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[Primate Cities

• Accommodates a disproportionately large number of a
country's population (at least 2X as populous as the next
biggest city)
• Caused by unequal/uneven development

• Attract rural-urban migration/foreigners
• Encourage foreign direct investment (FDI)
• Rest of country is dependent on primate cities for
cultural, economic, political and major transportation

Reasons for Primacy
• Colonialism
• Colonial masters developed a certain area of country to
take advantage of the area's natural
resources/geographical location > Unequal/uneven
development > Formation of growth pole
• Attract inter-regional migration
• Agglomeration economies occur
• Concentration of political institutes, education,
healthcare transport and telecommunications
• (Eg. Bangkok, has 79% of Thailand's pharmacists, 45% of
all doctors, 80% of country's telephones and 72%
registered passenger cars)
• Nationalism
• Government injects a disproportionately large amount of
resources in a single area
• Formation of growth pole
• Attract rural-urban migration
• Results in high concentration of amenities and
infrastructure found in primate city
• (Eg. Paris historically acted as the dominant place for
French culture and political life)

Consequences of Primacy
Traffic Congestion


Causes: High level of car ownership,
poorly developed transportation

Housing Problems
Causes: Sprawling of slum


Causes: Lack

Effects: Spre
Effects: Disrupt image of city

Effects: Congestion

Causes: High level of car ownership,
occupancy rate of cars low

Mitigation Strategies:
Eviction of slum dwellers out
of city, relocation projects,
site and service schemes
Causes: Lack of adequate
affordable housing

Effects: Congestion

Effects: Homeless people

Mitigation Strategies:
Encourage carpooling, improving
public transport, provide alt. modes
of transport (eg. Bikes),

Mitigation Strategies:
Provision of subsidised
housing to accommodate poor

Mitigation Strategies:
Excise tax, pedestrainisation


Points to note:
Problems in LDCs are more fundamental (Eg. water sanitation)
DCs have more capital, technology, expertise and infrastructure to mitigate
problems arising from primacy
Greater national economic disparity in LDCs > Greater burden on primate city
(i.e. rich-poor gap is high)
Greater social & environmental awareness in DCs
Impact of colonial history on LDCs

Mitigation S
NGOs help to
clean dirty wa

Causes: Air p

Effects: Eme

Mitigation S
Display air po
air pollution a

[Global Cities

• Economic clout
• Command and control role > High concentraion of
• Well-developed & international transportation routes
• Advanced ICT infrastructure
• International familiarity (i.e. strong image through mega
projects, iconic infrastructure, megaevents)
• Aim of global city: To increase recognition on a global
stage by reinventing and reimaging itself to maintain its
global city status, and also to experience global
competitiveness, economic growth and social

Strategies for the
Development of Global Cities
• Software: Promotional strategies
• Hardware: Infrastructure, staging events
• Urban Renewal: Adaptive reuse of old uraban
• Urban Redevelopment: Complete demolition of old
houses and replacing them
• Reimaging: Deliberate representation and rerepresentation of a city's image to gain economic, social
and political capital (by the use of software and hardware
• Reimagineering: Bringing to life imagined spaces and
experiences into a new type of lived reality for people to
live in

Case Study:
London City
Reimaging and reimagineering of London Docklands > employed corporate branding to
encourage FDI

Created new open spaces and transformed old dockland builings to shopping outlets
Gentrification of old warehouses to new homes
Held Olympics tp give a boost to tourism industry > Improve image of London