Ritical observation of a street in Toronto city.

Urbanization, Contemporary Cities, and Urban Life

For this assignment you are asked to read the paper listed below, and take a ride along one of the following Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) routes in its entirety 512 St. Clair and observe your surroundings carefully. With these three sources you are asked to answer the question: What is a City?

*** Please use Google Earth or Google Maps (satellite images) for observing the land use along the St.Clair street and for drawing conclusions*** I know it would not be very easy, but please try your best and contact me with any questions you may have. I am just not able to do it myself due to my uneasy situation. I provided you with as much information as I could.
a? Your response must draw upon your own CRITICAL OBSERVATION of the people and places you see from the streetcar.
a? You may want to reflect on things like: the land uses you observe, the kinds of stores you see,
the languages you hear or see on signs, the people you see, the activities you witness, and the
different kinds of neighbourhoods along the route.
a? Most importantly you will need to reflect on what your observations tell you about this city and
about cities in general.
a? You are welcome to address this question in any way you like, but regardless of the approach
you take, you must present a clear answer to the question, and MUST REFER to the readings cited below to make your argument. You may use any additional sources if it is absolutely necessary.


a?!What is a City? !
a?! How are cities defined and by whom?!
a?!What do cities do and how to they grow?!
a?! How have ideas about cities changed over time?!
a?!Why does it matter how we define places?!
a?!An inhabited place of greater size, population or importance than a village or town.!
a?!Any large centre of population, often distinguished from a village or town by the diversity of economic and cultural activities within it.!

a?The traditional concept of a town or city would be a free-standing built-up area with a service core with a sufficient number and variety of shops and services, including perhaps a market, to make it recognisably urban in character. It would have administrative, commercial, educational, entertainment and other social and civic functions and, in many cases, evidence of being historically well established. A local network of roads and other means of transport would focus on the area, and it would be a place drawing people for services and employment from surrounding areas. It would often be a place known beyond its immediate vicinity.a? !
SOURCE: United Kingdom Statistics Authority, 2001

Defining a?Urbana!

a?! High population density!
a?!Anonymity,a?getting lost in the crowda!
a?! Built form (tall, dense buildings)!
a?! Mixed land uses (commercial, residential, industrial, institutional)!
a?! Public infrastructure (roads, water, sewage, airports)!
a?! Sites of production and consumption!
a?! Real estate and labour markets!
a?! Cosmopolitan identity!

Iceland: Localities of 200 or more inhabitants.!
Albania: Towns and other industrial centres of more than 400 inhabitants. !
Japan: City (shi) having 50,000 or more inhabitants with 60 per cent or more of the houses located in the main built-up areas and 60 per cent or more of the population (including their dependants) engaged in manufacturing, trade or other urban type of business. !
Canada: Places of 1000 or more inhabitants, having a population density of
400 or more per square kilometre.
Indonesia: Places with urban characteristics. !
Cambodia: Towns. !
Uruguay: Cities.!
China: Refer to the cities proper of those designated by the State Council.
SOURCE: UN Statistics Demographic Yearbook 2005, table 6!

Classic conceptions of the city!

a?! Georg Simmel (1858-1918)!
a?! Ernest Burgess (1886 -1966)!
a?! Louis Wirth (1897 -1952)!
a?! Lewis Mumford (1895 -1990)!

GEORG SIMMEL (1858-1918)!

a?The Metropolis and Mental Lifea? (1903)!

a?The deepest problems of modern life flow from the

attempt of the individual to maintain the independence

and individuality of his existence against the sovereign

powers of society, against the weight of the historical

heritage and the external culture and technique of life.a?!

a?The psychological foundation, upon which the metropolitan individuality is erected, is the intensification of emotional life due to the swift and continuous shift of external and internal stimuli. Man (sic) is a creature whose existence is dependent on differences, I.e. his mind is stimulated by the difference between the present impressions and those which have preceded.a?

a?Cities are above all the seat of the most advanced economic division of labour.a?

a?The Strangera? (1908)!

a?The stranger is thus being discussed herea¦ not as the wanderer who comes today and goes tomorrow, but rather as the person who comes today and stays tomorrow.a?!

a?Throughout the history of economics the stranger everywhere appears as the trader, or the trader as stranger.As long as economy is essentially self-sufficient, or products are exchanged within a-spatially narrow group, it needs no middleman: a trader is only required for products that
originate outside the group.a?!

a?He is not radically committed to the unique ingredients and peculiar tendencies of the group, and therefore approaches them with the specific attitude of Objectivity.But objectivity does not simply involve passivity and detachment; it is a particular structure composed of distance and
nearness, indifference and involvement.a?

ERNEST BURGESS (1886 -1966)!

a?The outstanding fact of modern society is the growth of great cities.a?

-! Born in Tilbury, Ontario !

-! Founding member of the a?Chicago Schoola of urban sociology with Robert Park (1864-1944).!

-! Studied the City of Chicago extensively, which provided the basis for his urban theory.!

-!Adopted (and defended) both quantitative and qualitative methods, but committed to a scientific approach to the city.!

-!Was enormously influential in 20th century urban theory and policy, particularly in the field of urban planning. !

-! Understood the city as organized by a?concentric ringsa around a a?central business districta of different social groups and uses.!


-! one of the earliest models developed to explain the spatial organization of urban areas. !

-! developed to explain why particular districts of the city had a concentration of crime, unemployment, and other a?social problemsa. !

-! involved the use of mapping to reveal the spatial distribution of these problems and to allow for comparison.!

-! developed the notion of a?social ecologya, which aimed to uncover a?naturala,a?organica processes. !

-! heavily critiqued in later urban research
and theory. !

LOUIS WIRTH (1897 -1952)!
-!Another member of the a?Chicago Schoola of urban sociology.!
-!Tried to develop a sociological definition of urban life which emphasized the dense social relations and interactions that constitute city living a