With reference to examples, assess the degree to which the level of economic development of a country affects planning and management in urban areas. (40 Marks) There are many examples of countries around the world which show examples of hashed and perfect planning and management in urban areas. However there are many variables that affect the difference in which the planning is done across the globe. By 2007 the percentage of the world’s population living in cities was 50 percent, and rising with most of the mega cities in LDC’s it is becoming increasingly important to forward plan and manage urban areas to the upmost.
To look into development I am going to look at the 3 different stages of development across the nations, LDC’s, NIC’s and MDC’s. To be more specific I am going to look at urban planning and management in Mumbai, Brazil, and the UK. Firstly if you look at India as a case study, it is a developing country in stage 3 of the demographic transition model (DTM) with a population of 1,241,491,960 means that planning and management of this scale is very difficult to control. This is escalated by the huge rural to urban migration happening all over India in the search for a better life style leading to large areas of slums.
How the India government is now trying to address the problem, an example of this would be in Mumbai where Dharavi is one of the most highly populated areas in the world with over 1 and a half million people living with effectively 1 square mile, all of which is slum housing. As the area in which the Dharavi is placed on is some of the most expensive real estate in Mumbai. It is a central area, near the CBD with natural flood defenses against the Mithi River which runs through the center of Mumbai.
This means that urban planners wanted the money raised by the land cleared of slums and also to help improve the standard of living of those people who live in Dharavi. The local government then set up the Dharavi Redevelopment scheme with the aim of clearing the slum land and making them into their own sufficient township. With the Bandra Kurla complex near the edge of Dharavi providing jobs for skilled workmen in the construction and is an area for businesses to be set up. This area for business was particulary needed due to the huge cottage industries that account for up to 40 million dollars’ worth of revenue each year.
These were all based in people’s home in the slums so when redevelopment occours larger businesses will be given 225 square feet of space to start again. This shows that an LDC can use its wealth accumulated from a huge working force to pay for this development. It is easy to see how economic development can affect urban planning and management mainly because of the cost of redeveloping areas. Another example of urban planning and management would be in Mexico city where due to poor urban planning the city which is built in the crater of a volcano is sinking downwards due to the weight of the city.
To put this into context it has dropped 30 feet in just a century compared to Venice which dropped 7 inches in the past century. This means that the sewers are now no longer able to move the water with gravity only leading to huge pumping stations having to be installed to move the waste away from the city, however there is so much rubbish that goes into the sewers 2 people have to dive down and prevent items breaking the pumps or Mexico city will drown in its own filth.
This is an example of poor planning and management and highlights the problems with LDC’s in urban planning and the ‘sticking plaster solutions’ employed to try and combat them. However there are always some anomalies. An example of this would be in Brazil where in the south of Brazil a city called Curitiba stands alone on a global scale. This breaks the trend because as I have suggested in earlier paragraphs Economic development does affect urban planning and management however Curitiba shown that it is possible to manage a developing city effectively without much money.
They did this by using effective and cheap bus links that reduce congestion and can carry over 400000 passengers a day. Mainly they managed to control the influx of residents over the past 10 years by involving the public in what they think is the measures needed for the city and also a lot of forward planning which has allowed this exponential growth to be controlled. However to pay for some of the development the French Development Bank and the Inter America Bank had to invest heavily.
So although this shows that economic development doesn’t affect urban planning and management it does show that a lot of money is required to carefully plan and manage effectively. In MDC’s there are also examples of urban planning and management. In the UK there are several examples. One of these would be Salford quays where before the 1980’s there was huge deprivation and slums due to the lack of jobs and social unrest. The area’s population was made up of the workers of the Docks there but when the docks went into decline, depravation went on the rise.
So in the 1980’s they started again by leveling all the old dock warehouses and the slum, terraced housing of the worker who were left and built housing and services for what everyone needed, leading to the BBC’s new headquarters to be placed there along with many other large businesses. This influx of businesses made the area a very trendy place to live with many high class bars and restaurants on the dockside. This shows that with careful planning and management a city can be rejuvenated. Another example in the UK would be the Hulme partnership scheme.
In Hulme there were huge slums built there in the Cresent estates especially in high rise flats that made huge social problems so in 1992 the Hulme City Challenge partnership (HCCP) was set up to build 300 new homes, of which there will be every aspect of a township built, with low rise flats going to detached housing around the area. They made the area inclusive using the 40 million pounds provided by the central government in Westminster. This redevelopment effectively reduced crime and made the area regain its status as a nice place to live.
Overall this shows that in the UK, an MDC were very successful in bringing life back to a city. However both schemes were very expensive in developing a small area of land which would be unsustainable in a poorer country. So in answer to the question I would say that yes, economic development has a huge impact on the ability of a city to plan and manage the area. The example of Dharavi and Mexico show the struggle in making their cities effectively managed, with the clear anomaly being Curitiba.
Curitiba showed that economic development is not needed to plan and manage a city effectively; however this has been funded almost wholly by foreign aid. However it does show also that with effective forethought the managers of the city have the biggest impact not economic development. This is very nearly on par with the Hulme planning and management scheme in providing the perfect city. However in all I would say that economic development is the largest impact on urban planning and management shown by the fact that MEDC’s have a much easier time in redoing their urban planning disasters.