|Baltimore (upper right) and
Washington DC in 1900
(J. O’Neil-Dunne, University of Vermont
Spatial Analysis Lab)
|Baltimore and Washington, 2001
|Social-biophysical, high conceptual
resolution land cover map (HERCULES)
in metropolitan Baltimore
What Comes After Urbanization?
The City as Quality
|Night life along the river in Tianjin,
China. A variety of formal and informal
activities represent the quality of an
But they are also lived experiences and suites of interactions. These are the qualities of urban systems. Qualities include such things as institutional arrangements and social norms, reliance upon legal versus familial strictures, connection with distant resources, opportunities, and limits. Lifestyle and livelihood might be useful short hand for important features of the urban systems as quality. Of course, there are many economic and social processes that scaffold these lifestyle and livelihood as quality. Another aspect of quality is sense of place. Sense of place reflects individual and community-held cognitive maps, the landmarks that people mentally locate themselves and also physically navigate by, the feeling of support or comfort in some locations versus discomfort and fear in others.
Is There a Better Term?
Or maybe we can speak instead of “urbaning,” to represent the ongoing changes that old, new, and yet to be born cities, suburbs, and exurbs will be involved in. Urbaning would mean the condition of being urban and dynamic. Or since nobody is going to accept such a neologism, maybe we can just be careful with our conceptual, empirical, and theoretical models, and always keep urban quality, urban quantity, and urban change in clear view across scales from a neighborhood to an urban megaregion.