Urbanization Notes

 Urbanization
is a measure of
development (abundant Agricultural
technology, people leave rural areas for
cities for work and services)
• MDCs – about 75% is urban
• LDCs – about 40% is urban
• BUT LDCs contain most of world’s largest cities
Summarize urbanization in MDCs and
 LDCs
= mega cities: rapid population
growth and migration to cities has caused
explosion of urban growth in LDCs.
What are the potential problems
of this rapid population
 LDCs
cannot support booming growth.
Mega cities plagued by chaotic,
unplanned growth…no jobs, poor
infrastructure, inadequate housing, urban
squalor, horrible pollution, poverty,
squatter settlements
 MDCs
= world cities – worldwide centers
of economic, political, cultural activity
and influence.
• Top tier = economic and cultural
powerhouses…New York, London, Tokyo
• Second tier….
 Government Seats – DC, Moscow, Paris
 Pop Culture – Los Angeles, Mumbai
 Industrial Centers – Mexico City, Sao Paulo
Cities have
• Lots of people, most of whom are anonymous
• High pop density
• Job specialization
• Social heterogeneity (diverse)
 City
Center: legal boundary (i.e. DC
proper). Independent and self governing
unit (city officials, taxes, providing
services, etc.)
 Urbanized
Area: central city +
surrounding suburbs (i.e. Arlington,
Herndon = urbanized area of DC)
 Metropolitan
Statistical Area (MSA): the
functional area/region of a city – i.e.. its
zone of influence
 Megalopolis: When
MSAs overlap and
create one continuous highly urbanized
complex. Ex: from Boston to DC =
Boswash Corridor
• Developed in 1923 by E.W. Burgess
• Based on Chicago
• Concentric rings of development coming outward from
the core (CBD)
• Each ring = different types of development and
economic activities
• Land value decreases as you move out
• Model based on process of invasion and succession –
newest immigrants move into old housing near city
center and push earlier groups outward
 Developed
in 1933 by Homer Hoyt
 Also based on Chicago
 Says city development in sectors not
rings. Sectors radiate out from CBD like
spokes on a wheel
 Activities expand in wedges
 Seems to work better for Latin American
cities (Mexico City fits sector model)
 1945
– Harris and Ullman
 City doesn’t have just one central core
but many nodes of business and cultural
 Los Angeles = classic example – no real
downtown but instead many independent
nodes of high land value and business
activity – Santa Monica, Pasadena,
Hollywood, etc.
 This
is a better model for cities built mostly
after WW II and post auto-dependent.
Older cites built before automobiles are
more compact with real downtown (CBD).
Newer cities have more sprawl and multiple
 Why
would newer cities be more likely to
fall into a Multiple Nuclei Model?
 ***
NO city matches any one model
 1.)
Models too simplistic and fail to
consider all of the varied and
complicated reasons that cause people to
select a certain location
 2.)
all 3 models created in U.S. between
world wars – are they relevant to other
countries and are they still relevant
 In
U.S. cities greatest contrast is between
suburbs and inner city
 Ghettoization: process
 Problems……..
of inner city decay
 Old, poor
quality housing
• Filtering – subdividing big old homes into several
apartments and use for low income rent
• Redlining: banks draw lines on map and refuse to
loan $$ within
• Public housing projects (subsidized – pay 30% of
income in rent) –run by government…poorly
maintained, drugs, crime, violence, gangs, high
density, culture of poverty, etc.
 2.) Social Problems
• Permanent underclass – trapped in perpetual cycle
(unemployment, teen pregnancy, drugs, gangs,
single parents, welfare, high school dropout, etc.
Can you get out? (There Are No Children Here)
• Racial and ethnic segregation – disproportionate
minority representation
• Did you know that a 2011 study found that in D.C.,
only 59% of high school freshman who began the
2006-2007 school year graduated in 4 years.
 3.)
Economic Problems
• Often lacks adequate public services and lacks
tax base to pay for them (i.e. schools, roads, etc.)
• Annexation – legally adding land area to a city’s
boundaries. Most suburbs do not want to be
annexed in and rarely happens anymore
 Revitalization
– new attempts to fix up
downtown…buy poor houses, build new,
shopping, cultural attractions…try to
bring in young, single professionals
 Gentrification: process
where inner city
neighborhoods turn into
expensive/fashionable urban districts
(squeezes out low income residents)
 Rapid
growth of Suburbs in 2nd half of 20th C
(i.e. automobiles, GI Bill, mass production of
 1950:
20% in suburbs
40% in central city
40% small towns/rural areas
 2000:
50% in suburbs
30% in central city
20% small towns/rural areas
 Counter
urbanization – net migration
from urban to rural areas (happening in
some parts of N. American and W. Europe
for first time). More people moving to
rural areas than are leaving.
• Exurbanite: people who leave city to move to
suburbs or rural area
 Cons
of Suburbs….
• Land hungry process – vanishing green,
encroaching on good Agricultural land
• Lose unique sense of place – all are cookie
cutter alike (strip malls, chain stores)
• Auto dependent and fuel consumption
• Rush hour commute
 Suburban
inner city
growth comes at expense of
• Erosion of tax base
• Segregation – poor, elderly, singles, minorities in
• Young families, white, educated wealthier move
to suburbs.
• Spatial Segregation – rarely go to other’s place
• Zoning also fuels segregation
 Edge
Cities: urban sprawl sometimes
takes the form of edge cities
• Located on outskirts of larger cities and come to
serve many of same functions as large city
• Often located off a beltway surrounding main
• Classic ex: Tyson’s Corner
 Theory
developed by Walter Christaller in
1930s in Germany. Looks at relationship
between cities and surrounding communities
based on people’s demands for goods and
• Central Place: place (big city) people travel to make
• Market Area: areas people travel from for purchases
(i.e. the functional region of the central
place)….where do you go to buy groceries, a car,
medical treatment, etc.?
 Large
cities are the economic hubs for their
region because they provide a great variety of
goods and services not available in smaller
 Hinterlands: smaller
towns in periphery of big
city/central place. People from hinterland
often travel to central place for big city
amenities (i.e. sports teams, cultural events,
restaurants, etc.). Small towns in hinterland
contain fewer goods and services than central
 Size
of Market Area….assume you
wanted to open a new store, how do you
determine 1.) if it will be profitable and
2.) where the best location is within the
The answer to these questions varies for
all services based on range and
 Range: maximum
distance people willing
to travel for your service
• Often expressed in time not distance
• Short distances for groceries, long for bball
game. Short distance for gas, long distance for
medical treatment
• Must be modified if competing locations provide
same service
 Threshold: minimum
number of people
needed to support a service
• How many customers do you need to make a
• Potential customers in a given areas depend on
the product (i.e. not a high demand for a roller
skate rink in a retirement community)
 Low
order central place functions: have
small range and threshold.
• Services obtained on regular basis
• Requires only a small market to be profitable
• People unwilling to travel far to obtain it
• Ex: gas, groceries, movies, etc.
 High
order central place function: large
range and large threshold
• Is required less frequently
• Requires a large market area (lots of customers)
to be profitable
• People willing to travel further to obtain it
• Ex: pro ball team, special medical services,
museums, concerts, etc.
 The
Gravity Model can predict optimal
location for service
• Directly related to # of people in the area
• Inversely related to distance people must travel
to access it
 Therefore……
• Small settlements are limited to low order
functions (with small ranges and thresholds and
market areas) because too few people live here
• Higher order functions are more likely to be in
big cities (central places) with enough people to
support the larger range, threshold, and market
 Ranking
settlements from largest to
smallest in a country often produces a
 Rank
Size Rule:
• The country’s nth largest city is 1/n the size of
the population of the largest
• i.e. the 3rd largest city is 1/3 the size of the
When plotted rank size
distribution is a fairly
straight line (true for
Works better for MDC’s
(LDC’s not enough
wealth in society to pay
for full variety of services
in other cities)
If graph is not fairly
straight line it does not fit
rank size rule
 Primate
City: largest city has more than
2X the second largest city (i.e. big city =
primate city)
• Ex: Paris is primate city – has 2.234 million and
Lyon (next biggest) has 720,890
• Ex: London is primate city – has 8.174 million
and Birmingham has 1.074 million
 Land
closest to CBD
is most expensive
 Pop
density greatest
closest to the CBD
 Affects
land use