Western
civilizations and other developed parts of the world have been able to build
revolutionary communities which continue to evolve today. It is interesting to
see how Champion attempts to describe how the structures of the settlements in these
developed countries is changing, specifically more in to polycentric urban regions
(PUR).  The article begins with an
overview of the main argument proving that a changing demographic regime is occurring.
Discussing topics revolving around how attitudes and lifestyles of people have
changed from an altruistic lifestyle to an individualistic one. Champion
further goes on to explain what establishes a PUR in comparison to a more traditional
monocentric city (MC).  Champion concludes
the article with discussing the adaption of the emerging urban configurations in
the recent demographic developments. In this section he discusses points such
as how changes in household types can affect the urban environment, which changes
the outcome of the overall urban region.  

The
main argument revolves around in what way demographic developments are
potentially straining the traditional monocentric model and how a shift towards
polycentric urban forms can mitigate a proportion of the damage.  Van de Kaa believes the reason for this second
demographic transition is due to a switch from altruism to individualism. This is
makes sense because in the past 30-40 years individuals have been focusing more
on self-fulfilment, which has caused an increase emphasis on independence,
instead of building a family. Furthermore, the financial and social costs of
having a family has also increased, which forces individuals to have less
children, affecting the population patterns. One solution to this problem was
immigration, as immigrants would come over and begin families of their own; which
was helping both the economy and population patterns. Champion goes on to
discuss how polycentric urban regions are very important and another solution
to problems monocentric cities were providing. He believed by using PUR we
could create region specialization, which could improve labour mobility along
with other economic and social problems.

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I
personally do agree that demographic trends and these urban configuration changes
are linked. I see the benefits of such urban regions because like stated before,
urban specialization is very beneficial to society. With PUR society has a pool
of resources, which will encourage interaction between the regions. This
results in individuals working side by side, instead of competitively against each
other, trying to build the best product. With specialization communities have a
broader range of higher quality goods, they can provide better services to
businesses, consumers, workers etc. Furthermore, PUR’s provide a broader range
when it comes to both economic and environmental innovation. In a sense polycentric
configuration does bring more balance to population distribution as specialization
and household types have been defined. For example, in today’s society older
people tend to live more secluded and in quieter regions compared to younger people,
who tend to live in cities as they’re more likely to find employment there. People
will have a better incentive to move to such a region, as it would fit perfectly
into their lives. One thing I wish he talked about more was the social and
psychological impacts of altruism vs individualism. It would’ve been
interesting to see the statistic’s in terms of depression and other mental
illness’s and if they had anything to do with how this new demographic regime
has influenced society today. Implication made by champion himself are prevalent
in today’s society and should be further researched into. In this new research,
we should not just look at the population distributions, but also at the peoples
psychological and social well beings.