Essay Analysis

Urban land-use models provide valuable tools
for studying the internal structure of cities, but
their applicability to large cities of the world
has been undermined by physical and
historical elements as well as modern-city
In what ways are Burgess’s and Hoyt’s urban
land-use models similar to each order?
Using large cities in different parts of
the world as examples, explain how these
models fail to generalize their land-use
patterns. To what extent are these
models useful to town planners?
• Similarities of the two models
• Deviation of the land-use patterns
of some cities from these models
• Usefulness of the models to urban
Similarities of the two models
Similarities of the two models
• Both models focus on importance of
• Centrally-located Central Business
• Clear-cut boundaries between land-use
• Study of ground-floor function instead of
the three-dimensional study
• Residential segregation according to
socio-economic status
Similarities of the two models
• Lower-income group located near the
factory zone
• Higher-income group located distant from
lower-income group and factory zone
Deviation of the land-use patterns
of some cities from these models
• Both models base on cities developed on
uniform/flat land surface
• Relief affects the shape, expansion and
land-use zoning of cities (e.g. Hong Kong,
Rio de Janeiro)
• Hilly areas make transport development
difficult and are unattractive to industrial
/ commercial land uses, but sometimes
attract housing (squatter on cheap/illegal
land; luxurious housing with good view)
• Waterfront location attract water
transport facilities (wharves, terminals,
piers), port industries for their
accessibility and high income housing for
their scenic value.
• Cities with a long history of development
(e.g. Chinese and European cities) usually
consist mixed land uses (commercialresidential) rather than clear-cut land use
• Old city core(historical buildings serving
as cultural/religious/parliamentary centre)
in addition to modern C.B.D.
• Cities with colonial history (e.g. Southeast Asian cities) – co-existence of
indigenous sector and western sector
(commercial, industrial and residential land
• Modern developments – offices/
commercial buildings/industrial estates
located in different parts of the city
• Polycentric replaces monocentric patterns
(multiple-nuclei development – secondary
commercial centres, industrial and
residential suburbs)
• Cities engulfing small towns in their
neighbourhood and merging of cities as a
result of suburbanization, forming an
extensive urban area (mega city /
extended metropolitan region) with
multiple centres and a complex of land use
• Modern housing replacing older / shanty
parts of the city as a result of urban
redevelopment programmes
• High-income housing often locate close to
high-technology industrial area (where
pollution is carefully-controlled)
Usefulness of the models to urban
• Objectives of urban planning:
• Improvement of living conditions, traffic
flow and socio-economic development in
• Need for land-use zoning – orderly
arrangement of business, industrial and
residential areas (land use designated
prior to development)
Consideration of:
• Accessibility / distance-decay
mechanism – sites near city centre or
nodal points for commercial function
• Different requirements of various land
– City centre – the most expensive site
for commercialfunctions
– Zones of better environmental quality
for higher-income housing
– Manufacturing – areas with extensive
cheap land and good accessibility
-lower income housing – close to
manufacturing / zones of lesser
environmental quality
• Redevelopment of inner city areas –
high-density housing, factory areas
mixed with lower income housing
• Improvement of intra-urban
transport network (road and masstransit systems) to facilities the flow
of goods and people between
different functional zones
How are urban centres classified and
spatially organised according to
Christaller’s theory? Using the urban
network of a selected region, describe
the spatial pattern of towns and cities.
Discuss how the spatial pattern can be
explained in terms of local physical
and economic conditions
Urban hierarchy
No. of Function
Urban Hierarchy
• Classification of urban centres
based on CPT
• Urban network/spatial pattern of
selected region
• Explanation of the spatial pattern
Classification of urban centres
based on CPT
• According to Christaller, urban centres
are treated as central places that
provided goods and services to
surrounding hinterlands. The functions of
the centres according to the market
threshold and the range of goods govern
the size of urban settlement. An urban
hierarchy is formed relating to the orders
of goods offered by the urban centre.
The order of a function is governed by:
• The market threshold. The higher
the order, the larger will be the
threshold population
• The range of goods. The higher the
order, the longer the distance of the
customers will go to buy the goods
• A functional hierarchy is established
– The larger urban centres will have more
and higher order functions than small
The spatial characteristics of the
urban hierarchy will be:
(a) Centres of a given order tend to
have hinterlands of similar area.
Lower order centres have small
hinterland, while higher order
centres serve large areas. The
increase in hinterland area from one
to the next is by a constant ratio of
(b) Centres of a similar order or class
size are scattered evenly across the
countryside. Lower order centres are
close together, while higher cebtres
are more widely spaced. The increase
in distance apart of successively
higher order centres is by a constant
value of √3 times the spacing of the
next lower order centres
this illustrates the concept that urban
networks are not just haphazard
arrangements of settlements
scattered at random across the
countryside, but rather are orderly
systems in which there is some
pattern and regularity in the size and
spacing of centres.
Urban network/spatial pattern of
selected region
Description of the spatial pattern
• Identify the orders of urban settlements
according to the chief functions and
population size
• A discussion on the overall pattern:
uniformly spaced : even distribution of
urban centres over the tributary area or
irregularly spaced?
whether a continuum or discrete
classes of central place in the region?
or clear-cut dominance of certain
head-linked cities over the other
smaller towns?
Explanation of the spatial pattern
The physical conditions:
• Relief : clustering of settlement on the
plain and dispersion over the hills
• Fertility of the land governs the
distribution of the productive hinterlands
• Drainage pattern governs the
The economic conditions:
• Communication routeways
• Population distribution
• Difference in patterns of employment
within the studied region: whether there
are market towns or industrial towns
• Industrial agglomerations increasing
population concentrations and functions
over the head-linked cities may lead to
tendency of metropolitan primacy
• Other factors may be of importance:
– Government policies / region planning
– Political boundary/parish boundaries