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Urban Development in the modern world
Urban development is a critical issue in the world of today. Land use plays a highly significant role in the process of urban development. Urban areas are inhabited by more than half of the world population. The world population is expected to rise to 6 billion by the year 2040. Therefore, it is imperative for urban governments to steadily plan for the intended growth.
The provision of basic services in urban areas will need to be enhanced going to the future. Urbanization is sustainable in significantly contributes to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product. Urbanization can be enhanced by increasing its productivity, generating new ideas, and increased innovation.
However, urban development brings various issues such as the need for infrastructure, transport systems, and basic services. This research paper focuses on historical reviews of major city’s urbanization and urban economics focusing on land use. It focuses on how different metropolises are seeking the balance economic development and heritage building or historical landscape protection. The article focuses on Toronto in Canada and Shanghai in China.
How land use play a significant role in the progress of urbanization
Some of the land use patterns that affect urbanization include farming, tourism, and residential development. The rural landscape of most cities often changes when people migrate from rural areas to urban centers. In this regard, most people move away from areas that are congested to rural areas within an urban setting.
It leads to urbanization where the demand for welfare services often increase. Urbanization is also responsible for population implosion leading to the demand for services (Bannett, Reynolds & Dann, 2014). Most cities in the world convert open areas to be an urban land area for sustainable development. Some of the land use aspects that influence the process of urban development include fast-food restaurants, entertainment spots, shopping centers, industrial parks, and housing development.
Land use planning is highly effective in the sustainable growth and development of cities. Also, land use can be used to check on uncontrolled growth when spatial planning is put in place. Modern cities are characterized by seasonal and permanent residents.
Various socioeconomic aspects will face urban areas that have a ready infrastructure. In this regard, people will see the need to move from high-density areas to low dense areas (Yongnian, Litao & Tong, 2016). Farmlands and wooded tracts will need to be subdivided to support the coming of new people. This will continue promoting urban development.
The process of urbanization also create areas where water is harnessed to support a growing population. The quality of water will be affected because of the increased number of people (Arthur, 2017). Also, urban development affects water sources because the rising population will create demand for water services.
It is a delicate balancing act conservation of resources and the economic use of land. Urbanization makes land use patterns to be highly competitive and the demand for land increases. Land resources are put under pressure because of the increased urban development. Residential and tourism development are some of the issues that much affect urbanization.
Comparing and contrasting between Toronto, Canada, and Shanghai, China
Urban heritage constitutes a significant resource in making urban areas more livable. It is relevant because it makes social cohesion and economic development vibrant in a growing economy. Most cities in the world are now involved in the preservation efforts of their cultural heritage. Although Canada values the cultural heritage of ancient buildings, it also seeks to promote economic development through the construction of new modern buildings.
Cities seek to promote creativity, urban regeneration, and innovation. The management of historical urban development states that cities are not historical monuments (Bannett, & Reynolds & Dann, 2014). Therefore, cities are subject to dynamic forces in the cultural, social, and economic spheres. Therefore, cities are subject to change and continuous shaping.
In Canada, new development and historical context of buildings interact mutually. The integration of heritage conservation of cities, social and economic development is a resource for the modern development of cities. Canada has a delicate balancing act between economic development and the preservation of cultural heritage. It’s a big controversy to balance the two aspects because they have two competing interests.
The opening of KING Toronto condo at an entertainment district is one such example of cities losing historical landscape for the sake of modern development. The location of the condo was meant to be at King Street and Bathurst Street. The most interesting part is that the condo will be rising at an existing heritage building. The heritage building will be renovated as a shopping area very much like Yorkville for the community.
Another interesting point is that the estimated price for this location is starting from 1,500 US dollars per square feet. It was very surprising to realize that the developer can demolish the building to pave way for modern development. Canada values the preservation of historical heritage and cultural concepts (Robinson, 2013). Although Canada values modern economic development for cities, historical aspects of the city are also valuable.
In fact, there was a lot of controversy about the demolishing of Honest Ed’s, a cultural landscape to make a way of condos. The building was a landmark store various parts of Canada, including Toronto. Many cultural conservationists complained against the demolition which they claimed was against the preservation of their heritage.
The experiences in Shanghai China are much different from those of Toronto, Canada. Shanghai is considered to be one of the most booming metropolises in Asia and China in particular. Most of the heritage buildings are demolished during the urbanization of the city (Glendinning, 2013). The uniqueness of Shanghai architecture is sacrificed because of economic development.
Toronto and Shanghai have two different approaches to historical landscapes and heritage buildings during urbanization of the city. The historical review of the urbanization and urban economics of the two cities focusing on land use is significant. Landscape plays a highly significant role in the progress of urbanization (Liang, 2014).
The two cities of Shanghai and Toronto have different approaches to balance the two aspects of urbanization and the preservation of cultural heritage. In the case of Shanghai, the Music Valley is a new entertaining urban landscape that transformed from a slaughterhouse. Therefore, Shanghai is one city that does everything possible to sacrifice its cultural heritage for the sake of development.
Each city has its own unique cultural characteristics which constitute the city. When such a city seeks development, it does not mean that it has to do away with its cultural identity to be the most ideal metropolis.
The recommendation of the historical urban landscape was started by UNESCO in 2011.The historical landscape of the city goes beyond the preservation of the physical environment. In this regard, the entire physical and human environment is put into consideration. Planning remains a sustainable issue of growing cities that focuses on a holistic environment of environmental factors, socio-economic values, cultural diversity and heritage, and built environment (Robinson, 2013).
Modern cities like Toronto and Shanghai strike a balance on issues of development and cultural diversity. The cities have zoning policies which creates conservation areas of historical preservation. The two cities of Toronto and Shanghai support integrating cultural, social, and environmental factors.
The city of Toronto in Canada has different reasons why it preserves its cultural heritage. One main reason is due to architectural beauty which makes human beings happy. Beauty and design make people feel better when they observe buildings that preserve cultural heritage. Also, historical buildings physically link the past to the present. Historical buildings contribute to the economic and cultural well-being of the city.
In this regard, a city like Toronto is highly beautiful because of the way ancient buildings have been preserved. Also, buildings that have cultural heritage boost property values (Stubbs & Thomson, 2016). Buildings that preserve their heritage are highly good for the environment. Experts in the building industry claim that people can build in other areas and leave heritage buildings untouched for cultural preservation.
The old buildings do not have to be demolished for new modern buildings to come up. The two can co-exist sustainably without sacrificing the other.
The city of Toronto has a body known as Toronto Architectural Conservancy that seeks to champion the preservation of cultural heritage of buildings.
The body notes that there exists a real potential for the cultural identity of buildings. According to the body, the heritage of buildings needs protection from modern development. Although modern development is vital for the advancement of economies, cultural preservation of buildings is also significant. The threat to architectural conservancy is brick and mortar. Modern high rise buildings are a big challenge to the preservation of old buildings.
The KING Toronto condo was set up in an existing old building which was against conservation efforts of historical sites. When a huge tower is put in a building that has cultural and historical significance, it is a grave violation of conservation efforts. Most early buildings in Canada were designed by some of the best architects. Also, some of the most prominent engineers and their firms contributed immensely to those buildings.
Canada values the existence of old architecture besides modern ones because such buildings were modern masterpieces in their times. When old buildings are demolished to pave way for new ones, it is a significant destruction of art. The KING Toronto condo is a good example of the Toronto urban renewal that existed in the 1960s.
In the 1960s, most buildings in Toronto were destroyed to pave for modern buildings (Seto & Reenberg, 2014). This was a grave concern for cultural conservationists that were keen to ensure that old buildings were conserved for posterity. Conservationists argued that the destruction of old buildings was like destroying a great museum. Therefore, the preservation of the heritage of a particular city is its most significant part.
Toronto does not have strong laws that seek to protect cultural heritage associated with old buildings. Other cities around the world like Rome and London have strong preservation values compared to Toronto.
In Toronto, there is a broad community of urban dwellers, global interests, and tourists that control the issue of heritage and urban development.
The community has a significant role to play in the conservation efforts of urban heritage. The people interested in conservation efforts normally engage in civic engagement, knowledge and planning, finance, and regulatory systems. Toronto is more concerned with the management of resources and effective planning. Therefore, the area of conservation is a relevant strategy to strike a balance the quality of life and urban growth.
Guidelines of developmental approval and zoning are significant issues that Toronto considers when striking a balance between new development and historical heritage (Robinson, 2013). The buildings that represent urban heritage are characterized by three-story buildings, brick sidewalks, narrow roads, and radial streets. All these attributes define the unique character of the urban landscape in Toronto.
The historic heritage is a perfect way of defining the cultural landscape of Toronto. The cultural heritage in Toronto is varied and is a network of archaeological sites, landscapes, buildings, and precincts (Czepczynski, 2016). In this regard, cultural heritage is a way of life in Toronto and the preservation of its ancient buildings.
Shanghai is one of the Cities in the world that values economic development more compared to the preservation of the historical heritage of buildings. For example, the Music Valley was constructed as a new urban entertainment landscape. The landscape transformed from a slaughterhouse that had been in existence for many years.
Although Shanghai values the preservation of colonial buildings with heritage values, it has more embraced modern economic development. In the 19th Century, traditional European architecture had a significant footprint in Shanghai. Presently, Shanghai has many traditional buildings under an acceptable condition. More emphasis is put on the destruction of old buildings to pave way for modern development.
In the last two decades, Shanghai has accelerated the destruction of old architecture for the sake of new ones. In the name of development, many traditional structures have been sacrificed irrespective of their heritage value (Labadi & Logan, 2015). Developers have always championed the need for new structures of development. As a city, Shanghai has suffered where many of its traditional structures have been removed for economic and social developments.
It has been claimed by some quarters that heritage buildings have the reason there is slow growth among cities. However, there are still very many old buildings even after the new developments that have taken place in Shanghai, China. The old buildings in Shanghai is a representation of tasteful architecture.
Shanghai was much influenced by the British colonial masters and it maintained its cultural heritage for a long time. To some extent, Shanghai has planned to preserve the cultural heritage from a city development perspective. China is regarded to be one of the most significant early civilizations of the world.
However, cities like Shanghai have lost their original layouts that existed more than two centuries ago. Old buildings are scattered across the length and breadth of the city (Folli, 2014). The few buildings that have to remain do not form a significant focus on cultural heritage. Therefore, Shanghai is characterized by modern urban environment that is attributed to a city.
The history of Shanghai date to more than 1,000 years and had a rich cultural preservation. Shanghai rose from a medium-sized city to its present status.
Presently, Shanghai has seen the need to preserve the remaining few buildings that exist. The city has realized that that structures with heritage value are very vital for the preservation of culture. For the last 3 decades, Shanghai has drafted policies stipulating guidelines for the conservation of such buildings.
The history and cultural heritage issues of Shanghai are placed at a significant level. Areas with some notable cultural identity are identified and highlighted for more emphasis (Labadi & Logan, 2015). Other measures were raid which sought to protect cultural zones and specific buildings with architectural and historical value.Over the years, the preservation works have been gradually enforced as a way of restructuring Shanghai. The guidelines that were prepared highlighted issues of high heritage value that was to be preserved and protected.
The principle has been used for many years to define measures of protection control. Although Shanghai values the protection of buildings, it also advocates the preservation of the unique culture and the surrounding community.
Old buildings have special features that make them unique for discussion. In Shanghai, heritage architecture is composed of two areas. One is corporate or government buildings and the other is residential buildings.
Most corporate or government buildings borrowed their designs from the western world. That is why most western banks are housed in ancient buildings that have historical links to countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom. Also, most residential houses in Shanghai have unique architecture making them standout. One such residential premise was the deluxe house which was quite unique for many years (Kaffrey, 2013).
Other notable residential houses in Shanghai are those meant for the ordinary people. The houses for the ordinary people maximized the utilization of land. During the 1920s, Shanghai started experiencing the development of high-rise buildings that were both commercial and residential. The advancement of technology was responsible for the new developments that saw the coming of new structures.
In conclusion, various metropolises are seeking a balance between economic development and heritage building/landscape protection. Examples of cities are seeking to balance the two aspects of urban life are Toronto, Canada, and Shanghai, China. However, the approach of the two major cities is different regarding how to treat urbanization and heritage protection.
For example, Toronto values landscape protection even as it seeks to promote new urban development. The opening of KING condo as an entertainment district is one way that Toronto seeks to safeguard cultural heritage even as it fosters modern urban development. On the other hand, Shanghai values economic development in the city more than the preservation of landscape heritage.
Historically, many ancient buildings have been destroyed to pave way for modern buildings and new ways of living. For the purposes of economic growth and development, the uniqueness and characteristics of Shanghai are sacrificed. Shanghai is one of the most booming metropolises in Asia. Most of the ancient buildings are demolished to make the city modern by the construction of new ones.
© 2018 Jeff Zod