Urban Geography is an authoritative and stimulating introduction to the study of towns and cities. This book synthesises a wealth of material to provide a comprehensive introduction for students of urban geography, drawing on a rich blend of theoretical and empirical information, to advance their knowledge of the city. For the first time in the history of humankind, urban dwellers outnumber rural residents and this trend is destined to continue. Urban places, towns and cities are of fundamental importance: for the distribution of population within countries; in the organisation of economic production, distribution and exchange; in the structuring of social reproduction and cultural life; and in the allocation and exercise of power. Even those living beyond the administrative or functional boundaries of a town or city, will have their lifestyle influenced to some degree by a nearby or distant city. Urban Geography is divided into six main parts, which explain and discuss: * the field of urban geography and the importance of a global perspective * the historical growth of cities from the earliest times and the urban geography of the major world regions * the dynamics of urban structure and land use change in Western cities * economy, society and politics in the Western city * the economic, social, political and environmental challenge faced by the Third World City * an overview on the future of cities and cities of the future. Specific features include the clearly structured and coherent text, superb illustrations which include a full colour plate section and over 150 informative diagrams, global case studies which are boxed throughout, a glossary of terms and key words which are highlighted throughout the text, chapter summaries and key points, and annotated further reading lists.