European & Latin American Cities

The U.S. Census
Bureau defines an
urban area as a city
with a population
over 2,500. TQ
World's largest cities
The question of determining the world's largest cities does
not allow a single, simple answer. It depends on which
definitions of "city" and "size" are used, and how those
definitions are applied.
Complex political/cultural/social situations, sometimes
controversial or disputed, further confuse the discussion.
Debate on this field is highly vulnerable to bias or
manipulation, as people tend to prefer whichever definition
most flatters their own city.
The "size" of a city can refer to either its land area or, more
typically, its population.
The borders of a city can be defined several ways:
Administrative "City" as strictly defined by a given government (city proper).
Typically based on a municipality or equivalent entity, or sometimes a group of
municipalities under a regional government.
"City" defined as a physically contiguous urban area, without regard to territorial or other boundaries. The
delineation is usually done using some type of urban density, such as population density or density
of buildings. Satellite and/or aerial maps may be used. For statistical convenience, such areas are sometimes
adjusted to appropriate administrative boundaries, yielding an agglomeration.
The High Desert
The Valley
San Gabriel Valley
The East Side
"City" as defined by the habits of its demographic population, as by metropolitan
area, labor market area, or similar. Such definitions are usually based
on commuting between home and work.
Commuter flow thresholds into the core urban area are established by the
national census authority, determining which areas are included.
Metropolitan statistical
area (MSA)
1. A central city with a
population of at least
2. its county (within
which the city is
3. Adjacent counties in
which at least 15
percent of the residents
work in the central
city’s county
369 MSAs
The United States Census Bureau has designated the five county region
as the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside combined statistical area, with
a July 1, 2006 population estimate of 17,776,000.
The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
has defined 125 Combined Statistical Areas (CSAs) for
the United States of America. The OMB defines a Combined
Statistical Area as an aggregate of adjacent MSAs that are
linked by commuting ties. The Combined Statistical Area is
the most expansive of the metropolitan area concepts.
The Greater Los Angeles Area,
or the Southland, is the
agglomeration of urbanized area
around the county of Los
Angeles. Greater Los Angeles
includes the Los Angeles
metropolitan area, the Inland
Empire, and the Oxnard–
Thousand Oaks–Ventura area.
San Diego and Imperial counties,
while a part of Southern
California, are not included in
this agglomeration.
Megalopolis: large metropolitan areas so close
together that they form one continuous urban
America’s Megapolitan Regions
These ten megapolitan regions account for almost 70% of the U.S. population in less than
20% of the land area.
Japan’s “Tokaido
Megalopolis,” named for the
old Tokaido Road running
from Yedo (Tokyo) through
Osaka and southwest to
Nagasaki, includes some of
the country’s largest cities
(like Kyoto, the historic
capital of the country). The
megalopolis contains more
than 50 million people and
accounts for more than 80
percent of Japan’s total
Parts of an Urban Area
central business district (CBD): the central nucleus
of commercial land uses in a city.
FR What activities and structures are typically
found in a city’s Central Business District (CBD)?
•Business services
•shops (retail)
•City government (court house)
the tallest buildings
Height decreases as
land values do
•city hall
•major hotels
Why are these activities and structures located in
the CBD?
Accessibility (can support services with a large
threshold and range)
zone in transition: area of mixed commercial and
residential land uses surrounding the CBD.
• Warehouses
• Apartment buildings
• public housing
New York from Bronx
• Older residential neighborhoods
• gentrified buildings
Zone of transition: elderly in the Netherlands
Suburbs are
surrounding a
large urban
Edge cities: nodal concentrations of shopping and
office space that are situated on the outer fringes of
metropolitan areas, typically near major highway
FR What kinds of activities and structures are typically
found in Edge Cities?
FR How do CBDs and Edge Cities differ?
Edge cities: suburban downtowns
• Shopping
• office space/jobs
• Entertainment
Edge City: Tysons
Corner, Virginia
• Malls
• office parks
• movie theaters
• suburban housing
• major highway intersections.
A business/office park is an area of land in which
many office buildings are grouped together. These are popular
in many suburban locations, where it is cheaper to develop
land because of the lower land costs and the lower building
costs for building wider, not necessarily higher.
They are also often located near highways or main roads.
Edge cities
In Southern
Bid rent theory is a geographical economic theory
that refers to how the price and demand on real estate
changes as the distance towards the Central Business
District increases. It states that different land users will
compete with one another for land close to the city
center. This is based upon the idea that retail
establishments wish to maximize their profitability, so
they are much more willing to pay more money for
land close to the CBD and less for land further away
from this area. This theory is based upon the reasoning
that the more accessible an area, the more profitable.
A great example of distance decay
Three urban land (structure) use
models of North American cities.
Burgess Concentric (has a common
center/circles) Zone Model, 1925
Zone 1
• The central business district (CBD)
2 Zone of transition
• Rooming houses, small apartments, and tenements attract
the lowest income segment
• Immigrants to the city first live in this zone in small
dwelling units.
• Example In
3 Zone of independent workers’ homes
• Located close to factories of zones 1 and 2
• Often characterized by ethnic neighborhoods —
blocks of immigrants who broke free from the
• Spreading outward because of pressure from
transition zone and because blue-collar workers
demanded better housing
• Example In Southern California: ______________
• 4 Zone of better residence
• The fourth zone has newer and more spacious
houses for middle-class families.
• Established city dwellers, many of whom moved
outward with the first streetcar network
• Commute to work in the CBD
• Example In Southern California: ______________
• 5 Commuter’s zone
• beyond the continuous built-up area of the city.
• Some people who work in the center nonetheless
choose to live in smaller suburbs.
• Located either on the farthest extension of the
trolley or commuter railroad lines
• Spacious lots and large houses
• Example In Southern
Invasion and
succession: a process
of neighborhood
change whereby one
social or ethnic group
succeeds another in a
residential area.
Theory represented the
American city in a new
stage of development
– Before the 1870s, cities
such as New York had
mixed neighborhoods
where merchants’ stores
and sweatshop factories
were intermingled with
mansions and hovels
– Rich and poor,
immigrant and nativeborn, rubbed shoulders
in the same
19th Century New York
• In Chicago,
Burgess’s home
town, the great fire
of 1871 leveled the
• The result of
rebuilding was a
more explicit social
• Chicago became a
segregated city with
a concentric pattern
• This was the city
Burgess used for his
• Critics of the model
Pointed out even though
portions of each zone did exist,
rarely were they linked to
totally surround the city
• Burgess countered there were
distinct barriers, such as old
industrial centers, preventing
the completion of the arc
• Others felt Burgess, as a
sociologist, overemphasized
residential patterns and did
not give proper credit to other
land uses
Hoyt Sector Model
• Cities that have not been
dominated by successive
waves of migrant or
immigrant ethnic groups tend
to be organized around the
linear development of two
main features that grow
outward from the CBD:
• industrial districts
• high-class residential
sectors or wedges
• Example In Southern California: _______________
Multiple Nuclei
Model: a city is a
complex structure
that includes more
than one center
around which
activities revolve.
The multiple nuclei theory best explains why different
neighborhoods of a city attract people of different
ethnic origin.
Integrated model of a
large U.S. city
FR Assess/evaluate the three models of urban
structure of North American cities.
• If the models are combined they are useful.
• Most people live near others that have similar
• The three models help us understand where people
with different social characteristics tend to live
within an urban area. They also help to explain why
certain types of people tend to live in particular
Negative aspect of models (Feminist Critiques)
• They ignore dual-income families (Not all
households have a single bread winner who
commutes everyday)
• They ignore households headed by single women.
• Most women seek employment locations closer to
their homes than do men, and this applies to
almost all women, not just those with small
• Not all people have kids
• Some like to live in urban setting and see
suburban life as boring
These people are often called
Yuppies (short for "young urban professional" or
"young upwardly-mobile professional") is a term
that first came into use in the late 1980s which refers
to a financially secure, upper-middle-class young
person in their twenties or early thirties.
DINKS: Dual (or double) income, no kids.
Or DINKY Dual (or double) income, no kids yet.
DINK is sometimes used in reference to gay and lesbian couples who are
childless. This may also be a more appropriate term for heterosexual
couples who prefer not to have children and consider
themselves childfree