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Cities in US History 20th century






Cities in US History: 20th century

We all come across with the term globalization. The developing countries have battled with increased globalization. But be careful, the effects of globalization are very complex as well as far-reaching. No doubt there are certainly some positive effects, but one cannot overlook the negative consequences of globalization over the area like cultures in the widespread developing world. Globalization is a nothing but the concept that symbolize the contested visions of a worldwide identity. In America, their heritage, culture and individuality has been compromised by this globalization. The face of this region has been changed and not always for the better. Nevertheless, there are the issues like social as well as political implications. While prior to globalization the situation was something else, America was full of  impoverished people, but now the gap between the rich and the poor has only increased due to the effects of globalization. It creates greater inequality within regions and structurally weakened identity as well as individuality.

As per the report of  the United States Conference of Mayors on historic preservation in the year 1966., The Americans country gone through a feeling of rootlessness, during the time connected with the postwar building boom and a high mobility rate. Through the preservation movement, into federal law creates a sense of orientation for Americans (Datel 78).

The development of the complex cultural politics of homosexuality during the era is now coming into focus. The theaters and nightclubs are considered as the symbol of development, while the nightlife and the so called high culture of the city became the main tourist attraction.provibition should act as a tool for the economic and social reforms. The effect of prohibition on moral tone make it possible in the past days toward the growth of the nation, but in the case of America it is going adversely. In the city of NewYork instead of expansion prohibition results in the expansion of sexual underworld and some other crimes as well. The police, law and order are not in the position to control the mess. In the economic segment the situation is more worst than anything else. In order to make some profit the authority of the country begin permitting prostitutes and speakeasies to operate. Many roof gardens, cabarets and elegant restaurants along with the liquor sale business are replaced with some cheap cafeterias and restaurants which can earn more profit with large turnover.

Prohibition is designed to reduce the influence of immigrants in the country. However, in NewYork it results in giving effective control to the immigrants instead of putting the nightlife of the middle class people in danger. Thus the country supports the supply of illegal liquor to speakeasies and development of gangsters making the city hard to live.

People blindly seek to modernize. But they do not able to see the harmful side effect of the same on the society and on the future generation. Take the example of the Washington square. There is no place left there which is safe and secure. Everywhere there is an environment of impurity.the Hester street is crowed off with numerous depraved young girls between the age of 14 to 20 years old at best (Tuttle  57). On the canal street you will find the same situation while the Chathem square is not less in any way with full of young girls under the influence of liquor and depraved as well. The Chrystie street is full of in the immigrants of the lower east districts, the most uncultured people, their red light at the window clearly explain the business going on within the walls. On the Bleecker street you will come across with the women parading up and down in order to attract the attention through the window.

In the early few decades of the twentieth century the African Americans experienced a kind of third class citizens (Miller 18). So they diverted to eastern and south Europe. They find a tortured life in America. The landlords constantly charged them high rents for awful apartments, the also struggling for a job there as they find no vacancy everywhere.

Why have so many central and inner cities in Europe, North America and Australia has been so radically refurbish in the past three decades, converting urban decay into new elegant?

Can we expect that the process will continue in the twenty-first century also? It is in the hands of the people living there? Or who is the right person can handle the situation with endurance? Here we need to  explore and focus  the interconnections of urban policy, eviction, patterns of investment, and homelessness (Eacklor 41).

By the end of the 1980s financial boom the city turned into a darker and more dangerous place with the failure of liberal urban policy (Hobbs & Stoops 73). The city faces the issues like the public policy and the private market are constantly conspiring against working people, minorities, the poor and homeless people, who made the scenario worst enough to live with.

What key values and ideals did these movements share? Were they beneficial to urban developments?

In the second half of the 20th century, city dwellers, urban pioneers and other migrants including the urban governments and institutions sought to redevelop and re imagine urban space through environmental protection, historic preservation and gentrification. The cities and their development are the fundamental topic in human geography, and the study of cities with regard to its varied aspect is Urbanism. But for different person the social processes of Urbanism are different. So to investigate the term urban development, we should first ensure that whether we are focusing  on the physical spatial development like architecture and city planning or the social and cultural processes, or else the issue of social change, such as inequality or gentrification.

The most common issue is the population growth.  So major cities need expansion. To cater the need of the urban pioneers and other migrants, the Urban developers search for  neighboring natural territories to build required housing and recreational areas. It also includes the natural creation of residential areas in underdeveloped or undeveloped regions. However the natural expansion involves the destruction of the wilderness. Nevertheless, It is the duty of the urban planners to work closely with environmental protection agencies to make sure that the plant life and protected wildlife are not destroyed. In some extremely populated areas where natural expansion is not at all possible, then the urban planners look to renovate decaying neighborhoods, obsolete industrial districts, and other unused spaces. Sometimes urban renovation requires the compliance of city-dwellers, in that case City planners and urban developers mutually consider the needs of the population carefully while planning  renovations in urban areas.

Capital invested in the built environment and historic preservations has a number of special features, but the emphasis here is upon its long turnover period. Urban development includes both fixed capital invested in the direct production process as well as capital invested to provide the means or reproduction, such as houses, parks, schools, etc. or the means of circulation like banks, retail facilities, offices, etc. The capital invested is the effort made to built environment is immobilized for a long period.(smith ,80) Thus, this should be the way to redevelop and re imagine urban space through environmental protection. This is the dream of the urban pioneers and other migrants including the urban governments to see the city in the second half of the 20th century.

The answer to question Two:

In my personal view the key idea of  20th century urban history should be like something very innovative and environmental safeguarding. The significant thought what I believe is the sustainable development, which seeks to establish an equilibrium between human requirements and environmental preservation. While expanding and renovating urban areas, the Urban planners should consider to maintain sustainable development. Thus much care should be taken to expand the wildlife regions, and  to integrate the wilderness with the developing city.

Urban development is a critical process, which need the  joint efforts of institutions, organizations  and individuals. It needs to be regulated and funded by governments, corporations and individuals. It requires the major transformations of existing neighborhoods, transportation systems, industries, sewage and waste management systems, cultures and technologies.

The Social accountability of the city dweller also needs some commitment. That means the extent and capacity of citizens to hold the state and service providers accountable and build them responsive to requirements of citizens and beneficiaries. 


Work Cited

Datel, Robin. Preservation and a Sense of Orientation for American Cities. New York: American Geographical Society, 1985. Print.

Eacklor, Vicki. Queer America: A GLBT History of the 20th Century. California: ABC-CLIO Publishers, 2008. Print.

Hobbs, Frank, and Stoops Nicole. “Demographic Trends in the 20th Century.” Census 2000 Special Report, No. 2002. Web. 14 May 2014.           <> .

Miller, Char. Cities and Nature in the American West. Nevada: University of Nevada Press, 2010. Print.

Tuttle, Brad. How Newark became Newark: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of an American City. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009. Print.

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