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[Primate Cities

Characteristics
• 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

Functions
• 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
needs

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
infrastructure
• (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
LDC vs DC
Traffic Congestion

LDC

Causes: High level of car ownership,
poorly developed transportation
network

Housing Problems
Causes: Sprawling of slum
settlements

Enviro

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),
pedestrainisation

Mitigation Strategies:
Provision of subsidised
housing to accommodate poor

Mitigation Strategies:
Excise tax, pedestrainisation

DC

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
asthma

Mitigation S
Display air po
air pollution a
problem

[Global Cities

Characteristics
• Economic clout
• Command and control role > High concentraion of
headquarters
• 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
development

Strategies for the
Development of Global Cities
• Software: Promotional strategies
• Hardware: Infrastructure, staging events
• Urban Renewal: Adaptive reuse of old uraban
structures
• 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
strategies
• 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