The contrast of 2 cities of one million inhabitants: Oakland and Vienna
Subject: The contrast of 2 cities of one million inhabitants: Oakland and Vienna.
So the 3 aspects that the subject is asking to present are:
-How did the cities grow over the last 25 years?
-Why have they grown? And,
-The problems these growths have created.
I added at my own initiative another aspect which is:
-Solutions for a better future.
HOW DID VIENNA AND OAKLAND GROW
So, how did Oakland and Vienna grow during the past 25 year is our first question. I’ll be comparing the difference in growth of these 2 cities.
The Second World War left great impacts on Vienna. More than 20% of the housing stock was partly or completely destroyed, almost 89’000 flats became inhabitant.
In the urban area, more than 3’000 bombs destroyed almost all the city’s infrastructure. The population of Vienna fell approximately by 15% and was of 1’322’000. This was caused by the emigration of more than 1000’000 Jews to the west in order to escape from the Nazi’s.
At the beginning the Viennese just wanted to solve the basic problems and get the city back to some degree of working order. Vienna managed very well the tasks of providing food, sheltering, rebuilding the city and repairing transportation because it was a very well organized city.
I think that everybody knows that Vienna is famous for it‘s ancient and fascinating architecture. Well I can tell you that even after the destruction of some historic areas, the Viennese still managed to keep some monuments. I would conclude that this is the result of hard work and good organization.
During the 1980’s and the 1990’s the city’s population increased with the ending of communist regimes. People immigrated to Vienna and the population reached more than 1’600’000.
So this is how Vienna grew:
By renovating and building new things smartly and well organized. And now Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with its museums, theaters, famous monuments, music, the river Danube, the artificial island etc…
It joined the European Union in 1995 and it is now the 3rd UN city and an important international meeting place and conference center. It has its own UNO-city across the Danube with all the international offices and agencies.
World War 2 transformed Oakland. As we know, the US was in war with Japan and the two countries are separated by the Pacific. The city boomed because it was the largest shipbuilding center, the largest supply and distribution point on the West Coast’s. They operated 24 hours a day and a lot of workers came from all across the country. To give you an idea, the flood of workers was so huge that to build a “liberty ship” it took them only three weeks.
This is a preview of the whole essay
The War’s end brought Oakland’s boom to a halt. Oakland lost nearly 10’000 jobs and 23’000 residents between 1950 and 1970. There were race riots based on unemployment and racial tension that the feds tried to stop by rolling in $23 million into job programs. It wasn’t really successful and over all 140 non-military federal programs were spending $100 million a year by 1967, close to twice the city’s own budget. The city became a laboratory for government poverty fighting but the war on poverty didn’t end Oakland’s poverty.
While Washington poured anti-poverty money into Oakland, the Black Panthers were on the rise in 1966. The Panthers glorified black criminality; they preached the murder of police officers and practiced what they preached. Though there power calmed down a year after, the group had been the key to make Oakland a black-controlled Democratic town.
Oakland has made some sensible efforts to fight its problems in the last decade, especially with its port initiative. Oakland’s port was the first on the West Coast to construct containerized shipping. It was in competition with San Francisco. Now it is upgrading its facilities to best Los Angeles’s and Portland’s booming harbors.
In the 1980’s Oakland was advantaged by San Francisco’s expensive land. For the last several years, developers have been scouting out Oakland, attracted by its cheap land.
In the 1990’s Oakland inexpensive was benefiting of the high technology networks that had been installed. Oakland is viewed as a great place to locate a business. For companies wanting a Bay Area presence, Oakland offers great access to the San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Central Valley markets.
Today the Oakland City Council and Mayor strongly support a comprehensive, dependable and consistent process for converting unproductive properties into flourishing industrial, commercial and residential centers.
This process encourages in-fill development over suburban sprawl, creating jobs, interesting neighborhoods and preserving open space for future generations.
In 2003 Oakland was named the 6th most popular city in the US to live in.
WHY DID OAKLAND AND VIENNA GROW
We saw in our lessons that generally, a city grows when urbanization increases. Urbanization occurs when people move from rural areas to urban areas in order to have better standards of living, better jobs, better health care and education etc… Another reason why urbanization occurs could be when there is a decrease in death rates while birth rates remain high.
In the case of Vienna, urbanization increased because of the high emigration in the 80’s and 90’s. People at that time moved to big capital cities in order to have better social life, greater varieties of services and essentially, to have a better paid jobs, education and health care.
Secondly, it is thanks to the brilliant politicians and reconstructions of the city.
Thirdly, the citizens of Vienna were always in accord with how cities were organized. In other words, they encouraged the city to grow, they were very supportive.
And at last, thanks to the great organization of the city, Vienna avoided financial crises, social unrest and urban decay which facilitated the city to grow.
Coming back to Oakland, during World War 2 Oakland boomed and was an essential city because of its port. The port voluntarily turned over to the Armed Forces. The Oakland army Based, the Navel supply Base and the shipbuilding industries were developed.
But in 1950, when the war had finished Oakland experienced a great decline due to many changes. There are 3 main reasons why the city declined:
-First, a lot of the companies that moved in Oakland during the war were military industries. Companies such as GE and GM (general electric and general motors) moved in as part of the booming military industries. When the war finished all these companies moved out.
-Secondly, the population decreased because of the changes in local economy migration to suburban communities. There was no more jobs in the city so foreigners were not interested in coming in anymore. Basically Oakland became very poor.
-Thirdly, the black race was discriminated at that time and they were the first to be affected by the decline and because of this riots accrued. Laws were passed for equality.
- In the mid 70’s the racial problems was solved so the political and economical situation stabilized and there was a calmer climate. The city felt safer and secure which was a reason for companies and people to come back to Oakland.
- Then came along the time of smart planning, in-fill planning. This consisted in recycling what was there, for example old industries, and transforming them into offices or center. This offered employment attracting people.
WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES OF VIENNA’S AND OAKLAND’S ROWTH
Now we move on to the question of the problems that the growths of Vienna and Oakland have caused.
The growth of Vienna didn’t cause many problems. It only caused few problems that normally every single growing city has to endure:
1) The traffic, especially the growth of private motorized traffic which increased pollution.
2) When the city expands, a number of road building and house building involve the demolition of historical buildings, trees along boulevards etc…
3) When the city expands, it takes land on rural areas to build new houses. It is a disadvantage for the farmers and the economy of the city because if you think well less there is land, less there is goods produced.
Oakland though has experience a very bad situation during a period of about 20 years, from 1950 to 1970.
1) First of all, the lack of jobs, because of the departure of so many companies was a big problem that people to leave without attracting any one in.
2) Secondly, the blacks being discriminated didn’t help. It caused riots and crimes against its own population and against the police. This affected the safeness of the city and it security.
3) Thirdly, having a poor city is never a good thing. The health is a problem in cities like this and the city becomes slum and dirty because of the garbage dumps, poor sanitation and the concentrated pollution.
-But in the period were the political and economical situation started to get better, other sorts of problem accrued such as the biggest actual problem, urbanization, creating:
1) Rundown neighborhood, traffic, noise, overcrowded streets, causing problems with wastes disposal, health and pollution.
2) There are other urban problems violence, crime, drugs, and over-consumption of energy and other resources.
These problems lie in the management and the development of the cities and with a good planning these problems are not unsolvable.
Many solutions have been found since then:
-The Bart system is rated n°1 transit system in the US,
-Land prices rose because of the high technology companies and the overspill of San Francisco
-The poorness has been push out from Oakland and certain neighborhoods become prosperous.
SOLUTIONS FOR A BETTER FUTUR CITY
I have identified 10 important characteristics of a healthy city. Generally, for a city to be healthy, it needs to:
1) Have fixed transit, above and below ground, buses and trams
2) Mix everybody; make the city international to avoid discrimination
3) Do in-fill plannings
4) Have living spaces everywhere, especially near towns
5) Have large or small public squares at all intersections
6) Lots of people coming and going (immigrants, people moving in from other places, and people moving out to other cities).
7) Street trees and roof top gardens for pleasure, and to ameliorate extreme temperatures and reduce need for HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning).
8) Light rail or a rapid train connection to the airport.
9) Working farms adjacent to or within city limits.
10) Shops that open onto the sidewalk, onto parking lots. All automobile parking should be in underground or mid–block, not between street and chops.
So Vienna, in the year 2000, made a Strategy Plan to improve the city. This project consists of providing a manageable and practicable future and the long term quality of urban life.
The objectives are:
1) Furthering the interlinkage of home, workplace and shopping facilities.
2) Reduce traffic: increase the share of public transport from 35% - 37%, reduce the private motorized car use from 35% - 37%. They expect that this will lead to a decrease in CO2- emission of up to 50%, encourage people to use bicycle, walking and public transport.
3) Preservation of areas of natural landscape in a green belt
4) Preservation of historic monuments but at the source time improving the architecture and urban development. By this, Vienna can meet modern requirements.
5) Involving the population to the strategy plan.
Oakland though should be concentrating its attention on 3 sorts of planning:
1) Planning its aesthetics:
- Being careful with dutter (disorder) in the environment, such as bollards (sign posts), signs, hoardings (temporary fences), power lines, and post lights.
- Tensions between suburban growth, increased housing density and planned new settlements is one of the strong debates of urban designers.
- There are also unending debates about the benefits of land uses, versus the benefits of distinguishing geographic zones where different uses predominate.
Basically what has to be planned is “homes” and “sense of place”. Local identity, respect for nature, artistic and historic heritage should be preserved
2) Planning safety:
- Some planning methods might help an elite control ordinary citizens in order to concentrate criminals and poorer classes away from the elegant town.
- Now planners are trying to maximize the accessibility of areas to people with different abilities like handicap, to anticipate criminal behavior.
3) Planning transportation:
- Good quality transport is often followed by development.
- Good planning attempts to place higher densities of jobs or residents near higher volume transportation.
- Providing buses and train can reduce a bit the jams of automobiles.
- There have been ideas of creating a personal rapid transit system, that way people wouldn’t use their automobiles as often.
We can conclude that Vienna was a very well organized city and it still continues to be so. Oakland on the other hand was a badly organized city but now, it is getting planned and has future plannings in order to catch up with other cities.