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7 Urbanisation

Key terms
Urbanisation: the process by which the proportion of a population living in or
around towns and cities increases through migration and natural increase.
Megacity: a city with more than 10 million inhabitants. In 1997 there were 18
megacities, 13 of them in developing countries.
Slum: an area of poor-quality housing. Slums are typically found in parts of the
inner city in developed countries and in older parts of cities in developing countries.
Slum housing is usually densely populated, in a poor state of repair, and has
inadequate services.
Decentralisation: the movement of people or industry away from the centre of the
city to the suburbs or the edge of town.
Shanty town: unplanned, illegal shelters constructed from cheap or waste materials
(such as cardboard, wood, and cloth). Shanty towns are commonly located on the
outskirts of cities in developing countries, or within large cities on derelict land or
near rubbish tips.
Millionaire city: a city with more than 1 million inhabitants.
Brown Agenda: the range of environmental problems associated with large cities.

Topic summary
● Urbanisation is the increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas.
● Urbanisation is taking place at different rates around the world.
● Urbanisation leads to economic, social and physical changes.
● In many parts of the world there are squatter settlements.
● There are attempts to reduce the negative effects of urbanisation. These include
self-help schemes and site-and-service schemes.

Learn your case studies

Urban problems in Rio de Janeiro
 1 The proportion of Rio de Janeiro’s population living in slums.
 2 The proportion of Rio de Janeiro’s land taken up by slums.
 3 An example of an edge town.
 4 When the Favela Bairro project began.
 5 The name of the central favela with over 200 000 occupants.
 6 The proportion of the buildings constructed from brick and with electricity.
 7 The location of Barra de Tijuca.
 8 The year Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympic Games.
 9 Barra de Tijuca’s population in (a) 1960 and (b) 1999.
10 What is an ‘edge town’.

Cambridge IGCSE Geography 2nd edition © Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 2014
1.7 Urbanisation

 1 In which country Shanghai is situated.
 2 The ocean it lies next to.
 3 The river that flows through Shanghai.
 4 The projected population for Shanghai for 2020.
 5 The place where in 1990 a new CBD was built.
 6 When Shanghai was declared ‘open to foreign development’.
 7 The name of the deepwater port opened in 2006.
 8 Why air pollution is a major problem in Shanghai.
 9 The name of the sustainable city being built on Chongming Island.
10 The maximum speed of the MAGLEV train.

Cambridge IGCSE Geography 2nd edition © Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 2014