A CHANGING WORLD • • The notions
Urban dynamics Notions

Definitions of key notions & vocabulary

Changing urban space
city centre/central area: CBD with its distinctive skyline + inner-city (UK), downtown (US): gentrifying low-income neighbourhoods + more affluent residential area -former colonial town in India or Kenya.
amenities: public services (healthcare, schools) ; retail & leisure facilities.
urban sprawl: moving from the high-rise high-density city centre to low-rise low-density suburbs inside the city = suburbanisation or to well-connected outside villages, towns (unplanned) & satellite cities (planned) = counterurbanisation in (rural-)urban fringe. The reverse move is called reurbanisation.
congestion: road traffic jams + overcrowded public transport ; overcrowding = overcrowded, packed space
urban decay, blight: when a previously functioning city or neighbourhood falls into disrepair showing a degraded cityscape and home to deprived households.
deprived households: isolated, segregated families/neighbourhoods suffering from deprivation, that is to say economic poverty (income, jobs), social inequality (education, health, social housing); environmental dereliction (no waste collection, abandoned industrial/commercial sites and/or wasteland)
urban rebranding: renewal: regeneration (UK), redevelopment (US), that is to say build or renovate housing, workspaces, leisure & transport facilities etc... to improve and densify the area + re-imaging: to promote a new positive image, using advertising (I love NY) (+ incentives, like lower taxes = place marketing/promotion). Note: rural rebranding can involve developing tourism, tourist attractions to attract more visitors.
gentrification: middle/high income groups moving to an attractive area, for example back to the regenerated inner-city and displacing lower income groups. When it involves the global super-rich investing in a city, it is called super-gentrification.
a polarised, fragmented city: with a divide between areas gentrified by high/middle-income groups (exclusive housing, gated communities) and deprived neighbourhoods. The opposite of an inclusive city.

Changing production space
globalisation: massive flows creating international networks and interdependence. Latest stage: digital and financial globalisation boosting high-end financial & business services.
core-periphery: the core -a central region, with good connectivity and high population density, which leads to its economic prosperity- is contrasted with the periphery -outlying regions with less connectivity, activities and population. Peripheries can be integrated or remote.
hub: a focal network node for flows (attracting inflows and producing outflows)
world < global city: transport hub with powerful high-end services & I(C)T (Information & Communication Technology) economy, world political, economic (corporate headquarters -HQ) and cultural influence, reach/outreach.
production: creating an output, a good or service, using the added-value supply chain. Includes manufacturing industry (goods) and service industry (services). Production evolves from extensive to intensive, industrial, commercial farming & agribusiness (food), from heavy to light manufacturing industry and from low to high-end service industry as the economy transitions.
economic transition: from a farming (primary sector) then to a manufacturing (secondary sector) and last to a service(tertiary sector)-driven economy. Today’s new economy is aiming at more sustainability using digital innovation (quaternary sector), like smart cities.
added-value supply chain: production process from raw material and design to final sale to the consumer. It is a worldwide process due to IDL.
international division of labour (IDL): TNCs select production locations for their strategic and/or comparative advantage. They usually keep core/command functions in home country but can relocate headquarters (HQ) elsewhere (lower taxes). They mostly outsource production worldwide abroad (taxes, skilled or low-cost workforce) but also in home country for some high-value or highly-specialized activities.
production space: an area developed for economic activity. Production space locations in a city include mall, shopping centre, business district, science park ; industrial zone, industrial park, logistics parks...
clusters: association of innovative industry & research institutions. Latest global trends high-tech cluster.
GAFAM or the big Five: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon & Microsoft, the top 5 IT corporations.
TNC, MNC: trans/multinational company/corporation operating in more than one country.

Increased mobility
rural-urban migration: inflow of rural population to urban centres where they live in low-grade, poor, degraded housing (tenements or slums/shanty towns) causing densification in the city and urban sprawl in urban fringe.
commuting: daily weekday trip home-workplace
connectivity: more communication (IT & transport) services to improve accessibility & facilitate people’s mobility (=migrations).