29th November – The City part 1

Pro’s of city life:

Accessibility, diversity, entertainment, warmer weather, nightlife, transport, convenience, trade, architecture, facilities, range of jobs, financial centers.

Con’s of city life:

Traffic / gridlock, pollution / smog, overpopulation, crime, natural disaster vulnerability, homelessness, expensive, labour expectation (24/7 shops etc), antisocial behaviour, exploitation, city of surveillance.

 

  • City contains extremes of poverty and wealth, even with wealth overlooking the poverty.
  • Some statistics: 1.3 million move to cities a week, 7 million a year. About 60% of population live in the city.
  • Experience of a crowd can be thrilling but also alienating. The experience of closeness brings different sensations. Even in situations like public transport broken down when people are close together with nothing to do it is a while before conversation might start.
  • Cities can be known as transport hubs, they have multiple variations of transport available that might not be elsewhere e.g. underground or tram. However, in some cities, Los Angeles for example, it is hard to travel around if you don’t own a car, even though public transport is available.
  • Novelists and artists were inspired by scientific ideas of how physical characteristics influenced a persons character. In the 1920’s, they thought of people in terms of class, status and type. This meant there was lots of stereotyping and labeling – considering someone a criminal, for example, because of a certain physical trait they might have.
  • Clothing, as a form of expression was particularly important in the 19th Century.
  • Charles Booth made maps of areas of wealth and poverty in cities. Similarly, in 1854, Dr John Snow mapped deaths close to water pumps which led to the discovery of one which was infected and causing many deaths at the time through disease.
  • London was modernised due to the Great Fire of London when it was realised that wooden buildings were hazardous with the buildings being so close together.
  • Development in cities led to the inclusion of entertainment, parks, theaters etc. They also became places of visual space and used for promotion and publicity, notably in advertising.
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