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Chapter 15 - Urbanization, Population, and the Environment


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sustainable development
The notion that economic growth should proceed only insofar as natural resources are recycled rather than depleted; biodiversity is maintained; and clean air, water, and land are protected.
doubling time
The time it takes for a particular level of population to double.
A measure of the number of children that it is biologically possible for a woman to produce.
The study of populations.
A doctrine about population dynamics developed by Thomas Malthus, according to which population increase comes up against "natural limits," represented by famine and war.
A term used to indicate that an increasing proportion of a society's population is becoming elderly.
global city
A city—such as London, New York, or Tokyo—that has become an organizing center of the new global economy.
A term used by Louis Wirth to denote distinctive characteristics of urban social life, such as its impersonality.
The "city of all cities" in ancient Greece—used in modern times to refer to very large conurbations.
crude birth rate
A statistical measure representing the number of births within a given population per year, normally calculated in terms of the number of births per thousand members. Although the crude birthrate is a useful index, it is only a general measure, because it does not specify numbers of births in relation to age distribution.
Infant mortality rate
The number of infants who die during the first year of life, per thousand live births.
urban renewal
The process of renovating deteriorating neighborhoods by encouraging the renewal of old buildings and the construction of new ones.
inner city
The areas composing the central neighborhoods of a city, as distinct from the suburbs. In many modern urban settings in the First World, inner-city areas are subject to dilapidation and decay, the more affluent residents having moved to outlying areas.
The development of suburbia, areas of housing outside inner cities.
exponential growth
A geometric, rather than linear, rate of progression, producing a fast rise in the numbers of a population experiencing such growth.
environmental ecology
A concern with preserving the integrity of the physical environment in the face of the impact of modern industry and technology.
The development of towns and cities.
An agglomeration of towns or cities into an unbroken urban environment.
The average number of live-born children produced by women of childbearing age in a particular society.
demographic transition
An interpretation of population change, which holds that a stable ratio of births to deaths is achieved once a certain level of economic prosperity has been reached. According to this notion, in preindustrial societies there is a rough balance between births and deaths, because population increase is kept in check by a lack of available food, by disease, or by war. In modern societies, by contrast, population equilibrium is achieved because families are moved by economic incentives to limit the number of children.
The number of deaths in a population.
crude death rate
A statistical measure representing the number of deaths that occur annually in a given population per year, normally calculated as the ratio of deaths per thousand members. Crude death rates give a general indication of the mortality levels of a community or society, but are limited in their usefulness because they do not take into account the age distribution.
urban ecology
An approach to the study of urban life based on an analogy with the adjustment of plants and organisms to the physical environment. According to ecological theorists, the various neighborhoods and zones within cities are formed as a result of natural processes of adjustment on the part of populations as they compete for resources.
A process of urban renewal in which older, deteriorated housing is refurbished by affluent people moving into the area.
created environment
Constructions established by human beings to serve their needs, derived from the use of manmade technology—including, for example, roads, railways, factories, offices, private homes, and other buildings.
life span
The maximum length of life that is biologically possible for a member of a given species.
ecological approach
A perspective on urban analysis emphasizing the "natural" distribution of city neighborhoods into areas having contrasting characteristics.

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