Historical and Modern-Day Factors Influencing Urban Form of New York City and Lagos

Select one city in the Developing World and one city in the Developed World and identify the historic and modern-day factors influencing the particular development of each city’s urban form. Discuss the main differences between the current urban forms of the two cities you selected.

Cities sprout and develop from the merger and symbiotic interaction of infrastructures, economic activities, and human beings (Besussi, Chin, Batty, & Longley, 2010). The interactions are organized to achieve a global economy, and they are manifested in the building and transport technologies. Additionally, the development of cities is sensitive to a local context that includes human settlement and government policies. Social, political, and economic factors also influence the growth of urban areas. These aspects vary according to the development status of the mother nations. Cities have grown and changed with time and this has influenced the types of infrastructure, economic activities, and human settlements. A review of the historical and modern-day factors influencing urban form in New York and Lagos can provide insights to the differences between cities in the developed world and those in the developing nations.

Literature Review            

The history of the New York City dates back to the 16th century, when the Dutch West India Company developed settlements in the area. The settlement was called New Amsterdam and it is the modern day Governors Island (Glaeser, 2007). In 1626, the governor of the settlement expanded it by purchasing the larger Manhattan Island from the natives. During this period, the city flourished due to trading and farming activities. Different people started arriving in the region and the population bulged. The French, English, and Jews added to the Dutch population. The arrival of black slave in 1628 contributed significantly to the development of the colony. The first buildings in the territory were made of wood, but with time stone and brick houses emerged. Due to the risk of burning down the settlement, thatched roofs were banned. In 1653, a wall was constructed to protect the small town of New Amsterdam from the Manhattan Island. Consequently, the street adjacent to the structure was called Wall Street. The political wave of 1647 led to the emergence of a strict governor called Peter Stuyvesant who introduced a municipal government. In 1974, the name was changed to New York in honor of the Duke of York. In the 18th century, the main economic activity in New York was milling powered by windmills and trade with the West Indies and Britain (Glaeser, 2007). The shipbuilding industry also started in this period. Fire was a major risk at the….

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