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Fig. 1.1 Aerial photograph 'Rio Vista, California/USA' (Credits: Justin Sullivan/AFP)
house development project was already being adjusted in California's Rio Vista.
Only the roads are still remaining - and a few sample houses. In the meantime the
city in the north of the Sunshine state considers even to announce insolvency
bankruptcy. Source: AFP
It is a general argument, that every period of socioeconomic
development is joined by different effects on population and
landscape dynamics, e.g. the transition from agricultural-based
economies to industrialization forced the urbanization process
and the development of cities, predominantly accompanied by
a monocentric urban growth pattern due to the concentration
of industries, residences, and commerce in metropolitan areas
(e.g., Mexico City, Beijing, London, New York) (Parés-Ramos
et al. 2008 ; Anas et al. 1998 ). Today, one can observe in
many countries a major transformation from an industrial-based
economy to a knowledge-based economy (OECD 1996 ). As a
result, innovations in information and communication
technologies along with the decentralization of commercial, industrial, and financial
activities are altering and diversifying the traditional patterns of urban agglomerations
and driving new population and landscape dynamics (Munroe et al. 2005 ).
The consequences of these current socioeconomic trends comprise changes in the
spatial structure of urban and rural areas, such as urban core population decline, the
appearance of brownfields, suburban growth, and the urbanization of rural areas
(Munroe et al. 2005 ). Decentralization tendencies are forcing urban sprawl and the
conversion of agricultural lands and open spaces into urban land uses. Conversely, urban
agglomerations with their manifold employment opportunities in manufacturing, trade,
tourism, and other service sectors, attract more people, particularly the young and edu-
cated, to urban areas and supports the decline in agriculture jobs (Losada et al. 1998 ).
progress in
information and
technologies and
the decentraliza-
tion of economical
activities are
modifying the
patterns of urban
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