Urban disparity and who is being affected

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The term "urban disparity"

The term "urban disparity" describes the level of inequality among city dwellers. Because the difference between the rich and the poor, or between different classes of individuals living in metropolitan regions, occasionally matches or exceeds that existent in rural areas, the state has reached significant levels of concern. Prior to today, we were only aware of the discrepancies between rural and urban areas, but because of a number of factors, we are also seeing disparities in urban areas.

Approaches to Finding Urban Inequities

There are several approaches to find urban inequities. First, it can have to do with people's financial situations. In comparison to those who are wealthy, those who are poor experience less conventional social services, such as subpar healthcare. It’s hard for them to access quality services from elite providers due to high amounts of money connected with their services. Second, it can be in terms of housing. Housing is a form of economic disparity because it is determined by the amount of resources an individual has. In urban areas, safe housing, in the form of comfortable estates, and low-quality housing, in the form of slums, is a common scenario. The victims are poor members of society who can only afford rents for slums. Other disparities include education, health, tribal, minority, race, gender, sexual identity, and occupational status disparities. In all categories, the victims are the poor and minority members of the society (Neckerman et al., 2009).

Urban Innovations as Solutions to Socioeconomic Disparities

First, the governance of urban areas should introduce a tax system aimed at bringing equality of outcome. Tax systems should be reformed like an introduction of a graduated tax system that allows the fair share of tax according to an individual’s income. Second, they should rethink educational systems and come up with options where the less fortunate members of the society will be allowed to pay relatively lower school fees. Forms of unequal treatment like the means test should be abolished from health institutions and replaced by others that don’t need to check on the economic status of a patient before receiving treatment. Reprogramming space digitally to enable an instant shift in use between a gymnasium, a night club, and a theater can minimize the ever growing need for space and solve housing disparities. The government should also invest in the construction of standardized housing apartments in suburb areas of towns for the poor members of society. By increasing affordability of smartphones with real-time applications, it will be possible to design smarter transportation systems characterized with sharing of cars and minivans through the applications e.g. the application used by Uber car services. These would reduce congestions in towns and affordability of transport among the poor due to more transportation options (Taylor & While, 2015).

The Relationship between Urban Innovations and Smart Growth

Urban innovation refers to the diversion from the common practices to develop long-term transformation in cities, neighborhoods, and communities while Smart growth refers to the theory regarding urban transportation and planning that aims at concentrating growth in compact, walkable areas to avoid sprawl. Both concepts are aimed at the long-term sustainable development of urban centers to ensure equal employment opportunities, expansion of the transportation system, an introduction of housing choices, promotion of public health, enhancement of cultural and natural resources and equitable distributions of developmental benefits. Like urban innovation, smart growth approaches include reinvesting and cleaning up of neighborhoods like schools, provision of house choices for all categories of people in the society, provision of alternative transportation options that are environmental friendly, affordable, and those that offer more mobility to non-driving residents, and lastly improvement of job and service access by developing transit-accessible and walkable developments (Tretter, 2013). These confirm the strong relationship between urban innovations and smart growth.


Neckerman, K. M., Lovasi, G. S., Davies, S., Purciel, M., Quinn, J., Feder, E., & Rundle, A. (2009). Disparities in urban neighborhood conditions: evidence from GIS measures and field observation in New York City. Journal of Public Health Policy, 30(1), S264-S285.

Taylor Buck, N., & While, A. (2015). Competitive urbanism and the limits to smart city innovation: The UK Future Cities initiative. Urban studies, 0042098015597162.

Tretter, E. M. (2013). Contesting sustainability:‘SMART growth’and the redevelopment of Austin's Eastside. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(1), 297-310.

February 01, 2023

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