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Urban Culture To The Nature


The practice of urbanism has evolved throughout the history parallel to the relevant economical activities. The city, by definition is a permanent human settlement, and the activities of humans have shaped the planning and the construction of these settlements throughout different eras. If these eras are to be categorised under three titles, the leading economic activity would be providing the names. The agricultural era, the industrial and the informational.

Our urban civilisation of today, seems to have alienated us from the nature. We have to make journeys inside our urban environment in order to access pieces of natural land, that are enclosed with fences in our concrete habitat. For long years, the conviction was that the urban society does not make part of the natural processes. The only solution for the individual to “turn back to his roots” was to leave his urban environment to discover the “wilderness” of the unspoiled land. Today’s ideological shift on understanding man’s presence in nature, helped designers to develop new solutions on how to design the post industrial city. Man, therefore his activities, are indeed part of the natural processes. Therefore, how do we integrate the complex living systems of the ecology into our contemporary urban culture?

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Formation of urban oasis and its repercussions

Formation of Urban Oasis and its repercussions

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Istanbul… An Emerging “Global City”

Towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul was like a colonial capital. City services were owned by foreign private companies. Factories for production was also belong to foreign capital. With the local train network, the city was expanding towards its periphery. In 1923, the Ottoman Empire period ended in 1923 with the foundation of Turkish Republic and this led all foreign capital to leave the country.

There was a global economic crisis in 1929 as a consequence Wall Street Crash. It affected newly founded Turkish Republic as it did rest of the world. Private companies and capitals were weak in power. The industrial development was held by the state. State owned factories were built in throughout Turkey and railroad network to connect them were expanded. Despite the limited resources of the period, the transportation network of Istanbul was growing also, until they asked a French urban planner called Henry Prost to make a new urban plan for Istanbul. Henry Prost planned to turn pedestrian oriented city into a more car oriented one. The States which just got out from the WW2 was also supporting this urban plan with financial aid. Eventually all of the tram network were replaced by motorways. During this transformation many of the historic buildings-some of them even dating back from Byzantine times-were wiped off from the world. Industrialisation had a huge impact on working class. The mechanisation of agriculture throughout the country left the farmers without work. In the meantime, Istanbul was packed with private factories. People who used to be farmers couldn’t function in this set up. So they became the cheep labor for these factories. There was a silent agreement between social classes. Neither the state nor the bosses of factories provided housing for the labourers. Instead of this, they were letting the workers to invade empty lots and build their home there illegally. In 1973 the first bridge on the Bosphorus which connects the Asian and European side was opened. This led illegal settlements to flourish more than ever. Motorway traffic went up 6 times in 15 years.

In the 70s, Turkish government adapted Latin American Economic Model, in other words a model called Neoliberalism. Public services were privatised, all of the savings and gains were sold to private investors. Municipality budgets were increased drastically. The state authorised a special law for the owners of the illegal houses. If the shanties were converted into apartments, the state would accept them as legal. This law shift the existing classes. Lower class labourers became the middle class, who own the apartments for the newly coming immigrants from the eastern Turkey. In 1988 second bridge on Bosphorus was opened. This reinforced even more the motorisation of the city. This time not only illegal houses were emerging but also gated communities and shopping malls for the rich were invading the last forest areas of the city.

1990s for Istanbul was about competing “global cities”. Neoliberalism model widened the income gap between the rich and the poor. The industry moved to the outskirts of the city to explore cheap labor there. Thus, turning the city into a consumer heaven, inhabited by only service sector workers. In the beginning of 2000s Istanbul was officially being marketed to foreign and local investors. The state’s housing administration and the municipalities were provided with special laws which enabled them to sell the abandoned industrial areas, public schools, hospitals and lower class labourer neighbourhoods to domestic and foreign capital owners. The workers were pushed out to isolated islands of poverty in the periphery of the city and they became the service workers of the new “global city”.

With the 3rd bridge on the Bosphorus which is currently under construction and other future bridges, Istanbul will turn into an ever expanding city without any limits, lacking of water reservoirs, forests or any public common spaces.

Istanbul’s story is not a unique one. In China Hangzhou, Portugal-Lisbon citizens had to suffer from the same causes. They’re all fast growing cities which want to be a “global city”. Large amount of shopping malls, international banks, large investments, concentrated wealth are all futures which are common for these cities. However these so called “developments” are happening all for a cost. New forces of investments are pushing away the very own people who built the city centre, from the city centre to periphery. People are expulsed with force from towns they lived for hundreds of years. Can you plan a “global city” ? Can a “global city” be planned separate from all of the country ? There you find the starting point of all the problems. Only Istanbul is invested, only Istanbul is developed.

Ayazma is a small neighbourhood in Istanbul, mostly a shantytown. Even though it is small, it is a living example of global neoliberal policies. With Ayazma example, we see how cities become a place for economic speculations, how land become something with material value. This area without any infrastructure and state services at the periphery of the city, turned valuable after the olympic stadium was built. Before it was too far from site, neglected. Suddenly it became valuable and the inhabitants are forced to migrate. The area is planned to be turned into luxurious gated community housing area. The whole transformation of the area is based on architectural drawings that claim to make things “better”. However it is not enough. All human beings have right to shelter, although it is not clear in our constitution. So as a result, politicians and capital owners can manipulate this gap in the system however they want, avoiding people’s right to access healthy environment, education, transportation and privacy. Many of the children of the victims of urban renewal projects can no longer attend to school because of the demolitions. They don’t have anywhere to call home or any money, so children work to bring more money to their family. The problem is basic. It lies on the simple economic actions of the state. All of the production, industry is concentrated in metropolitan city of Istanbul. The factories and the large farms opened in the first decades of republic throughout the country are now abandoned. There are so many fertile lands to grow sugar, tobacco, sunflower etc which now stay idle. If there were jobs in Anatolia, if there were factories there, why would people leave their hometown behind and come to Istanbul with maximum wage of 200 Euros ?

Global actors look for a place to invest, they look for a land; because they can do things easier in Turkey than they do in their countries because of their democratic processes. This enables them to make mega investments, drastic construction executions. Can you build a hotel in Central Park ? They did in Istanbul. A city needs to breath. A city needs rain water to meet with soil. We think in Turkey, building underground parking under green parks is a sign of high civilisation level. We think bulldozing natural greenery and erecting huge concrete blocks instead and putting plants on their balconies is a sign of advancement. We build houses in natural forest areas and making artificial lakes from the underground water. We live in concrete Faraday cages. Sooner to later this city will eat up its inhabitants.

I would like to talk about more on the social housing model which our state adopted. Since the WW2, the model of capitalistic accumulation was based on mass production and mass consumption. This growth engine functioned for several decades and lead to European welfare states. In order to limit the costs of labor force and to provide housing for them, “mass housing construction” was invented. This mass housing was only composed of residential areas. They were all isolated and separate from other aspects of life such as leisure, consumption etc. This model was criticised in Europe in 70s. Because it led to inhumane dwelling conditions without any social interaction space provided. That’s why we cannot solve the shantytown issues like the one in Ayazma-Istanbul, by rapidly constructed, poor quality buildings. Because shantytowns are not an urban issue but rather a social problem. However this is what is proposed or more likely imposed on eviction victims. They are expulsed because of the urban renewal projects and forced to live in basic tenement buildings which are concentrated concrete blocks, far from their jobs (which they earn money just enough to live day by day), isolated and without any social interaction space. We know from the history of the cities, this model failed a long time ago. Today these kinds of social housings are bombed down. Undoubtedly within 20 years these social housings built in Istanbul will generate serious problems and they are going to be bombed down as well for a high economic and social price. This model divides Istanbul based on economical classes. They take the poor from the city centre under the act of “urban renewal projects”, rich people settle to city centre and the poor is forced to live in the outskirts of the city, far from site. So the policies divides the rich and the poor further apart not only socially but also physically. Now it is almost impossible in Istanbul to see different economic/social classes to interact in public sphere. The state’s acts divided people as “us” and “them”. People now are afraid of their maids. This is risky in terms of peace in the city and coexistence of different cultures and classes.  City is also for the poor. City must provide habitation for all.

Now what is left ? The ecological, population and economic levels have been surpassed. Where will this lead us ? Obviously to chaos… This system clearly is not working. The cost for the humanity is too much. The rich’s income level is getting higher with this system and this is good.  But more important is the distribution of that income level. Because in fact level of advancement is measured by the latter concept. However it seems that the state won’t change this model in near future. So the citizens have to protect their own living spaces. We create our own cities. But in turn these spaces we create also create us. So we have to build cities what we aspire to be as humans.

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Снимок экрана 2014-12-19 в 17.14.06


There are two Moscows, one which is official and the other, in the shadows and hidden from view. One could argue that Moscow is governed with acute awareness of the reality of what the city actually is; recognising the the official Moscow, whilst ignoring and missing out on the opportunity of taking account of the ‘other’ Moscow.


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Apparently, Moscow is expanding. On June 17, 2011 Dmitry Medvedev proposed to expand Moscow’s borders and to create a new Moscow federal district (Al-Jazerra 2011). Shortly after, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced that the city’s territory would be expanded by more than two
times (by 144,000 hectares or 356,000 acres). In August 2011, a draft proposal for Moscow’s expanded borders was released, and in January of
2012 the contestants announced of an international competition to propose
a development concept for the new federal district (Al Jazerra 2011). This decision – in essence, an attempt to find a tabula rasa to build a ‘new city’ – is declared publically to be aimed at easing the dependency on the core of central Moscow (relieving the center of the city) by creating new financial and moving governmental functions in the new territory as incentives for the development of workplaces.

Although in the past Moscow has expanded to its infrastructural boundaries radially (firstly from the Boulevard Ring to MKAD ring road in 1961), the new administrative region of Moscow city will not expand to the next ring road (the CKAD; currently under construction); nor have the authorities proposed to merge Moscow City with Moscow Region. Instead,new boundaries were drawn to new borders to the southwest of the existing Moscow City territory. According to the Moscow City Government website, the southern and southwestern outskirts were chosen in part because they comprise “a relatively weakly urbanised sector of the Moscow region” (Moscow City Government 2011), counting some 250,000 people. Essentially, the redrawn borders were

chosen to include the least amount of people into Moscow Federal District,
or in other words, to exclude the most amounts of people from gaining the benefits of which a Moscow Citizen currently receives. The borders were later revealed to be drawn by the Ministry of Finance; with the aim that the tax- revenues receied from the addition of the new territory would be lower than that which would have to be paid out to the “new Muscovites” which would
be captured by the expansion. In making a decision of exclusion, the redrawn territorial borders do take into account the economic contribution to Moscow of those who either currently reside outside and commute into the city or those who are not yet registered as official residents of Moscow City. The expanded territory is to be precisely in the area of the Oblast which makes the least contribution to the problems which an expansion could actually relieve.

In the press-conference to announce the expansion, Mayor Sobyanin proclaimed proudly that “We are not only going to keep the present social policy standards in the capital, but improve them annually, and this includes

the handicapped. This is because one of our basic programs is the provision of social support to Muscovites” (Adamova 2011). Consequently in January 2012, the Department of Social Security of Moscow City Government announced that “from July 1 2012, social benefit recipients residing in areas that are to become part of Greater Moscow will be entitled to all benefits currently paid in Moscow City”. The new territory would pick

up an additional 250,000 extra social benefit recipients which, based on an average social benefit spendings of $1600 USD per month (as opposed to $800 USD in Moscow Region), would add approximately $400m USD in additional social expenditure per year (Moscow City Government 2012). However, this spending is offset by the project $1bn tax revenue to be captured when the region is incorporated into Moscow City. Thus, the Moscow budget receives a windfall surplus revenue of $600m

Whilst if Moscow City were to be expanded to merge with the territory of the CKAD, then an extra $4bn in taxation revenue will be captured. However, by the same calculations, an extra 5m Muscovites have to be eligble for the same social spending, increasing spending to $8bn USD. This leaves a budget deficit of an extra $4bn in extra spending for the CKAD expansion; a significant cost over the SW zone expansion. Furthermore, due to an aging population, calculations by Renaissance Capital project that unless the retirement age is raised, spending on pensions will need to expand by a third in real terms over 2011- 2030 (Tong 2011). As social support is currently the second largest expenditure (after transport infrastructure) in Moscow’s budget, the decision to the draw new borders borders in the SW zone to include as little extra persons as possible, appears to be driven, at least in part, to mitigate the added burden of an increased social security expenditure.

The decision to expand Moscow to a new territorial zone which deliberately excludes the most amount of additional citizens implies a short-term decision making goal within the Moscow authorities to limit the amount of social expenditure in order

to cut-costs. However, by limiting the expansion zone, it is also limiting its responsibility and scope to deal with effectively the full extents of economic contribution to Moscow, again adding to the Moscow’s inherent inequality.


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The following section does not aim to provide an exhaustive scientific empirical study of the complete size of the informal economy in Moscow. Rather, by selecting various informal activities which are well known to Muscovites
and showing their size, the aim is to reveal their importance to how the city functions.

Gypsy Taxi

There are approximately 50,000 taxis in Moscow, of which 40,000 are not licensed (Kostina 2011). Average monthly revenues per car range from $1000 – $3000 p.m. (from interviews).

Shuttle Trading
Shuttle trading accounts for aprox. 1/4 of Moscow’s imports of goods (Yakovlev 2006). Total imports of goods 2011 $115.5bn. Shuttle traders report revenues of ~30% of value of imported goods.


There are 50 semi-regulated markets which contribute an estimated 18% of Moscow annual retail turnover (Cherkizon 2009).

Sex Work

There are aproximately 200,000 sex workers in Moscow, ranging from high- class escort services to street-workers. Each earn around $2000 per month (some more and some less) (Sky 2011).

Bootleg Alcohol

Illegally produced alcohol acconts for aprox. 60% of total sales. Average alcohol consumption per person per year 18lt. Minimum price standards at $3/lt. (Time 2009)


July 2009, Federal Gov. bans all casinos across Russia (except 4 provinces). Reports that up to 80% all gambling has moved underground. 2008 the legal gambing industry was $1.8m. (Ria Novosti 2011)

Waste Disposal

Moscow produces 39m tonnes of waste per year of which only 50% is properly accounted for (Wikileaks 2008). The rest is dumped in illegal landfills. The aproximate ‘cost’ for illegal dumping is $200 per tonne

Illegal Construction

Whilst likely to be understated, 431,200sqm of illegal construction activity was reported in 2011 with an average cost of (housing) construction at $2000 psm (Rosstat 2011).


S.242[2] Russian criminal code: “prohibiting sale and distribution of pornographic materials.” Estimates are that the Moscow porn industry generates $100m in revenues per month (Der Spigel 2011).

llegal Billboards

80% of all outdoor advertising is illegally placed. 2011 total outdoor advertising value, $380m (Moscow News 2011).

Informal Microfinance

UNDP estimates external informal finance equivalent to 1.8% of Moscow GDP ($495bn). (UNDP 2011) 


There are aproximately 20,000 kiosks in Moscow, of which only 20% have the proper operating licences. The average annual turnover is aproximately $330,000 depending on location. (Moscow News 2011)

Whilst the above sectors are not a fully scientific study of the informal economy in Moscow, they all represent conservative estimates of what each sector could be. Taken as an aggregate, they represent a $47bn industry sector, which would be the largest non-resource based company in Russia. Whilst it is obvious that these sectors are already productive, the operators who are in the informal sphere are caught in a trap that places boundaries on how a business can develop. Although informal systems provide a means for enterprise survival, they do not support the growth of enterprises in a legitimate way and by remaining informal they inherantly remove capital from the formal economy impeeding the ability of the state to provide proper services to its citizens.

While this paper attempts to show that informal economy in Moscow is already a very large and productive informal sector, it should not be mistaken for an argument for further unbridled liberalization. Working in the informal economy means that the operators are working outside a proper regulatory legal frame work, and hence are unable to fix and record assets in order
for entrepreneurs to access credit to grow their businesses. The majority of operators in the informal economy cannot make the market work to their advantage because they are fragmented in non–specialized groups where “labor cannot be divided efficiently and where they lack the means to define, benefit from or enforce economic rights” (De Soto 2000). In Moscow’s “extralegal world,” only the elite are able to create wealth, thereby generating frustration among those outside the “system” (Bain 2007).

Despite liberal economic theory that envisions the market as eliminating
biases in the allocation of resources, due to the hasty liberalisation process; discriminatory extra market forces have operated, restricting access to resources. For those working outside of the law, informal, or extralegal assets become dead capital when cannot be used effectively for economic transactions, guarantees, contributions or compensations (De Soto 2000). For operators
in the informal economy, a lack of proper accounting processes, transactional recording, legal working conditions create a climate where informal operators are unable to access credit or external capital in order to grow their businesses (De Soto 2000). The effects of instability in the Russian economy has increased the risk to banks and financial institutions of loaning money; substantial collateral is demanded in order to receive credit and has resulted in significant interest rates charged, ranging from 20-25% p.a from Nikoil bank and the National Development Bank (Bain 2007). Correspondingly, Among newly established firms, only one in ten manages to get bank loans, and five times as many borrow from private sources. one in ten start-ups to get bank loans, and

five times as many borrow from private sources (Polishchuk 2002)

Significantly however, demands of a proper registration and residency permit are an impediment to many merchants in the informal

economy – hence, only one third of Muscovites (who work in the non-government sector) have a bank account (Pravda 2004).

Consequently, we see the rise of many micro- finance options, of which flyers litter many metro station entrances. These services are provided by individuals who have the necessary requirements to borrow money from a legitimate bank, after which the money is subsequently lent to the final borrower. A call to a micro-lender asking for
a $2000 loan revealed that the terms were that $4000 would have to be paid-back after 6 months.

Viable credit is not available to entrepreneurs who operate in the shadow economy, consequently they will always be excluded from opportunities to develop a fully legitimate enterprise (De Soto 2000).


As a closer examination into the micro-economy of firms in the informal sector, the Russian phenomenon of shuttle trade (or челноки) was closer examined. Aproxmately 50% of the price of a product sold in a market is due to bribes to circumvent inoperable laws.

the cost of buying goods, includes the following items: payment for the “shop-tour”, cost of transportation of goods, rental for a retail outlet, wages paid to a hired salesperson include travel expenses and cargo agents.

Travel Expense. Shuttle traders typically pay a fixed cost for a ‘shuttle tour,’ who arranges the trip. Usually a fixed ammount aproximately $300-$400 for a single 3-4 day trip (Yakovlev 2006). Naturally, depending on starting and end point.

Cargo Agents. Though in mid-90s there still remained traders who carried their cargo in-flight, today, typically the mechandise is offloaded to cargo ‘agents’ who pay-off custom’s officials to underreport cargo and thus avoid excess customs-tariffs. Typically 20% of worth. (Yakovlev 2006)

Whilst taxes are not paid (or the less than full ammount paid when underdeclaring goods),
a significant ammount of the product costs is associated with circumventing the law (shown in red). At the mark ets, krysha is paid to ensure that local police do not hassle traders, and for taxation officials not to investigate. Cargo agents pay customs officials to under-declare the goods imported. (Yakovlev 2006).

In 2006, customs were further restricted that only $2000 worth of goods were allowed to be brought in to discourage shuttle trade. Whilst this had the effect of slightly reducing the amount of shuttle trade, Yakolev (2003) claims that this merely increased the payments made to custom’s officials in under-reporting.

Coinciding with the liberalisation of the Russian economy, the rise of small- scale wholesale open-air markets was closely related to the phenomenon of “shuttle” imports of consumer goods, which emerged on a massive scale in Russia in the early and mid-1990s. Shuttle trade is the phenomenon of traders who shuttle back and forth between major port cities (outside of Russia) buying goods from cheap sources and selling them back in Russia.

Whilst its peak was in the mid-90s, it still happens to an extent. According to some estimations, up to 10 million Russians were engaged in shuttle business at all its stages (Yakovlev 2006). It is estimated that the size of shuttle trading is equivalent to 1/3 of Russian imports (IMF 2007).

In the 90s, permission to import goods for up to $5000 duty-free was given to physical persons and made the legal base for this success.

Whilst shuttle trade were blamed practices leading to taxation payments and customs duties not reaching state finances, due to the inherantly long supply chain, it is also recognised for the economic and social benefits which it provides to a number of participants. The practice of shuttle trading not just provides economic benefits to the traders themselves but also the organisation of shop tours, transportation, storage and sale of goods at wholesale markets and in retail trade.

While on a field trip to Izmaylovo market and The All-Russia Exhibition Centre, several of the traders confirmed that their goods were supplied by shuttle traders, with the goods many Moscow originating from a key transit point from Laleli market in Turkey. The reason that Laleli market appears to have gained prominence is due to two factors; a relatively easy visa-on-arrival availiable to Russian citizens, and its proximity to Moscow. While, traders were not more forthcoming or knowledgeable, this initial observation is backed by

a report (Yakolev 2003), which follows money flow through various supply chains (illustration below).

Traditional structure of business expenditures in the “shuttle business”, aside of

the cost of buying goods, includes the following items: payment for the “shop-tour”, cost of transportation of goods, rental for a retail outlet, wages paid to a hired salesperson include travel expenses and cargo agents.

Travel Expense. Shuttle traders typically pay a fixed cost for a ‘shuttle tour,’ who arranges the trip. Usually a fixed ammount aproximately $300-$400 for a single 3-4 day trip (Yakovlev 2006). Naturally, depending on starting and end point.

Cargo Agents. Though in mid-90s there still remained traders who carried their cargo in-flight, today, typically the mechandise is offloaded to cargo ‘agents’ who pay-off custom’s officials to underreport cargo and thus avoid excess customs-tariffs. Typically 20% of worth. (Yakovlev 2006)

Whilst taxes are not paid (or the less than full ammount paid when underdeclaring goods),
a significant ammount of the product costs is associated with circumventing the law (shown in red). At the mark ets, krysha is paid to ensure that local police do not hassle traders, and for taxation officials not to investigate. Cargo agents pay customs officials to under-declare the goods imported. (Yakovlev 2006).

In 2006, customs were further restricted that only $2000 worth of goods were allowed to be brought in to discourage shuttle trade. Whilst this had the effect of slightly reducing the amount of shuttle trade, Yakolev (2003) claims that this merely increased the payments made to custom’s officials in under-reporting.

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Sustainable Urban Patterns

City Patterns

More than 50% of the population lives now in cities, this number is expected to rise to two thirds by the year of 2050 according to UN-Habitat project. Cities has an important role in the recognition of sustainable development since the majority of the world’s economic activity is concentrate in urban areas. Each city designs its spaces, buildings and infrastructures in a certain pattern that shapes its urban life and its economic activities. These patterns that the developing cities follow affects the world’s economies, energy use and climate change. Developing green economies at the city scale requires the implementation of sustainable patterns for urban development and supportive city planning. New approaches is essential to be integrated in the urbanization process.
One of the significant approaches that a city can adapt to develop green economies is to create patterns in its land that can provide large green patches and more sustainable urban development. Landscape ecologies always search and analyze the patterns that can give optimal results for both people and natural systems. Richard Forman explained in his book “Land Mosaic”1995 landscape ecologies principles. He stated the two patterns of the urban growth that results favorable sustainable approach.
The ‘satellite cities’ and ‘compact concentric zone’ models of development are the patterns that gives an optimal result. Generally these patterns has a greater number of large patches and areas of green spaces for ecosystems.

Satellite cities is an approach that is being adapted in many developing cites to build a sustainable landscape ecology. In India, the government agreed to develop 35 new satellite townships that will have approximately million – plus population along Gurgaon and Noida. The plan of the city is to provide the accommodation of at least 40% of India’s population in 2012 in Urban India. The intention of implementing such a pattern is to create cities with adequate economic actives that are linked to the major cities around them forming a continuous participation of urban development and activities.
The other pattern explored by Richard Forman that can attain also an optimal result of green urban development, ‘compact concentric zone’, represents a model in which the city is divided in a set of concentric circles expanding from the downtown to the suburbs. Transportation routes and a hierarchy of nodes connects the population center. This model is presented by Burgess in 1925, it was formed from his observations of a number of Americas Cities.
Other patterns of urban growth that leads to less optimal results is the urban sprawl. Urban sprawls represents the spatial expansion of the urbanized areas of a city through time. This model frequently creates communities with heavy automobile usage resulting GHG emissions and infrastructure costs. It is one of the least attractive designs because it conserve fewer patches of land for ecosystems. It mainly occurs in wealthy market economies with rapid population growth where rich people tend to move to big lots on the outskirts of the cities and they will travel by car every day. This will cause environmental and economic drawbacks for city. It will cause extreme traffic in the main transportation nodes and in some cases like the city of Cairo, the settlements resulting from the urban sprawl is disturbing the agriculture land. At present 81 percent of informal units in Greater Cairo sit on privately owned agricultural land. Since 1982 the Government has sought to redirect urban growth out of the Nile Valley into satellite commu¬nities on the adjacent desert area. To this end the Government has prohibited the conversion of private agricultural land to urban uses while investing heavily in housing and infrastructure in desert areas. These measures have been partly success¬ful in meeting goals. Between 1995 and 2007, for example, developers urbanized 110 km2 of desert land, but at the same time 55 km2 of dwindling agri¬cultural lands were urbanized as well. Furthermore, development on desert land brings its own share of challenges, including the sustainable provision of potable water. (UN-Habitat 2010c).
Another pattern that creates undesirable economic activities is the uncontrolled development along transportation corridors. This pattern is very common in all the world, it contributes to a high number of traffic fatalities that arises every year, and most of them take place in low-and middle income countries. This kind of pattern disturbs the natural ecology of land, such as the waterway and it also increases the risk of natural disasters such as the landslides and floods.
Selecting a pattern that will be the ground in which the urban growth will follow is very vital to achieve a sustainable economic. Fortunately, with proper urban planning we can preserve the ecosystem and create a sustainable development while accommodating population and economic growth.
Another pattern that can be adapted to achieve a sustainable economy is the development of compact cities and preplanned extensions of urban areas. This approach provides relatively high residential density with mixed land uses. It is established on an efficient public transport system and has an urban layout which encourages walking and cycling, low energy consumption and reduced pollution. Compact cities also encourages the input sharing and knowledge spillovers. Besides that compact cities yield economic savings in constructing and operating infrastructure and in the urban services. In addition that, compact cities has a lower consumption of energy and emission of greenhouse gases compared to sprawling cities.One of the reason for this difference is the amount of traffic distance in the sprawling cities.
To obtain a sustainable development it is preferred that the growth of the compact cities happens around the public transportation network to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases and to reduce the use of private vehicles.
Significant challenges remain to achiev¬ing green economic development in the cities, including, firstly, a set of hurdles related to governance. Few sub-national authorities correspond to the natural economic boundaries of a city. Within an urban region, officials may establish specialized agencies either to address a specific environmental issue such as air pollution or to promote economic development. If cities are to continue to benefit from agglomeration advantages in the face of planetary crises, it is the responsibility of all city stakeholders to work together to pursue these goals as a matter of urgency.–vtNVAb4&sig=NjhJSPs9Z6LNv6LaeL4XkO1LFgg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=b–TVMX_HIqxaei_gegE&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=urban%20patterns%20for%20sustainable%20development&f=false

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