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Concentric zone theory


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Concentric zone theory

  2. 2. ORIGINS OF THEORY • Developed in the 1920’s by Ernest Burgess and Robert Park, University of Chicago • Sought to explain the socioeconomic divides in and out of the city • Model was based on Chicago’s city layout • First theory to explain the distribution of social groups
  3. 3. WHAT IS THE CONCENTRIC ZONE THEORY? • Social structures extend outward from one central business area. • Population density decreases towards outward zones • Shows correlation between socioeconomic status and the distance from the central business district • Also known as the Burgess Model, the Bull’s Eye Model, the Concentric Ring Model, or the Concentric Circles Model.
  4. 4. ZONE 1: CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT • Non-residential center for business. • “Downtown” area • Emphasis on business and commerce • Commuted to by residents of other zones
  5. 5. ZONE 2: ZONE OF TRANSITION • “Least desirable place to live in the city” • Dilapidated housing and infrastructure • Large percentage rent • Highest crime rate • High rate of people moving in and out
  6. 6. ZONE 3: WORKING CLASS • Modest older homes • Stable, working class families • Can afford to move out of Zone 2 • Second generation immigrants
  7. 7. ZONE 4: MIDDLE CLASS • Newer, more spacious homes • Less likely to be rented • Well educated
  8. 8. ZONE 5: COMMUTERS • Mostly upper class • Can afford to commute into city for work or entertainment
  9. 9. SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION • Shaw and McKay (1930’s) • Disease, Deterioration, Demoralization • Poverty stricken areas have a higher rate of crime • High rate of residents moving in and out • Lessened sense of “community”
  10. 10. PROBLEMS WITH THE THEORY • Does not work with more modern cities, or cities outside of the United States • Assumes an unchanging landscape • Assumes flat land, without geographic features inhibiting growth • Decentralization of business areas
  11. 11. REFERENCES • Bunyi, Joan. ": Concentric Zone Model." : Concentric Zone Model. Lewis Historical Society, 1 May 2010. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <>. • Pick, Ashley. "Social Disorganization." Crime and Place. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <>.