How Successful have Policies for managing Urban Settlement been?
Areas may need to be controlled as they may become over populated or under populated. This can arise from many factors including high Birth Rates (or low birth rates), immigration (or emigration) or low death rate (or a high death rate) etc.
When there are too many people for the resources or technology within an area, the area is said to be overpopulation (e.g. Bangladesh). The opposite of this is underpopulation, and this occurs when there are too many resources than can be used by the number of people living there (e.g. Canada).
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When an area becomes overpopulated or underpopulated it may need to be controlled, this is usually done by the government.
I am going to first of all compare two different places which had to be managed, Cairo (in Egypt) and London (in England). Both these places are in urban areas. The word urban relates to an area that is in a city or a densely populated area.
I have chosen to use Cairo as one of my case studies and I will show factors such as the need for management here, what was done to fix the problems, what it is like now etc.
I will then do the same for the London Docklands case study which I will use.
I have chosen to compare the two because Cairo is in a LEDC (i.e. a Less Economically Developed Country) whereas London is in a MEDC (i.e. a More Economically Developed country).
I will look at how successful these schemes have been, however, it is important to note that just because something is a success for one individual (or party) it does not mean that it will be successful for others.
To begin with, I will look at Cairo which is one of the world’s most densely populated cities.
Cairo, which is the capital of Egypt, had, in 1996, an estimated population of between 12 and 16 million.
Cairo has relatively few squatter settlements. Instead, newcomers live in overcrowded, two-roomed apartments within tall blocks of flats where there are few public services, and washing hangs everywhere making the streets look very dirty and unattractive.
Many migrants live in the ‘City of the Dead’, a huge Muslim cemetery.
People actually live within the tombs, which are often cleaner than apartments, however they are situated over a kilometer from the nearest water supply.
To try and accommodate people, new flats were built but these were built in the suburbs, so not only is the rent too expensive for many locals, but the cost of the journey to work in the city centre is too high for most people.
These problems of poor, inadequate housing led to more problems amongst the local people.
In Cairo, there are 1.5 million cars and many buses, and Cairo’s streets were not built for this amount of traffic, which is known for its noise and pollution.
Like in many other LEDC’s, Cairo’s drinking water is often contaminated with sewerage which and cause diseases (such as cholera, typhoid etc).
Cairo’s government are the ones who order the change as they are the ones with the authority. Finance and resources to be able to make these changes possible.
Pollution, in Cairo comes from the breakdown of the sewerage systems, or the lack of them. Local factories also emit their waste into the air and streets.
The rubbish dumps, limited clean water, poor sewerage system, industrial pollution and high density housing are all potential health hazards. Due to these risks, Cairo authorities tried to defeat these risks in a number of ways (which are explained below).
Cairo’s government have extending the public sewerage system. This was done because there was a high amount of pollution in Cairo due to the breakdown of sewerage systems or often the complete lack of them. The fact that local companies and factories often emitted their waste on the streets increased the need for improvement to the sewerage system. 38 % of the buildings in Cairo were unconnected to sewage disposal networks.
One scheme in particular, The Cairo Sewerage II Project, was designed to improve and ensure proper management of the waste collection in Cairo. It also aimed to dispose and treat(e.g. recycle) the waste efficiently and appropriately.
and possibly building a new one
This proved to be successful for all people when Cairo Sewerage II project provided a new sewerage system for Greater Cairo. In total the new system covered an urban area of some 700km2.
This has been successful for many people in particular the locals and tourists as they now have much cleaner streets, with much less pollution and rubbish. Diseases (such as cholera) which result for unhygienic conditions would also decline.
This would also have been successful for the authorities because not only is the problem of refuse decreased but many people would have been employed in order to help with the construction of the system.
Cairo’s authorities also tried to reduce the problems in Cairo by or organising refuse collection. They done this by selling carts to locals at a very cheap price. Locals could then use these carts to collect rubbish from the streets which they could then sort through in order to sell to recycling companies.
This has successful in terms of combating the problem of rubbish on the street. It would have benefited the locals as they now live in a much cleaner environment and many of them are provided with jobs (to do with refuse removal/ collection).
It would also benefit the environment as much more rubbish is being recycled rather than just being thrown away.
The recycling companies have also been benefited by this as people can now collect and bring the rubbish to them for a very cheap price.
Cairo has also built a metro system in order to take people to and from different places within Cairo.
This has benefited many locals as they can travel cheaply to different places, in particular to work, and many of the metro routes are convenient to them.
This would also benefit car owners, because the construction of the metro system has reduced the previous large volumes of traffic and therefore reduce congestions. This would benefit them as time traveling to places by car would therefore be reduced.
Although the metro is very cheap (by Western standards) some locals may still not be able to afford this and so have not benefited at all from it.
This may also not benefit taxi drivers as they would lose out opn customers due to the competition of the metro. The metro has the advantage of no congestions, cheap travel, convenient routes and reliability and so many people would prefer to use it than taxs. This would mean that taxi drivers are losing out on business as a result from the development of the metro system.
All these schemes have proved to be very successful for Cairo (particularly for Cairo) and have helped raise the economy of their community.
However, due to the rapidly increasing population growth, some of these schemes have failed to meet the demand. As a result, five new towns are being built in the surrounding desert. This will help defeat the problem as many locals can now relocate to this area where there will be new houses and services. This will benefit both the people who leave the capital (as they will have new services which will be used by fewer people) and also those who choose to stay in Cairo (as there will be less people to share the services with).
In contrast, I will look at The London Docklands, located in London, England (a MEDC).
The area had been in decline since the 1950’s. This is because larger ships could no longer access the former port. Unemployment soared, the housing fell into bad condition and there was a lack of transport and leisure facilities.
In 1981 the London’s Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was set up to improve the economic, social and environmental problems that had developed in the area that was once one of the world’s busiest ports.
Amongst their aims, they aimed to rapidly improve the image of Docklands and also to bring the roads and public transport network up to the standard enjoyed in other parts of London..
The social factors that have been developed include the fact that 20, 000 new homes had been built. Many are former warehouses converted into luxury flats. This is an example of gentrification.
This may be successful to some people, such as people who are looking to live in this area, as they now have the advantage of living in these flats. However, many people lost their jobs when these warehouses were turned into flats.
the original inhabitants of the area who are also disadvantaged by this as many are now unable to afford the increased cost of rent and so had to move out of the area in search of a new home. This has caused former close knit-communities to break up due to the relocation of many former residents.
Therefore, this development has not been successful for the former residents of this area.
Economic benefits include the fact that 41, 000 more jobs were produced- 17, 000 of which were newly created and 24, 000 relocations. This benefits many of the former residents as they now have their old job again and so can go back o work and earn money. Its also successful for the business as they now have a labour force (again) and so can continue to operate in business. As these workers have to pay taxes, business have to pay rent etc, the economy of that area would also increase and this money could be spent on further services for the community (e.g. post offices, shops) which would prove to be even more successful for the locals. However, this would not be successful for all of the parties concerned as The majority of the jobs in the new hi-tech industries are unsuitable to unemployed docker workers. They do not have the skills needed for jobs in these industries. This means that they would still be unemployed ad in search of jobs.
A physical redevelopment that was completed by the LDDC was the construction of The Dockland Light Railway service which connects with Bank and Monument stations.
Similarly to the construction of the metro line in Cairo, this is successful for some people (e.g. locals and tourists as they now have another option of transport to use) but is not successful for other people (e.g. taxi drivers – due to the competition).
As shown, the development of the London Docklands area prove to be successful for some people while unsuccessful to other groups of people.
In conclusion, we can see that overall, policies have greatly been successful for managing Cairo and London. We can see that although some people have not benefited from some of the schemes, this is only a very small group of people in comparison with the capitals total population.
However, these people are still significant and still form part of the cities community and so their views should not go unnoticed. However, one could argue that these individuals’ problems which arise form the management of the areas could be solved. For example, taxi – drivers could change their career and then they would not be disadvantaged by the construction of the metro, rather they would be advantaged as they can also benefit from using it.
If we take a look into the future, say 25 years for example, we can see that the state of these problems would have changed as has the time.
For example, in the case of the London Docklands, the majority of the locals who were unhappy of the redevelopment scheme would probably not be affected due to the fact that they would have relocated and found a new area to live (due to the high cost in rent). Other factors such as the taxi – drivers losing out on business due to the construction of the metro would not be very concerning because if this factor affected them significantly, they would most likely have changed their occupation and many by that time would have also retired.
To look at Cairo’s future, we would see that problems continue to arise if the population is continuing to increase at the rate which it is presently doing so. This is because although new services, resources will have been created, the population would still be increasing and so there would still be a high number of people using these services.
Perhaps the solution to Cairo’s problems may be both to reduce migration from the countryside and to accelerate the already falling birthrate.
However, we can see that the projects that the government carried out previously (e.g. construction of metro/ sewerage system etc) would still prove to be successful for the local people/ environment. This is because as time goes on, the government would probably expand and improve, possibly build new services to be taken advantage of by the locals. For example, they may add different lines to the metro service, so that more people can use it to get to different areas that they may have previously been unable to get to via the metro lines.