Week 13 – Themes

This week there were major themes of industrialization, utopian modernism and migration. During the 20th century, there were major changes in population growth, energy use, economic growth, cheap healthy food and clean accessible water. The US society saw a rapid increase in economy and society in the 20th century, due to industrialization and urbanization. Population growth was fueled by urbanization which was ultimately fueled by economic growth and that growth was fueled by industrialization of American society. The US saw new sources of energy usage, through biomass, crude wind and water, steam, high pressure steam and the internal combustion engine. These sources of energy helped fuel industrialization and economic growth in the 20th century. Cheap healthy food and clean accessible water helped lead to economic growth and urbanization; as well as was caused by the transformation of world agriculture, artificial fertilizers and ground water. After colonialism, rates of urbanization outpaced ecumenic growth and planner’s ability to plan cities that were rapidly becoming crowded due to urbanization. The patterns of urban growth reflect larger forces of the 20th century, like industrialization, decolonization, utopian modernism and migration.

From this weeks’ reading, ‘Planet of Slums’ by Mike Davis, he  stated that in 1950 there were 86 cities in the world with a population of more than 1 million, where today there are 400 and by 2015 there will be at least 550. This was a drastic increase since 1950 and I think today, there are more than 550 cities with populations of more than 1 million. This increase since 1950 was fueled by urbanization and I think this is still the case in the world today.

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