The characteristics of urban areas

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  • The characteristics of urban areas
    • Functions
      • Most people  argue that activities located in urban areas are the root source of all characteristics
      • Residence is a major land use, accounting for well over half of built up areas
      • Manufacturing used to be the core function of MEDCs until deindustrialisation and the global shift taken from the NICs and RICs, have changed that.
      • The most lucrative of economic activities fall within the tertiary and quaternary sectors. The provision of a range of services, not just for the urban inhabitants themselves, generates many jobs and a lot of capital
        • Manufacturing used to be the core function of MEDCs until deindustrialisation and the global shift taken from the NICs and RICs, have changed that.
      • Not all functions are 'economic' eg, Recreation. Urban areas tend to have sports stadiums, swimming pools, leisure and shopping centres.
    • Patterns
      • Similar activities and types of people tend to cluster together, sorting out land uses eg, The CBD, edge city and instustrial estates
      • The general age of the urban area decreases from the centre because towns and cities grow from a historical nucleus
      • Density of development decreases as a town/city grows, its fringe expands
      • Urban areas all show the same basic components-A core, a suburban ring and a rural fringe.
      • Activities and groups differ in terms of what they can afford.
      • Physical geography determines where to build-slopes, rivers, flood plains, etc.
    • Processes
      • Processes can be centralising (attracting people to an urban area) or decentralising (pushing people out of urban areas)
      • Centralising-Agglomeration, regeneration & suburban intensification
      • Decentralising-Counter-urbanisation and suburbanisation

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