Urban Growth and Development
For the City of New York, research its recent growth (or decline), settlement patterns and political economy, addressing the following questions:
• What forces or drivers are most responsible for its population, economic, and physical growth and change? Has development kept pace with growth? Why or why not?
• How do these forces play out spatially?
• How, if at all, have its recent growth and development dynamics and patterns differed from historical patterns? What accounts for the difference?
• What are the major institutions or groups in the city that are promoting or shaping its growth and development? How are they doing so? Toward which or whose ends?
• Which demographic or economic or social groups or interests have benefited most from the city’s recent growth and/or development? Which have benefited least? What accounts for the difference?
• How has the city’s growth affected its physical environment? Its quality of place?
• What role, if any, has planning played in the growth and development of your city?
When you have finished your research, please prepare a profile. Organize your profile into the following sections:
1. Introduction: Why is this an interesting or important place to consider?
2. Growth profile: How and why is your city growing (or shrinking)? Which forces or factors are propelling its growth? How are contemporary growth forces different from their historical counterparts? Which areas and/or sectors are growing faster or slower, and why? How does the temporal and spatial incidence of population growth (or change) match the incidence of economic expansion and/or land development? What planning and growth guidance issues do these various growth forces, trends and patterns raise? Reference data and analytical studies as appropriate, but this section should be more of a chronicle and discussion than a presentation of data, tables and charts.
3. Development profile: To what degree is your city or metropolitan area developing as it grows? Identify and discuss appropriate development indicators. Which groups, interests, or areas are benefitting most (in terms of income, welfare and quality of life advantages) from the various growth and development forces and trends? Which groups, interests, and areas are benefitting least? Beyond particular groups or areas, what’s happening to city’s “commons?” Its physical environment and sense of place? What planning and development guidance issues do these development trends and patterns raise? Reference data and analytical studies as appropriate, but, as above, this section should be more of a chronicle and discussion than a presentation of tables and charts.
4. Inequality and segregation: To what degree are economic and social equality in your city or metropolitan area increasing or decreasing along with its growth? Is growth increasing or decreasing economic and social opportunities? Are different economic and/or social groups becoming more or less spatially segregated? How is growth reducing or exacerbating spatial segregation? What planning and growth guidance issues do these various trends and patterns raise?
5. Political economy of growth and development: Which public or private institutions have most affected or altered the rate, type, and pattern of growth and development in your city/metropolitan area? How have they acquired such agency? Toward what purposes are they using it? How are everyday citizens involved (if at all) in growth and development decisions? What planning and guidance issues do your findings raise?
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