Chicago and lagos: two cities in contrast Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Chicago and Lagos had a humble beginning. Both were outposts for American and English governments and remained as hub of trade and commerce through out the history. Lagos has five hundred years of history, while Chicago is two hundred years old. Both have grown into mega-cities through the process of urbanization and have developed their unique morphologies. At a time when Chicago was a small city, Lagos was a big city, even in 1861 under the English rule.

Although both had abundant natural resources and skilled people, Chicago was able to move forward through the process of urbanization and became elite city in the world, Lagos ended up in chaos. This research report will compare these two cities and will try to understand the contrast among them. This study will seek answers for the following issues to comprehend the constantly changing morphology of these urban giants History and Landscape Chicago is considered King of the skyscrapers, as Chicago has the top five tallest building in the US and ten tallest buildings in the world.

The city being in Midwest has enough space to sprawl on Euclideanesque, with Chicago River, bringing restriction on it expansion, yet the city is unstoppable and runs along the river. Chicago was remade after the Great Fire in 1871 and has been successful to build the skyscrapers and other mega projects. The city has kept alive its history through preservation, among which the most notable are the Auditorium Building and the Newberry Library (Cromie, 1984) The Chicago city is located at 50 N and 37 W longitudes.

Its total area is 228 square miles, with 29 miles of lakeshore. According to 2000 census, Chicago (Illinois) total population is 12,419,293, mainly composed of White, African American, Asian, Pacific, Islanders, Native Americans, divided into Hispanic and non-Hispanics speakers as shown in the table 1. 1 below. The native people occupied Chicago in early 1700s. The Chicago name originated from Checagou which in the Potawatomi language means wild onions or skunk and the reason for this name was the smell of rotting marshland surrounding the area.

The first non-native settler was Jean Baptiste, an African who came to live in the late 1700s. European penetration of the Great Lakes region began by the late seventeenth century, as numerous Frenchmen”explored the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan (Ciccone, 1999). During the 18th century, traders, adventurers from Europe, also explored the Chicagos swamps. This frequency of European and African trespasses increased and after the War of Wabash Confederacy, Chicago was given up by the Native Americans by the Treaty of Greenville to the US government for a military post.

On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was came into being and integrated with its first 350 residents. Within 10 years, the small town population grew to over 4000 and the town was granted a city status in 1837. The new canals of Illinois and Michigan in 1848 permitted shipping from the Great Lakes, while the rail arrival increased importance of the city and making it the transportation nerve of the US. Due to easy access to rail, road and shipping, Chicago became industrial magnet in future decades (Longstree, 1973).

The present day Chicago (city) occupies a space of 590. 8 square kilometers . The Chicago Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) consists of Cook County and five surrounding Illinois counties. Chicago rises from Lake Michigan, lying 76 meters above sea level. The city is built on the remnant of postglacial Lake and shaped during the continental glacier blockage, which took place about 12,000 years ago. The Chicago River continues into Lake Michigan, separating the city into North, West, and South parts (Spinney, 2000).

Along the Michigan Avenue lie historical buildings; and outside downtown Chicago, pedestrian can find a mosaic of ethnic and diverse population of American life. Chicago is heavily blue collar, mostly populated by the former Europeans, while the current influx is from Hispanic and Southeast Asian Immigrants (Kornblum, 1974). Lagos was originally called Eko, which means cassava farm in native language and was founded by King Ado and it became site for the Yoruba tribe. The city original name was Eko and came into being in 15th century as a Portuguese trade center, dealing in rare commodities, such as ivory, peppers, and slaves.

Till 19th century the boom continued and then British won it over in 1861. The colonial rule was severely opposed by local Yoruba states and gave rise to many battles, which blocked the trade with interior, however these states were conquered ultimately and integrated into the larger colony in 1880s. Lagos became a British colony in 1861 and had 250000 residents tightly segregated into expatriates, indigenous population and migrants when it was made capital of the colony in 1914.

In 1960 after the independence Lagos became capital of the Nigeria, but in early 1990s the capital was moved to Abuja (Smith, 2000). Lagos city is located at 6° 34? 60? N, 3° 19? 59? E in southwest Nigeria, built on several islands and mainland. It is Nigerias largest city, an economic hub, port and the cultural center. Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria with 300 square km of metropolitan land, composed of a group of islands, creeks and a lagoon.

In 2005, Lagos became one of the worlds five biggest cities. The State of Lagos spans 3,577 square km, including the metropolitan area of 1,183 km, of which only 728 square km is dry land. Lagos is erected on mainland and linked with a series of islands surrounding Lagos Lagoon. Its close contact to the sea and neighboring harbor made it the main reason for development. Lagos is connected to the mainland by three large bridges: Eko Bridge, Carter Bridge, and Third Mainland Bridge (Encarta, 2005).

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