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Urban Growth and Decline Essay Sample

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Urban Growth and Decline Essay Sample


The geographical issue I have chosen, that is present in Australian Environments is Urban Growth and Decline. The occurrence of Urban Growth in the Pyrmont-Ultimo region of Sydney has become well known due to the significant increase in population and the restoration of houses, buildings and other structures. This matter of Urban Growth is relevant to Australia on both a local and regional scale because it contributes to Sydney’s total population. If the population of the Pyrmont-Ultimo region was to rapidly decline, it would be crucial to increase and maintain the population as it reflects onto other areas around it and Sydney as a whole, therefore affecting tourism, employment, socioeconomic status, infrastructure, education and lifestyle in these regions in a negative manner. This areas Urban Growth rate insures that the economy of the region remains intact.

If this city’s population was to dramatically deteriorate the socioeconomic status would decline and the unemployment rate would rise considerably, causing the climatic and environmental condition to worsen. For Urban Growth to obtain more beneficial impacts, people in areas of rising populations need to be aware of the effects of these conditions. Stress being placed on the ecosystem and natural environment of an area can result in inadequate infrastructure and community services, traffic congestion, deteriorating air quality, high prices of homes and buildings and the excess accumulation of waste. In the past fifteen years the population of Pyrmont-Ultimo has dramatically increased due to the redevelopment of the site. The renewal project has been completed and the once industrial heartland of the city has been transformed throughout time to become an area of business, commercial and residential life to accommodate to the needs of the changing and increasing population in today’s society.

Geographical Processes/Causes

There are many processes involved in this geographical issue with significant contribution to as how an area’s population either increases or declines. In areas of Urban Growth the following processes may occur: * Urbanisation – To cause the migration of an increasing proportion of rural people into cities. * Urban Sprawl – Continuous, unplanned, outward growth of a city with low density residential areas. * Urban Consolidation – Making use of existing resources and encouraging residential development to prevent urban sprawl. * Gentrification – To improve a neighbourhood.

* Urban Renewal – Upgrading inner-city areas through renovation and redevelopment.

When Urban Decline is present these processes may occur in the diminishing regions: * Urban Decay – Urban decay is the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude. * Rural Decline –A large fall in numbers in rural areas, often due to unemployment or resources depleting.

Urban Growth and decline, within an area, is the result of natural increase (the difference between the number of births and deaths) and net migration (the difference between the numbers of persons moving in and out of the area). Significant and/or rapid changes in the size and structure of a population, whether decline or growth, typically reflect high levels of net migration.

Interest Groups and Perspectives

When Urban Growth takes place in an area there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. Urban Growth affects not only the natural ecosystem and environment but the people who inhabit the land being redeveloped. Urban Growth can be extremely controversial and has often involved the destruction of business, demolition of historic structures, the relocation of people and the reclaim of private property for city initiated development. There are many different opinions and contrasting perspectives of people and groups involved in this issue. The key interest groups involved in the Urban Growth of the Pyrmont-Ultimo region are: * Home owners, renters and potential buyers

* Business owners
* The Department of Infrastructure
* Planning and Natural Resources (State Government)
* Urban Improvement Program NSW
* Community builders
* Sydney City Council
* Land and Property Management Authority
* Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
* Real Estate Agents
* Land and Development Officers

The contrasting views and opinions of these groups decide the positives and negatives on the issue and debate on whether it would be beneficial to the region where Urban Growth is taking place. In the Pyrmont-Ultimo area different views are expressed and change regularly depending on what is happening in the district. For home owners, renters and potential buyers, Urban Growth is considered to be either positive or negative depending on the impact on the social and economic status. These residents are aware that the more people that move into the city the more pollution, waste, traffic and demands on infrastructure that would have to be dealt with properly so that the growth does not impact the area negatively. Other views on Urban Growth are that of tradesmen, architects, real estate agents etc. These people are directly influenced by the growth of an area because that is how they make their money. The more houses to build and sell, the more money they ultimately receive.


Urban Growth and Decline in my opinion can either be good or bad depending on the size of change in an area. This process has varied in many regions of Australia. The geographical process of Urban Growth is in many aspects a positive thing because it allows the regions to have higher socioeconomic status. The employment rate rises, educational opportunities increase, crime rate lowers and a range of different activities are offered to the area. The negative aspects of urban growth are things such as inadequate infrastructure, traffic congestion, community services, high prices of homes and building.

The environmental factors associated with urban growth are the deterioration of air quality due to cars, buildings and other machinery polluting the air and the accumulation of waste caused by people not disposing of their rubbish correctly. These things are considered by most to be negative. Urban Decline also affects regions of Australia dependent on a certain number of people in an area. Low employment rates and farming to sell produce in rural areas can be significantly affected by urban decline. Things like educational options and medical care and/or treatment in most areas can decrease when there is a dramatic drop in the population. It is because of these reasons that I believe that Urban Growth and Decline can be a positive or negative issue, depending on which way you look at because where there is decline in one place there will be growth in another. Both perspectives, either for socioeconomic benefits or environmental issues, Urban Growth and Decline are inevitable natural processes.

Newspaper Article
How much is too much?
The effects of Urban Growth on today’s society.

With so many people making the change to live in urban regions, urban growth is becoming more and more prominent as a geographical issue in Australia. Community requirements are continuing to have ongoing demands with pressures on infrastructure, educational opportunities, community transport, residential living and business buildings. Other demands are largely focused on councils who are not meeting the requirements that urban growth depends of them. Excessive amounts of fumes from cars, transport, buildings and machines, not only leave the urban area in hazy smog but is contributing to the deteriorating air quality of the region. With an increasing population waste disposal becomes an issue with excess build up within an area resulting in environmental factors and hazards. Over 85% of Australia’s population live in urban regions with populations over 100,000. This 85% of the population only comprises of 1% of Australia’s total landmass. Over 50% of people living in urban areas live in capital cities, with most of them residing in Sydney and Melbourne. With these numbers it is easy to realise just how much the Urban Growth has rapidly increased during the past years. These figures contribute to


http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-16%20_u-140_t-417_c-1465/urban-growth-and-decline/nsw/geography/issues-in-australian-environments/geographical-issues:-human-elements 22nd March 2011 http://pyrmont-ultimo.blogspot.com/ Cronin 19th March 2011

http://www.shfa.nsw.gov.au/sydney-Our_places_and_projects-Our_projects-Pyrmont_Ultimo.htm 17th March 2011 http://www.shfa.nsw.gov.au/content/library/documents/FB43C542-0F79-96FE-68538841A8F3E24A.pdf 21st March 2011

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