The Burgess model is a land use model which describes the patterns of land use in a city in the developed world
The centre is the oldest part of the city and building gradually spreads out from the middle leaving the newest parts of the city on the edge
Patterns of growth
Although all towns and cities are different most have grown and developed in the same way
Landuse models are theories which attempt to explain the layout of urban areas.
A model is used to simplify complex, real world situations, and make them easier to explain and understand.
Patterns of Growth
Often these zones have developed because of a combination of economic and social factors. In some cases planners may have tried to separate out some land uses, e.g. an airport is separated from a large housing estate. In the past geographers have tried to put together models of land use to show how a 'typical' city is laid out. As with many models in geography, there are limits to the Burgess model. Every city is different. No 'typical city' model is perfect, because there is really no such thing as a typical city!
In 1925, Burgess presented a descriptive urban land use model, which divided cities in a set of concentric circles expanding from the downtown to the suburbs.
This representation was built from Burgess' observations of a number of American cities, notably Chicago
The model assumes a relationship between the socio-economic status (mainly income) of households and the distance from the CBD. The further from the CBD, the better the quality of housing, but the longer the commuting time.
CBD Central Business District
The commercial centre of the city
Including shops, offices, transport route centres, leisure and entertainment facilities i.e. cinemas, theatres, restaurants, cafes etc
An area of high land value with much competition for space
Tall and high density buildings to make the most of space (cheaper to build up than out)
Few people actually live in the CBD
New developments tend to focus on redeveloping existing areas rather than using the limited open space available.
Immediately adjacent to the CBD, this zone is in a state of constant change. Constant redevelopment and renewal of the area to expand zone 1 the CBD
It is a zone of mixed land uses, ranging from car parks and derelict buildings to slums, cafes and older houses, often converted to offices or industrial use
A range of decaying buildings. This is an area of old housing and light manufacturing industry. This area dates back to the Industrial revolution when it filled with coal-fired factories and tenement housing blocks.
High density housing built when industry thrived in urban areas
The transition zone is the ‘in between’ zone
The Inner city is the third zone commonly consisting of terraced housing built in the 19 th century built originally to accommodate factory workers. Housing is often linear and back to back
This area tends to be run down unless housing has been redeveloped. This area usually experiences social and economic problems.
Some have now been replaced with high rise flats in order to maximise use of space
Facilities such as corner shops exist in the inner city
Inner city problems of decline have been difficult to solve. Aims are constantly underway to improve housing and the general environment in order to allow people to remain in the inner city to retain community spirit
Commonly 1920s – 1950s housing usually large in size and with a garden, often semi-detached
Some facilities such as parks and rows of shops may exist as more new houses and amenities are built to accommodate the growing population
The land gets cheaper away from the CBD so planning for new houses is common
Home to the more affluent
Council estates are often located in this zone as well
Modern housing large in size, often detached with a cluster pattern (housing estates)
Ideal areas for families with young children, houses with gardens and garages and safe roads close by
The outer suburbs contains a mixture of landuses. This includes residential areas, recreational facilities such as golf courses and farming.
Access to parks and open spaces is common
Modern facilities such as shopping malls often are built in the outer suburbs
Called the 'commuter zone' as it is expected that the more affluent members of the community would live in the zone furthest away from the centre as they could afford the transport costs to the centre for access to services and employment.