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Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era$
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Karen C. Seto and Anette Reenberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026901

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026901.001.0001

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Range of Contemporary Urban Patterns and Processes

Range of Contemporary Urban Patterns and Processes

(p.275) 14 Range of Contemporary Urban Patterns and Processes
Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era

Hilda Blanco

The MIT Press

Historically, urbanization has been characterized by population density, durable built environments, governance, specialized economic activities, urban infrastructures, and their rural spheres of influence. This chapter highlights major contemporary patterns, trends, processes, and theories related to these dimensions, with special attention to the relation of central places to surrounding rural areas. Definitional issues related to the different dimensions of urban settlements and contemporary urban patterns are discussed. Theories and policies corresponding to these major characteristics of urban patterns and urbanization processes are presented, beginning with a brief overview of economic spatial theories. Focus is given to central place theory, where cities are conceptualized as central market places providing goods and services to lower-order cities and their rural hinterlands in exchange for food and materials. The impact of advances in technology and infrastructures on global trade connections is discussed, and insights from Castells’ network society are highlighted. Empirical evidence of two urban policies—the compact city model and urban growth management—are reviewed for their connections to central place theory. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.

Keywords:   urbanization, urban growth, population density, land governance, central place theory, global trade connections, compact city model

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