created here which is most conducive to commodity consumption, the lowdensity, private transport-oriented, owner-occupied city. The second aspect is collective consumption. The collective consumption of goods and services such as health care, education, transport, parks and recreation spaces expanded with the growth of welfare state social democratic policies from the 1930s and 1940s to the 1960s (Dunleavy 1979, 1980; Saunders Industrial-Modern Cities 35 1990b).

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