Issues in the Developing World
Edited by H. S. Geyer
Chapter 2: Urban Fragmentation: Different Views on its Causes and Consequences
K. Landman Introduction The new city is: an airy metropolis with villages, urban centres, suburbs, industrial areas, port, airports, woods, lakes, beaches, reveres, and monoculture of high technology agriculture. (Geuze cited in Bruyns 2005: 1) The new city – a collection of fragments or diverse opportunities? Urban fragmentation has by now become a well-discussed subject in international urban studies, with many of the leading urbanists of the time debating the causes and consequences of this phenomenon (including Graham and Marvin 2001; Soja 2000; Sennett 1995). The debate is, however, often just as fragmented as the subject being discussed, and as a result Harrison (2003: 15) maintains that urban fragmentation is a ‘slippery concept – a catchphrase that everyone recognises and yet no-one seems able to define with any precision’. Fragmentation, broadly defined as breaking or separating (something – in this case the urban environment) into fragments, pieces or parts, is also a well known phenomenon in spatial planning. For example, comparing contemporary cities with those of eighteenth and nineteenth century cities, one may argue that urban land use is far more fragmented now due to, among others, widespread patterns of urban sprawl. Another common example is the fragmentation of natural areas through the encroachment of development. In many cases, new uses such as residential or agriculture were introduced or areas were divided through the construction of new roads (Hidding and Teunissen 2002). Spatial disjunctures and fragmentation have long been a major issue that planners had to address (Harrison 2003). Within the context of...
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