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 عبدالواحد علي محمد اسكندر –مدينة صنعء دراسة في جغرافية الحضر

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المساهمات : 25
تاريخ التسجيل : 09/11/2009

مُساهمةموضوع: عبدالواحد علي محمد اسكندر –مدينة صنعء دراسة في جغرافية الحضر   الأحد فبراير 07, 2010 2:07 pm

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1.1 Introduction: Urban Geography

Urbanization is of prime importance in the study of social science as it transforms the natural environment into an artificial man-made environment. The complexity of activities and functions in the cities represent countless difficulties in both the developed and the developing countries. Therefore, urban studies have become an important issue in urban geography on account of rapidly growing cities and their associated urban problems.
The principles of urban geography operate in a setting where most people live today, but the majority of them know nothing about them or the disciplines they represent. Since the city is the centre of economic, political and social power and is the hosting place of many pressing national problems such as “poverty, drugs, crime, housing, transportation, growth management”, it should be dealt with in a systematic manner in the urban study. Variations among and between cities in terms of level of growth and development are widespread, which in turn reflect existing opportunities and benefits within these cities enjoyed by residents. Questions such as why cities grow despite limited existing opportunities, and why uneven development features in urban growth especially in third world cities resulting into the association of rabid urban growth with the highest poverty levels find answers in the realm of urban geography. Urban geography provides answers to these and other questions through building a conceptual framework to understand the location, function, and growth of the city by investigating its spatial structure on the one hand and its regional relations on the other. The map is an indispensable instrument that adds a further dimension to urban geography. However, the importance of urban geography today lies in the groundwork it provides “for careers in planning and consulting related to physical and community development”. Research in urban geography has extended to include many themes such as market research, real estate development, environmental control, urban pattern and settlements, preservation of historical sites and situation of cities, hinterland and trade areas, land use classification, morphology and functions, housing, residents’ behaviour and so on.

Urban geography first evolved within general geographic, economic, and social parameters that originally developed in the context of man-land philosophical approach during 1800s in association with land use and regional models. Nevertheless, urban geography has become a distinctive discourse with the works of Carl Sauer, The Morphology of Landscape in 1925, E. Burgess and his theory of concentric ring in 1924, Homer Hoyt’s theory of sector model in 1939, Walter Christaller and his theory of the central place as well as C.C. Colby with his contribution of the centrifugal and centripetal force model in 1930s. Harries and Ullman are responsible for the multiple nuclei model in 1940s, urban realms model by James Vance, social area analysis by Eshref Shevky and M. Williams. Other geographers who have contributed to the advancement of urban geography through employing quantitative approaches are McCarty, Garrison, Haggett, Mayer, Kohn, and Murphy. Most of these geographers along with their models were mainly associated with American schools such as University of Chicago, University of Washington, and University of Iowa. Urban studies became the leading research topic in geography by 1970s. New approaches were developed in the field of urban geography such as structural approach and urban historical geography reflected in the area of urban housing research, which seem to be gaining momentum in the 1990s led by the work of Harvey and Scott.
Cities have always been a strong reflection of human experience and knowledge. The greater the knowledge that man gains, the more sophisticated and complex the architecture and city designs progressively become. The city’s functions are becoming more sophisticated and complex due to rapid growth, development of socio-economic, political, and cultural life as well as the subsequent overlapping of newly developed city functions. Therefore, a comprehensive investigation of urban development in its entirety would be difficult to achieve, though it might be desirable. Hence, the study focuses on certain urban sectors, such as urban development, infrastructure, socio-economic, and housing sector particularly related to Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen. This study attempts to evaluate the spatio-temporal and socio-economic development of Sana’a city. Special treatment will be given to the performance of the housing market in the city of Sana’a during 1980s and 1990s. The study will also examine how different social classes and economic compulsions have imposed corresponding physical-environmental segregation, which is observed through illustration of design, housing quality and types along with the supporting network services. Housing need assessment will be examined thoroughly within the current socio-economic makeup.
This research will tackle various related issues, i.e. population and housing growth, interurban migration, household formation, land use and functions as well as socio-economic structure such as income occupation and education. Moreover, housing situation such as removal from and the additions to housing stock as well as housing quality will be closely investigated.
The urbanization process as evidenced by social history is man’s attempt to organize space according to his ideal perception and need to perfect and improve the existing living standard. The current urbanization pattern is a result and reflection of complex interaction of the past and present socio-economic, historical, and cultural factors. Therefore, geographers view urbanization as a crucible wherein these variable factors react and produce the modern urban mosaic. Eldrigde attributes urbanization to the demographic factor. He states as soon as demographic concentration stops urbanization stops. (L. Anne cit, 1999, 31). Nevertheless, this interpretation observes only the visible factor “population” as a direct reason of urbanization where such a factor itself is the outcome of many non-demographic aspects.
Apart from the spatial urban-rural concept, there is difficulty in determining the physical border between the two concepts. Some geographers like Smith, Blizzard, and Anderson have argued that an area termed fringe, intermediating rural and urban areas exists from which transformation from rural to urban mode of settlement proceeds. While sociologists are interested in the social process of being urbanized, geographers focus on the space where such process takes place; actually, the interaction of all social and spatial phenomena in a given place at a certain time is the norm of reality. At this point, geography’s is a philosophical approach, which attempts to explain the interrelated dependence of place and time through built-up existing environment at all levels. Urbanization hence comprises three main concepts: behavioural, structural and demographic as Lampard emphasizes; the behavioural view of urbanization refers to the historical build-up of the population’s social psychology and the change in its pattern over time, a notion first mentioned by Louis Wirth in 1938. The structural concept of urbanization is rooted in the change of the economic process from agrarian to industrial as specialization and advancement in technology get sophisticated. Demographic aspect of urbanization is related to the degree to which population is concentrated in a given environmental setting. (Chandana, R. C., 1994) .
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