Homogeneous Urban Environments and Attempts to Stand Out
This page introduces the idea of converging urban landscapes and how cultural landscapes in the built up environment are becoming more homogenized. It begins with a look at the theoretical urban models and how they suggest cities evolve. It then uses some fun gallery activities, such as name that city to develop what we mean by a cultural landscape. A presentation shows the rapid change and emergence of global cities and then students use a second presentation of urban collages to investigate the drivers of this change. These drivers are further developed through a number of short news articles before students explore how cities attempt to distinguish themselves through iconic signature architecture and cultural plants.
Lesson Time: 1 Hour
- To describe the trend of changing cultural landscapes in the built environment towards homogeneous urban environments
- To explain why the built up environment is becoming more homogeneous and attempts of cities to appear different
Student Textbook Links
Starter Activity_Urban Models_Processes and Places
Study the following gallery of urban models.
In the knowledge that urban models are outdated, with cities changing greatly since the times these models of cities were first developed, consider the following:
- What does each model suggest about the design and structure of cities?
- What do all the models have in common?
- In what way do you think the models still have relevance today?
Student Activity_ Identifying Cultural Landscapes in the Built Environment_ Processes and Places
What is a cultural landscape? For each of the following images:
- Name the city
- State how the photograph reflects a cultural landscape?
Student Activity_ Increasing Homogeneous Urban Environments_Places and Processes
Study the following PDF showing change in the built environment in different global cities
To what extent would you agree that cities and their cultural landscapes are becoming more homogeneous?
Student Activity_ Drivers of Homogeneous Urban Environment_Processes and Places
Study the following PDF Presentation and for each collage of homogeneous urban landscape discuss the factors you think causing it.
Student Activity_ Other Drivers of Urban Landscape Convergence_Processes and Places
1. Discuss how the following factors influence homogeneous urban landscapes:
- Globalization of economic activity
- Time-space convergence (global village)
- The growth of information technology
- Increased international migration
- Global strategies of corporate brands and the need for growth markets
- Improvements in the standard of living
2. Discuss the extent to which you agree with the argument that cultural diversity in cities is part of the homgonized cultural landscape of the built up environment.
Student Activity_ Drivers of Cultural Loss_Processes and Places
Read one of the following adapted news articles and summarise (to a partner) the processes and drivers leading to homogenized cultural landscapes.
Student Activity_ Attempts to Stand Out_ Processes and Places
In an increasing homogenized urban environment, cities make attempts to stand out. This is largely done through architecture and the use of iconic signature buildings and cultural plants such public art features and public space.
- Study the following images and name that city
- Why do cities attempt to stand out?