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From an urban sociological perspective, to outline one aspect of what a city is. Cities by their very nature are in a continual state of flux and transition, no sooner does one section of the city

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Introduction

What is a city? There are wide ranging definitions to answer this questions and will depend on the academic angle one uses. It will vary according to the town planner, economist, architect, sociologist etc, along with other view points of residents, politicians, and those working in the city. There are also many parts and functions of the city such as the inner-city, suburbia and central business district (CBD) containing residential, political, industrial and financial functions. All of which are inter related and dependent on each other for their position in the city m�l�e. To attempt to answer such a question in a brief paper would not do justice to it. However, Mumford (1937) in his paper "what is a city" described it as a "geographic plexus, an economic organisation, an institutional process, a theatre of social action, a symbol of collective unity". He also concluded that the physical organisation of the city must be subservient to social needs. Certainly, the question requires a broad spectrum of academic analysis to piece together the plethora of research and provide an adequate answer. As such this paper will only concentrate on describing one process being observed in a small section of the city, from an urban sociological perspective, to outline one aspect of what a city is. ...read more.

Middle

Additionally if they defend the status quo, they ultimately pass up the chance to revitalise their neighbourhood. Yet if they join gentrifer's to support the historic community, they aid the process that will lead to higher property values and rent, causing their own displacement. (Zukin, 1987) The displacement of the host population is typically due to higher rents and property values. Caused by the demand created by the new middle classes and the lack of supply of the desired housing. The out movers are a fairly heterogeneous group characterised, as being economically vulnerable but not always disadvantaged. However, in the 1970s gentrification affected white residents more so than other races. After 1973, regeneration in several US cities accelerated the displacement of blacks and whites in certain neighbourhoods. In some smaller cities, upper income households showed greater willingness to move into lower class areas and racial ghettos. However, race and class may still be a barrier to gentrification. For example whites and most middle class black people have not been interested in moving into areas such as Harlem and Newark despite a building stock and cost structure equivalent to other areas being gentrified. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ultimately it is the attitudes, beliefs, cultural, political, social and economic strength of the people who determine the form and functions of what a city is. The manifestation of these attributes can be seen in the process of gentrification. It is a typical example of how the city form is in continual transition, dependent on the current political, economic and social climate. Reference: Bridge, G. (1993) Working paper 109; Gentrification, Class and Residence: A reappraisal, Bristol: SAUS. Chapman, D. (1996) 'Creating Neighbourhoods and Places' E & FN Spoon Hamnet, C. (1991) 'The blind men and the elephant: the explanation of gentrification' Trans. Inst. Br. Geogr. N.S 16: 173-189 Mumford, L. (1937) 'What is A City', in LeGates, R, at al. (ed) The City Reader . London and New York: Routledge Parker, S. (2004) Urban Theory and the Urban Experience, encountering the city' Routledge Smith, N. (Sep., 1987) 'Gentrification and the Rent Gap', Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 77, No. 3, pp. 462-465 Warde, A & Savage, M (1993) 'Urban Sociology, Capitalism and Modernity' Macmillan Zukin, S. (1987) 'Gentrification: Culture and Capital in the Urban Core', Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 13, pp. 129-147 ...read more.

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