Where are Cities

Where are Cities
Located and Why?
Site and Situation
* absolute location of a city
* a city’s static
location, often chosen for trade, defense, or religion.
* relative location of a city
* a city’s place in the region and the world around it.
Trade area
Trade area – an adjacent region within which a city’s influence is dominant.
Primate City
The leading city of a country. The city is disproportionately larger than the rest of the
cities in the country.
For example: London, UK
Mexico City, Mexico
Paris, France
- the rank-size rule does not work for a
country with a primate city
Central Place Theory
Walter Christaller developed a model to predict how and where central places in the
urban hierarchy (hamlets, villages, towns, and cities) would be functionally and spatially
Hexagonal Hinterlands
How are Cities Organized, and How do they Function?
Urban Morphology
The layout of a city, its physical form and structure.
Functional Zonation
The division of the city into certain regions (zones) for certain purposes (functions).
Zones of the City
Central business district (CBD)
City (the CBD + older housing zones)
Suburb (outlying,
functionally uniform zone outside of the central city)
Modeling the North American City
Concentric zone model (Ernest Burgess)
model (Homer Hoyt)
Multiple Nuclei
(Chauncy Harris and Edward Ullman)
Three Classical Models of Urban Structure
Concentric Zone Model
Sector Model
Multiple Nuclei Model
Edge Cities
Suburban downtowns, often located near key freeway intersections, often with:
- office complexes
- shopping centers
- hotels
- restaurants
- entertainment
- sports complexes
Urban Realms Model
Each realm is a separate economic, social and political entity that is linked together to
form a larger metro framework.
Modeling the Cities of the Global Periphery and Semiperiphery
Latin American City (Griffin-Ford model)
City (de Blij model)
Asian City (McGee model)
Latin American City (Griffin-Ford model)
Disamenity sector – very poorest parts of the city
eg. the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The African City
(de Blij model)
African cities
Colonial cities set up for political and economic reasons
Set up strategically for exploitation of resources
Near resources
African cities
Colonial cities segregated by race and religion
Divide and rule
Some cities designed for European colonialists only
Africa implemented strict segregation laws limiting African access to cities
African cities
Cities grew rapidly after independence
Lagos760,000 in 1960
Over 12,000,000 today
450,000 in 1960
4,500,000 today
This rapid growth
has created growth
of slums and
informal settlements
Southeast Asian City (McGee model)
How do People Make Cities?
Powerful social and cultural forces shape the character of a city and create the cultural
landscape of the city.
Making Cities in the Global Periphery and Semiperiphery
- sharp contrast between rich and poor
- Often lack zoning laws or enforcement of zoning laws
Making Cities in the Global Core
Redlining – financial institutions refusing to lend money in certain neighborhoods.
Blockbusting –
realtors purposefully sell a home at a low price to an African American
and then solicit white residents to sell their homes and low prices, to generate “white
Making Cities in the Global Core
Gentrification – individuals buy up and rehabilitate houses, raising the housing value in
the neighborhood and changing the neighborhood.
Commercialization – city governments transform a central city to attract residents and
tourists. The newly commercialized downtowns often are a stark contrast to the rest of
the central city.
Raises prices of houses in the neighborhood
What problems could this cause?
Tear-downs – houses that new owners buy with the intention of tearing it down to build a
much larger home.
McMansions – large homes, often built to the outer limits of the lot. They are called
McMansions because of their super size and their similar look.
Urban Sprawl
New Urbanism
urban revitalization, and suburban reforms that create walkable
neighborhoods with a diversity of housing and jobs.
some are concerned over privatization of public spaces
some are concerned that they do nothing to bread down the social conditions that create
social ills of the cities
 some believe they work against urban sprawl
Celebration, Florida
Celebration, Florida
Gated Communities
Who are gated communities for?
How do the goals/purposes of gated communities differ across the world?
Ethnic Neighborhoods
European City
eg. Muslim neighborhoods in Paris
of the Periphery and Semiperiphery
eg. Mumbai, India
Mumbai, India
What Role do Cities Play in Globalization?
World Cities
Cities that function at the global scale, beyond the reach of the state borders, functioning
as the service centers of the world economy.
Spaces of Consumption
The transformation of the city into an entertainment district, where major corporations
encourage the consumption of their goods and services.
For example: Berlin, Germany
New York City
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