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Spatial and Local Theories of urban Development
• Introduction Spatial is relating to space Urbanization is the
movement of population from rural to urban areas. In
1950 only 30% of the world’s population was urbanized and
50% in 2009 lived in urban centers. The big question is how
do towns come about to be?
• Theories explaining the emergence of towns Central place
theory Examples. Polders of the Netherlands, the Fens of
East Anglia in the UK Developed by the German geographer
Walter Christaller in 1933. It explains the reasons behind
the distribution patterns, size, and number of cities and
towns. Tested in Southern Germany and came to the
conclusion that people gather together in cities to share
goods and ideas.
Central place theory.
• humans will always purchase goods from the
• homogeneous, limitless surface evenly
• all settlements are equidistant and exist in a
triangular lattice pattern evenly distributed
Concentric Zone model Also known as The Burgess Model, The Bulls Eye
Model Developed in the 1920s by the urban sociologist Ernest Burgess. The
model portrays how cities social groups are spatially arranged in a series of
rings. The size of the rings may vary, but the order always remains the same.
• Concentric Zone model
• Concentric Zone model1. Central Business District (CBD) - This area of the
city is a non-residential area and it’s where businesses are. This area s
called downtown ,a lot of sky scrapers houses government institutions,
businesses, stadiums, and restaurants2. Zone of Transition- the zone of
transition contains industry and has poorer-quality housing available.
Created by subdividing larger houses into apartments
• Concentric Zone model3. Zone of the working class- This area contains
modest older houses occupied by stable, working class families. A large
percentage of the people in this area rent.
• 4. Zone of better residence- This zone contains newer and more spacious
houses. Mostly families in the middle-class live in this zone.
• 5.Commuter’s Zone/Suburbs- This area is located beyond the build-up
area of the city. Mostly upper class residents live in this area.....Desktop
Models Burgess circle model.htm
• Chicago and Newcastle upon Tyne/Newcastle
Developed in 1939 by land economist Homer
Hoyt. It is a model of the internal structure of
cities. Social groups are arranged around a
series of sectors, or wedges radiating out from
the central business district (CBD) and
centered on major transportation lines lowincome households to be near railroad lines,
and commercial establishments to be along
• Stresses the importance of transportation
corridors. Sees growth of various urban
activities as expanding along roads, rivers, or
train routes. Modeling Cities: Hoyt
• Sector model. Short comings Applies well to
some towns only Low cost housing is near
industry and transportation proving Hoyt’s
model Theory based on 20th century and does
not take into account cars which make
commerce easier With cars, people can live
anywhere and further from the city
• Multiple Nuclei method The Multiple Nuclei Model is an ecological
model created by Chauncy Harris and Edward Ullman in the
1945City grows from several independent points rather than from
one central business district. As these expand, they merge to form a
single urban area. Ports, universities, airports and parks also act as
nodes Based on the idea that people have greater movement due
to increased car ownership.
• Multiple nuclei model The model has four geographic principles–
Certain activities require highly specialised facilities• Accessible
transportation for a factory
• Large areas of open land for a housing tract– Certain activities
cluster because they profit from mutual association– Certain
activities repel each other and will not be found in the same area–
Certain activities could not make a profit if they paid the high rent
of the most desirable locations
• Stresses the importance of multiple nodes of activity, not a single
CBD. Ports, airports, universities attract certain uses while repelling
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