1.1 urban settlement into large towns, then into cities




“Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the
trees then names the streets after them.”
–William E. Vaughan

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From caves to skyscrapers
men have gone a long way in search of his home. The history of human settlement
is 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 classified
in rural and urban. The difference between rural and urban has always been an
issue of debate among academicians. The primary distinction between them can be
drawn on the basis of the way of living and utilization. Utilization of space
in terms of population and economy differentiates towns, the primary unit of
urban centres from villages. And thereafter economic growth drags population
from surrounding areas in search of employment opportunities. This leads better
to say forces that small primary unit of urban settlement into large towns,
then into cities and ultimately to conurbations.


Landuse of cities are
sculptured by frictional output of the push and pull factors which constantly
takes place as a result of social transformation. Rapid and continuous
technological development and resultant job opportunities work as a centripetal
force and keeps on active the in-migration from surrounding rural areas. At the
same time high land value in the city centre, congested landscapes of high rise
buildings and traffic pollution also work as a catalyst to push people away
from the CBD in search of better living. And this works as a centrifugal force
which compels the city to expand its boundary spatially, more specifically
horizontally. The best choice is always the suburbs, sometimes called the
rural-urban continuum or rural-urban fringe which is gradually consumed by ever
expanding cities. Lack of planning restricts the compactness of the landsuse
and thus cities start to sprawl. The nature pattern and rate of expansion
differs from country to country and with the level of development.


Every step in the
evolution 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 in
horizontal and vertical dimension. Higher technological development and prior
planning in economically developed countries restricts the horizontal expansion
and give more importance to vertical growth. On the other hand the third world
countries engulf more horizontal space to meet demand of ever increasing
population. This thesis is designed to provide a comprehensive idea about the
sprawl development in third world urban space.










1.2.1 Components
of ‘Urban’


Before analysing
the concept of urban sprawl it is important to acknowledge the origin and
growth of the term ‘urban’. The word
‘urban’ became part of an English dictionary in early seventeenth century
evolving from a Latin word ‘urbs’ and ‘urbanus’ meaning ‘a walled town’ in
ancient Rome. According the Oxford dictionary it explains the nature of a town
or city.  In general the characteristics
of a town indicate the administrative criteria, having a defined political boundary
or a specific amount of population except the extent of scale of these
parameters. Therefore the term ‘urban’ comprises both the cognition of both
having 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 the
property of the criteria.  Most of them
consider corporations, municipalities, boroughs, cantonment boards etc to be
designated as an area which is urban.  But population is the most important determining
factor to define the urbanity of an area along with its specific sub-criteria
like absolute number of persons, density and economic activity (Frey, W. H. & Zimmer, Z., 2001). There is no international bench mark of these population criteria to
separate urban space from a non-urban one. It varies from 2501 persons in Denmark, 2500
in United States, few countries have taken minimum population of 4000 or some
have taken 20,000 populations as a threshold being defined an area as urban. According
to Indian census three criteria of population have been taken into
consideration. First the absolute number of population to be 5000, secondly the
density which is to be 400 persons per square kilometer and thirdly the
function of the population where it says 75 percent of the population should be
involved in other than agricultural activity.



1.2.2 A
journey from urban to suburban space through urbanization


The term urbanization needs a clear identification before the journey
starts. 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 URBAN


There are various definitions of
sprawl, a prime feature of all these definitions is this:

Sprawl is the haphazard
expansion of a city over its suburbs involving the conversion of rural land
into built-up areas over time.





Land is a finite natural resource which cannot be
created but can be converted into artificial surface to meet the social
requirement. The conversion is a tangible part of the process called
‘Urbanisation’. The conversion of rural landscape into urban built up areas has
always been a central issue of interest to environmentalists and urban planners.
A lot of research in the context of urbanization, urban growth, urban expansion
and of course urban sprawl has taken place worldwide as well as in India but
mainly keeping the metropolitan cities under observation. But the urban centres
of secondary importance like the satellite towns or cities surrounding the
urban agglomeration that in near future tend to merge with the conurbation are
not monitored with importance. The study tries to broaden the perspective of
sprawl beyond large urban centres to smaller ones in the context of third world


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