GEOG1012 Assignment 1.docx - GEOG1012 Economic and social...

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GEOG1012 Economic and social development in an urbanizing world [Section 1A, 2015]Essay 1Compare and contrast the main characteristics of the urbanization process in the First and ThirdWorlds.Urbanization, defined as the increase in the proportion of population living in urban areas, is aninfluential phenomenon occurring in both the First and Third Worlds. Their urbanizationprocesses are partly similar and also partly different. This essay will outline the major commonand different characteristics of urbanization processes in the First and Third Worlds.Residential segregationTo commence with, residential segregation is a common phenomenon in both the First and ThirdWorlds, but its driving force is different in the two worlds. Residential segregation refers to theseparation of a group of people from another, usually comes along with social inequality. In theFirst World, the free market is the dominant driving force. Under the influence of the freemarket, housings with different living conditions are allocated according to people’saffordability. Thus, the equilibrium price will usually increase to the level beyond that the lowerincome group can afford. Additionally, as most of them work in urban areas, they tend to live ininner-cities even in order to reduce commuting cost. As for the higher income group, they canafford living in suburbs where the living conditions are better. To illustrate, the incomeresidential segregation in the United States has risen since 1980, in which more people withsimilar economic background tend to share neighborhood. More specifically, neighborhoods thatwere formerly mixed-income or middle-class dropped from 85% to 76% from the year 1980 to2010. Simultaneously, both the neighborhoods of the lower and higher income group haveincreased, from 12% to 18% and 3% to 6% respectively in the same time frame (Fry & Talor,2012). This shows that the well-off and the underprivileged are increasingly divided by theirincome difference.However, in Third World countries, especially colonial countries, racism and government policyare the major causes leading to social segregation instead of the free market. The colonialgovernment tended to favor people of their own race. Thus, the Blacks are often exploited whilethe White people enjoy more benefits. A case in point is South Africa, which was once under the

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