THEORIES OF URBAN STRUCTURE: Models to describe the

THEORIES OF URBAN STRUCTURE: Models to describe the development of cities.
-city grows outward in concentric rings
-city has a single centre, otherwise known as the CBD (Central Business District)
-Around the business centre is an area of older industry and beyond that are
residential areas
-it is assumed that the poor cannot afford to commute long distances, and also that
they must live in the older and cheaper houses near the centre, so low class
residential are near the CBD
-the wealthy live in a commuter zone outside the city proper
-best describes the pre-automobile (pre 1920) pattern of North American cities but is
still useful today in describing patterns in the older parts of our towns
-recognizes the existence of land use zones, but suggests that there are sectors or
wedges of land uses in the city
-due to the emergence of star-shaped transportation routes, such as bus lines and
streetcar lines.
-as such, the industrial would lie in a sector along the rail lines coming into the city
-poorer people live adjacent to industrial near their jobs
-Rich live on the opposite side of town far from the industry and poor
-middle income in between
MULTIPLE NUCLEI MODEL (Chauncy Harris and Edward Ullman)
-refinement of first two, but incorporates outlying shopping malls, industrial areas
and large residential suburbs
-developed only with the use of automobiles, mostly since 1945
-CBD no longer has a monopoly on retail and commercial activities since outlying
malls and industrial parks compete with it.
-industry also moves to the edge of the city where land is cheaper
Three Generalizations of Urban Structure Upper Left: Burgess' Concentric Zone Model;
Upper Right: Hoyt's Sector Model; Bottom Left: Harris and Ullman Multiple Nuclei Model. Graphic
repared by Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“Canadians and their activities are becoming more and
more concentrated in a hundred or so urban areas which
occupy less than 1% of the land area.”
What is a city?
Central Place – is defined as any place offering a good or
service for sale. This can range from a local store to a
less than 100 people
between 100 and 1000 people
between 1000 and 10 000 people
between 10 000 and 1 000 000 people
Metropolis: between 1 000 000 and 10 000 000 people
Megalopolis: over 10 000 000 people
Conurbation: several megalopolises and metropolises
joined together with a total population over
20 000 000. Example BosNyWash
In Canada, any central place over 100 000 people is called
a Census Metropolitan Area or CMA.
Where are cities located?
SITE – the physical/natural characteristics and exact
location of the community itself.
Ie: on the coast, at the junction of two rivers, in a valley,
on a bay, in the mountains
SITUATION – refers to the features of the region that
surround the specific settlement. The situation may include
factors such as economic capability, relation to other
central places, transportation and direction. The situation
includes a much larger area than does the site.
Ie: accessible by water, NW of the river, west of Toronto