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WSC Special Area: Modern Metropolis bold print terms


the many qualities associated with cities and city life

Urban Revolution

the rapid growth of cities in the 20th and 21st centuries


to exchange or give (something) in exchange for (something)

agricultural development

change, growth, or improvement over a period of time in all areas relating to farming

food surplus

extra food

Louis Wirth

an urban studies professor who defined a city as an area whose population has size, density, and diversity

hunting and gathering

the process of living that involves hunting for meat, gathering for edible produce (nuts, roots...), and traveling frequently

Neolithic Revolution

the time period in which people began to settle and harvest land, to select seeds for crops, and to domesticate animals

uneven development

the increasing gap in economic conditions as a result of globalization of the economy

social evolutionary view

point of view of scholars who believe it no accident that the first towns emerged within the same 5000 years or so


the undisputed centers of political, economic, and cultural life in their regions; were self-sufficient


Greek word for city-state

Bronze Age

a period of time, around 5000 years ago, when people first mixed tin and copper to make bronze


a famous polis/network of towns in Greece; was very war-like


a more centralized polis, with surrounding "suburbs" and small towns; was Greece's largest trading center


an open public space in the city center that served as a "place of assembly" for citizens of the polis

Mayan causeways

raised stone roads that connected city centers with other plazas and with ball-courts

Industrial Revolution

the change from an agricultural society to an industrial society and from cottage industries to factory production

Joseph Bazalgette

engineer who designed an underground sewer system for London

Charles Dickens

19th-century London novelist who wrote about the wickedness of industrialization

urban sprawl

when cities have haphazardly expanded far beyond their centers in all directions (makes it harder to calculate the exact population of a city)

metropolitan area

a major population center made up of a large city and the smaller suburbs and towns that surround it


metropolitan areas in which the population exceeds 10 million people and is growing rapidly

informal economy

an economy in which economic activity that is neither taxed nor monitored by a government, nor reported


poor, run-down urban neighborhoods that lack sanitation, running water, and electricity

organic growth

the natural development of cities, not artificially; the changes are spontaneous

Napoleon III

nephew of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte; he wanted to upgrade Paris

Georges-Eugene Haussmann

the mastermind who totally overhauled the city of Paris, essentially building a new city where an existing city already stood


travel back and forth between work and home


residential areas surrounding a city


famous and influential American suburb, constructed on Long Island, just outside of New York City

William Leavitt

the original Levittown was the brainchild of this builder; he intended to call his community "Island Trees"


a horse-drawn carriage that was an ancestor of the modern taxi


(a French invention) larger horse-drawn carriages that could hold as many people as could squeeze inside and even on top of them


omnibuses with metal wheels that rode along metal tracks

Shanghai Metro

Maglev ("magnetic levitation") train that takes passengers from downtown to the airport at 431 km/hour

Hoy No Circula

program in Mexico City, meaning "One Day Without a Car", limits the amount of cars being driven each day


when the upper-class residents ("the gentry") move into urban neighborhoods and buildings that were once occupied by lower-class residents


the new standard unit of cities for the 21st century, proposed by Richard Florida; a large area of continuous urbanization


(a key aspect of urban culture), the measure of how friendly an area is to walking


(a key aspect of urban culture), when talented/creative people cluster together and ideas flow more freely

big-money culture

urban culture; where the presence of the wealthy helps explain why city rent prices are so high in desirable city areas


(a key aspect of urban culture), the ability to walk around town without anyone knowing or caring who you are


a feeling of disconnectedness and loneliness


what cities are famous for; full of feverish activity, haste, or confusion

blase attitude

what Simmel calls- the ability to ignore and not care about most of what happens around them


(a key aspect of urban culture), the ability or willingness to tolerate (allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of) something


a way in which cities differentiate themselves from suburbs, exurbs, and rural areas

Roppongi, Tokyo

neighborhood in Japan known for drawing people from all over the world

Shinjuku, Tokyo

neighborhood in Japan that is more central and spreads out for miles with late-night shops, restaurants, and clubs

Ginza, Tokyo

neighborhood in Japan that is infamous for its upscale bars

ecological footprint

the overall impact of a country on the world's natural environment

carbon emission

a measurement ecological footprints take special account of because these emissions contribute to global climate change

film noir

a fancy French term for "dark films", or films of the night

German expressionism

movement that used shadowy lighting to exaggeratively create emotional reactions

Fritz Lang

a German expressionist filmmaker who used monumental visuals and became famous for visual exaggeration


Fritz Lang's landmark 1927 film which forecast the future of the modern city

Gotham City

home of Batman and his trusty sidekick Robin


Germany's capital; at the end of World War II, it was divided into four zones, each controlled by one of the victorious Allied powers

Berlin Wall

built in 1961, a wall that East Germany constructed to cut West Berlin off from East Berlin and East Germany


Danish capital city that is very sustainable and includes a "carless downtown"


new interconnected bike paths that permit safe quick bike journeys from one end of the city to the other in Copenhagen


the process of making a city more bike-and-pedestrian friendly

Jan Gehl

Danish urban designer and architect who has become a leading advocate for the benefits of cities designed for people & bikes

rain catchment

employed on many buildings to trap rainwater on rooftops and reuse it


when a city removes as much carbon from the atmosphere as it puts into it

urban farming

brings farms into cities- wherever they fit (instead of parks with flowers/trees, there will be strawberry bushes!)


capital of Venezuala that has recently opened several urban garden-farms in the heart of the car-jammed city

Mumbai, India

one of the most densely-populated cities in the world where no space goes unused (urban farmers grow food on rooftop terraces)

Mumbai Port Trust

a governmnet building that controls Mumbai's large port and has a large urban farm opened on its terrace


a Chinese city that is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world

Republic of Singapore

an island nation and a modern city-state that housed the world's busiest trading port and is the 2nd-most densely populated country in the world

Johor Bahru

means "new jewel" in Malay; has been an industrial and manufacturing hotspot on the Malaysian peninsula for many years

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