Land use models - Shawlands Academy

Land use models
As urban areas have grown over time they have become increasingly complex. Each urban area
has a variety of functions. The different activities that take place mean that the way which
humans use the land changes throughout the urban area. Due to the complexity of land uses
found through out a city a number of models have been created to identify patterns of land
use. The two models that we will be looking at are the Hoyt (sector) model and Burgess
(concentric ring) model.
The two models
The Concentric ring model also known as the Burgess model was the first to explain distribution of
social groups within urban areas. Based on Chicago, it was created by sociologist Ernest Burgess in
1925. This concentric ring model depicts urban land use in concentric rings: the Central Business
District (or CBD) was in the middle of the model, and the city expanded in rings with different land
The zones identified are:
1. The centre was the CBD
2. The transition zone otherwise known as the Inner City
3. Low-class residential homes (Inner Suburbs}
4. Better quality middle-class homes (Outer Suburbs)
5. Commuters zone
Burgess observed that there was a correlation between the distance from the CBD and the socioeconomic status of the inhabitants; richer families tended to live further away from the CBD. As the
city grew, Burgess also observed that the CBD would cause it to expand outwards; this in turn forced
the other rings to expand outwards as well.
The model is more detailed than the traditional down-mid-uptown divide by which downtown is the CBD,
uptown the affluent residential outer ring, and midtown in between.
Bid rent curve
Burgess's work is based on the bid rent curve. This states that the concentric circles are based on the
amount that people will pay for the land. This value is based on the profits that are obtainable from
maintaining a business on that land. The centre of the town, will have the highest number of customers
so it is profitable for retail activities. Manufacturing will pay slightly less for the land as they are only
interested in the accessibility for workers, 'goods in' and 'goods out'. Residential land use will take the
surrounding land.
The model has been challenged by many contemporary urban geographers. Firstly, the model does not
work well with cities outside the United States, in particular with those developed under different
historical contexts. Even in the United States, because of changes such as advancement in
transportation and information technology and transformation in global economy, cities are no longer
organized with clear "zones"
Limitations of the model
It assumes an even, unchanging landscape
Physical features - land may restrict growth of certain sectors
Commuter villages - commuter villages defy the theory since they are located far away from the
 Decentralization of shops, manufacturing industry, and entertainment
 Urban regeneration and gentrification - more expensive property can be found in 'low class'
housing areas
 Many new housing estates were built on the edges of cities in Britain
It does not address local urban politics and forces of globalization
A basic version of the Sector model
The sector model also known as the Hoyt model was proposed in 1939 by economist Homer Hoyt. It is a
model of urban land use and modified the concentric zone model of city development. The benefits of
the application of this model include the fact it allows for an outward progression of growth however,
like all models of urban form its validity is limited.
Explanation of the Model
While accepting the existence of a central business district, Hoyt suggested that various socioeconomic groups expand outward from the city center along railroads, highways, and other
transportation arteries. Using Chicago as a model, an upper class residential sector evolved outward
along the desirable Lake Michigan shoreline north of the central business district, while industry
extended southward in sectors that followed railroad lines.
In developing this model Hoyt observed that it was common for low-income households to be near
railroad lines, and commercial establishments to be along business thoroughfares. Recognizing that the
various transportation routes into an urban area, including railroads, sea ports, and tram lines,
represented greater access, Hoyt theorized that cities tended to grow in wedge-shaped patterns -- or
sectors -- emanating from the central business district and centered on major transportation routes.
Higher levels of access meant higher land values, thus, many commercial functions would remain in the
CBD but manufacturing functions would develop in a wedge surrounding transportation routes.
Residential functions would grow in wedge-shaped patterns with a sector of low-income housing
bordering manufacturing/industrial sectors (traffic, noise, and pollution makes these areas the least
desirable) while sectors of middle- and high-income households were located furthest away from these
functions. Hoyt's model attempts to broadly state a principle of urban organization.
Limitations of the Model
The theory is based on nineteenth century transport and does not make allowances for private
cars that enable commuting from cheaper land outside city boundaries. This occurred in Calgary
in the 1930s when many near-slums were established outside the city but close to the termini of
the street car lines. These are now incorporated into the city boundary but are pockets of low
cost housing in medium cost areas.
Physical features - physical features may restrict or direct growth along certain wedges
No reference to out of town development
Task 1
Get a copy of the diagrams and shade in the different areas. Use the same colours for each
model and ensure that a key is completed.
Task 2
Answer the following questions in sentences on lined paper.
Factories/industries is also known as?
What is the name of the additional ring that can be added around the models above?
Describe the major differences between the Hoyt and Burgess models.
In one paragraph give the background to the Burgess model. (who created it?, when?
Based upon? Other names?)
5) In one paragraph give the background to the Hoyt model. (who created it?, when? Based
upon? Other names?)
6) Describe the limitations to the concentric ring model.
7) Describe the limitations to the sector model.
Task 3
Get a set of land use cards. Match the descriptions of the land use areas to the name of the
land use. Once you have done this match them to the photos on your work sheet. Once they
have been checked use the cards to fill in the worksheet.
Task 4
Get the sheet entitled ‘most likely too’ .