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When and why did people start living in cities

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Chris Koo

on 11 June 2013

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Transcript of When and why did people start living in cities

Urbanization-the act or fact of urbanizing, or taking on the characteristics of a city
Urban Growth
When and Why did People Start Living in Cities
1. When and why did people start living in cities?

2. Where are cities located and why?

3. How are cities organized, and how do they function?

4. How do people make cities?

5. What role do cities play in globalization?

Urban vs. Rural

Urban- to live in a city, highly populated location
Rural- to live in the country
Fun Facts
Urban Population
By 2030, 60 percent of the world's population is expected to live in cities
Push from Rural
Pull to Urban
new industries
better education
improvement in technology
less labor is needed for farming
The Push and Pull Factors
The 5 Urban Hearths
located between Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (3500 BC)

Studies of cultural landscape and morphology of Mesopotamia city found that there were many signs of social inequalities such as:
Urban elite erected palaces
Protected themselves with walls
Kings and priests rule the city
made taxes
demanded tribute from the harvest
Inside the walls there were clusters of temples and shrines at the center of the city
the poor lived in tiny huts on the outskirts of city
the slaves lived outside the city walls
there was a lack of waste-disposal, which kept the cities small due to disease
Nile River Valley
Located at the Nile River, dates back to 3200 BC

It was thought that the agriculture was brought to them from the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia)

Power along this river was controlled by the people who took care of the irrigation systems

absence of walls
the people in power use the river for agriculture
the might of rulers was greatly reflected by the architecture
Indus River Valley
Located on the Indus River, dating back to 2200 BC

Agriculture was also thought to be diffused from Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia)

Although houses were distributed equal in size to all people
still have different social classes
still ruled by the top class (city planners)
Unlike the Nile River, this hearth did protect its city with a thick wall going around it

There was evidence that cities developed trading relationships with other urban hearths
eg. there were discoveries of coins from as far away as the Mediterranean found within the walls, which proves they even traded long distances
Huang He (Yellow) River Valley
Located in present day Mexico, dated back to 200 BC

The ancient cities of Mesoamerica were that of Religious centers
The urban elite increased their authority with priests, temples and shrine.
Most of these cities were Theocratic centers
Which had rulers where deemed to have divine authority
known as God-Kings
examples include the great structures of Yucatan, Guatemala, and Honduras
Common Traits within the 5 Hearths
A dependable water supply
Domesticated plants and animals
A long growing season
Agricultural surplus
Plenty of building materials
Social stratification
Leadership class (urban elite) – group of decision makers and organizers who controlled the resources and often the lives of others
Located on the Yellow River which is present day China, dated back to 1500 BC

The chinese purposefully planned their ancient cities to center on a vertical structure in the middle of the city.
Within the city the people built temples and palaces for the leadership classes
There was a wall built around the city
The elite build elaborate and enourmous structures in order to show their power.
in 200 BC the Emperor, Qin Xi Huang directed the building of The Great Wall of China by his slaves.
Role of the Ancient City in Society
Ancient cities not only were centers of religion and power but also served as economic nodes
Chief marketplaces and bases from which wealthy merchants, land and livestock owners, and traders operated.
Towns had to have facilities that would not be found in farm villages
Diffusion of Urbanization
Urbanization, as previously mentioned, diffused from Mesopotamia in many directions
Populations in Mesopotamia grew with the steady food supply and sedentary lifestyle
People migrated out from the hearth diffusing their knowledge of agriculture and urbanization
Diffused to Mediterranean at about the same time cities were developing elsewhere independently.
Greek and Roman Cities
In 500 BC Greece became one of the Earths most highly urbanized areas on the Earth

There were 500 cities and towns that were connected by seafarers on the urban trade routes, they carried notions of urban life throughout the Mediterranean.
Athens and Sparta fighting with each other to become Greece's most powerful city
Urbanization then diffused out of Greece to the Roman Empire
Roman urban culture diffused through Western Europe
Urban Growth after Greece and Rome
After the fall of the Roman Empire, there was little to no growth, some parts of the continent even went into sharp declines.
The growth that did take place however were seen as resting places
many of these places grew into towns and eventually became major cities
other cities that continued to grow were interior trade routes such as Silk Route, Caravan routes of West Africa (Mali), Americas (Mayan and Aztec empires)
Site and Situation
Relative importance of the interior trade routes changed when overseas colonization occurred.
Situation of cities changed from being crucial in an interior trade route to being left out of oceanic trade
Situation – relative location, its place in the region and world around it (proximity to major trade routes and other urban places)
Coastal ports became the leading markets and centers of power - mercantile cities – Liverpool, London, Lisbon
After exploration led to colonialism
Second Urban Revolution (late 1800s)
In order for people to move from the fields to the cities to work in manufacturing, food production had to increase.
Europeans invented a series of important improvements in agriculture
Seed drill
Hybrid seeds
Improved breeding practices for livestock
Freed from the fields, laborers were able to migrate to the cities in hopes of a job.
1. When and why did people start living in cities?

2. Where are cities located and why?

3. How are cities organized, and how do they function?

4. How do people make cities?

5. What role do cities play in globalization?
By: Chris Koo & Rebecca Watson
Hard to tend to crops everyday
Less social activity since you live further away from others
Activities: https://jeopardylabs.com/play/when-and-why-did-people-start-living-in-cities
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