Urban Development Theories

Modernization Thesis
Third World scholars of the 1960s and 1970s advocated that the values and institutions of the developed Western nations are replicable templates for underdeveloped nations, especially those in Asia and Africa. The thesis embraces the idea that all nations should gear towards the goal of universal development. This thought of global progress arranges the societies of the world in a scale that shows the level of development of the nations—i.e. from least to most developed. The vision of the proponents of the modernization proposal was that through international public actions the standard of living that the more affluent Western nations have achieved in three to four generations will be realized by the developing countries within one generation without paying the same magnitude of social cost. Modernization theory pioneers like Ragnar Nurske, W. Arthur Lewis, and Walter Rostow defined development as a matter of departure from the economic, social, political and cultural backwardness of the traditional societies. Using the prosperous and expanding urban-industrial sector of richer countries as template the theorists proposed the structural transformation of the societies from an underemployed rural tradition to a productive urban-industrial order. Other proponents of the idea were also positive about the modernization scheme as it was proven successful by the precedents like the state-led economic planning demonstrated by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.

Dependency Theory
Some scholars however expressed dissent over the idea of modernization. These contemporary opponents of the modernization theorists who were mainly Marxists arrived at the formulation of the dependency theory. The core idea of the dependency view is that Western capitalism cannot be entrusted with the advancement and industrialization of the poor countries. The relationship between the West and the Third World is not at all beneficial to the latter. Evidence of this obvious asymmetry is the Third World's persisting underdevelopment and reliance on the capitalist giants for capital, technology, and export product market. Other antagonists of the modernization proposal like Andre Gunder Frank went even as far as rejecting capitalism in all its forms. All scholars however agree to the fact that Third World integration to the West's market has serious consequences on the former's urban hierarchy and function.

Migration Model
Other sets of theory investigate the workings of internal migration. Two factors are observed to affect internal migration. The push dynamic encourages people to look for more promising areas of abode and work. This rural-to-urban migration cause is often related to the wish to escape poverty. The pull dynamic is generally associated with voluntary migration. People are attracted to the city's promise of better living condition and more job opportunities. Early philosophers like Aristotle even observed that people came to the city to live the good life. Rural-to-urban migration also has its adverse consequences. One of the obvious effects on the urban landscape that can be observed is over-urbanization. This phenomenon is characterized by proliferation of slums, inadequate water supply, uncontrolled land use and problematic waste collection and disposal. The challenge to Third World planners and government is to make policies that will reduce internal migration to a more manageable scale.

Urban Bias Theory
Another theory related to urban development looks into poverty. Advocates of the theory argue that the physical structure for national development favor the urban area. Developments in the urban area further attract poor groups from the countryside. As a consequence of the distorted hierarchy this group of people becomes the informal sector in cities.

The third space created serves as a link to the production and consumption spaces. And those who survive also succeed in life. thereby displacing more and more folks in the countryside." Social Darwinists believed that people.Studies show that one of the causes of continued poverty in the developing nations is the Western countries' excessive consumption of raw materials and natural resources of the former. Production space is consequently created. Creation of the consumption space is similarly done. some status quo favors business firms' higher purchasing power. The two mainstream theories—i. It is a fact that land rent is inversely related to its distance from the city center.e. This perhaps is also true with the rural-urban relationship. Consequently. like other organisms in nature. This they do even it means increase in the travel distance from the work place. the firms pay more for the central locations in exchange for profitability. compete for survival. However. According to the urban ecology theorists. Another assumption is that every individual participates in the market with the sole objective of satisfying his own tastes and preferences." On the other hand. the rich and strong—tend to occupy the better locations while the poor and weak settle themselves in disadvantageous sections of the city. This idea perhaps sounds familiar because it resonates from Charles Darwin's idea of "survival of the fittest. However. Some theorists propose the existence of another space. The administrative space subsumed under circulation or exchange space accommodates the mechanisms of the State. Because of firm preemption of more favorable locations and lower purchasing power households settle for lands in the outskirts with lower rents. Neo-classical Equilibrium Theory Among mainstream perspectives is the neo-classical equilibrium theory. urban ecology and equilibrium—displays some important concepts related to urban development. Social Darwinism Proponents of the urban ecology perspective suggest that the spatial structuring of the city is comparable to nature's process of invasion and succession. This may be due to the fact that this group of people has limited access to medical services. One the one hand. These activities have serious environmental and economic repercussions. The urban landscape is structured as a result of individuals and firms competing for particular sites. Social problems like criminality and unemployment can be attributed to the inequitable social and spatial structures of contemporary Philippine society. individuals who become rich and powerful are the "fittest. Capital is reproduced by the accumulation of profits. both views failed to emphasize the importance of State in the urban development process. People likewise engage in the process of competition and adaptation. which is somehow similar to circulation or exchange space. motivated by personal satisfaction and profitability. including land. . the advantaged—i. The theory attempts at explaining the structuring of the urban space in relation to market processes. Historical Materialism Historical materialists like Castells view urban development parallel to the logic of capitalist economy's need to reproduce capital and labor. Third World trends of development exhibit State as an initiator and leader. Increase in consumption reproduces labor accordingly.e. Social Darwinists came to believe that human progress depends on competition. The main idea behind this capitalist perspective is that the market allocates resources. Others consequences of poverty are malnutrition and higher infant mortality rates among the informal sector. This is known as the circulation or exchange space. Poverty breeds poverty. Rural economy is devastated by the exploitative workings of urban economy. Some people are driven to exploit natural resources in an unsustainable manner. The same drive is inhibited only by his capacity to pay for the goods and services he wants. lower socio-economic classes are the least fit. This is done by firms through maximum exploitation of advantageous locations that they occupy.

housing.e. which in turn cause another set of private actions. Utilities like water supply. This third component of urban development is what makes the process take the form of an expanding spiral. According to A. The main players in this component are the capital and the labor. The first important constituent in the spatial structuring is the private component. criminality. Scott. . The process is not only cyclical but also cumulative. The abstract phenomenon that is land nexus is further described by Scott. Informal business firms are commonly small-scale. There are also informal businesses perceived to be benign. Activities of the private sector are regulated by the State to ensure the general welfare of the former. Serote injected the informal sectors as important players in the built environment organization. are not urban development problems unless they affect the spatial structuring process. the State also deals with the projections of the future. An equally potent sector that is a sub-sector of household is the "squatter. etc. welfare. The national and local governments then in response reprogram their respective implicit and explicit policies. health. His premise is that the inclusion of the informal sectors paints a perhaps more realistic principle of the Philippine setting.e. occupation first. The State is divided into the national and the local government. He said that it is a complex dynamics that is composed of two phases: household-firm actions and State response. That is why the State-led urban planning as a form of intervention is justified. Capital is then siphoned through education. Their shelters in these communities are characterized by simple structures of light and temporary materials. In Harvey's circuits theory the built environment of the city is a direct effect of accumulation of capital which runs through the primary circuit. Urban land nexus is further shifted by the private-public interface. The theory's author also identified the main elements in this dynamic order. Serote's Framework Ernesto Serote tailored a framework for analyzing urban development process in the Philippines. Private actions lead to State intervention. The State develops fundamental spatial structures from which both the firms and households could benefit. Investment is then switched to secondary circuit—i. Apart from this reactionary role of the public sector." Unlike formal property development this "pirate urbanization" proceeds in the reverse order—i. J. Examples of these "sub-markets" are sari-sari stores and sidewalk vendors. etc. technology and defense. The former devolves its powers and resources to the latter. Conversely. Using Scott's outline Serote divided the firm into formal and informal sectors. however. In contrast to Scott's land nexus theory. sewerage and drainage are generally considered rudimentary. culture. Their economic actions lead to the allocation of land in respect to their private activities. Land Nexus Theory A different theory of radical fashion is the land nexus theory. The public sector is likewise subdivided by Serote. the public component also helps the urban development materialize. a theoretical space which links the decisions and actions of firms. Most of them have inadequate permits to operate. many of these businesses conceal the secret operations behind the haphazardly constructed buildings and spaces. This tertiary circulation is encouraged through expanded policies and infrastructural development program. unemployment. household and state to the spatially oriented events.Circuits Theory Another radical theory is proposed by Harvey. The local government in turn intervenes in the private economic activities in the form of town planning and urban management. planning second. The built environment consequentially feeds back operational issues to the local government and strategic issues to the national government. problems like poverty. Considering the limitations of previous theories Scott conceptualized the urban land nexus. Moreover.

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