AQA Geography A: Changing Urban Environments

Key ideas for AQA GCSE Geography A topic Changing Urban Environments taken from the AQA Specification for last exams in 2013

Urbanisation is a global phenomenon

Students should appreciate the different pace and causes of urbanisation in the rich and poor world.

Urbanisation occurs in both MEDCs and LEDCs.

The number of people living in urban areas tends to increase with industrialisation. The UK and many other MEDCs industrialised in the 18th and 19th centuries.

People migrated from rural areas to urban areas where they could find employment in new factories.

Housing was built for employees, developing the inner city.

On a global scale, urbanisation is occuring rapidly, particularly in LEDCs.

In the UK, many people are choosing to live on the edge of urban areas or relocate to the countriside. This is called counter-urbanisation.


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Urban areas have a variety of functions and land u

Land in cities is used in different ways. The Hoyt and Burgess models are models of urban land use.

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Urban areas have a variety of functions and land u

The land in a city is used for many purposes:

  • Leisure and recreation - this includes open spaces such as parks or built facilities such as leisure centres/sports centres/playgrounds
  • Residential - the building of houses and flats
  • Transport - road and rail networks, stations, airports, people movers
  • Business and commerce - offices, shops and banks
  • Industry - factories, warehouses, small production offices

Business and commerce is mostly located in the CDB - central business district.

Features that define the CDB:

  • High/multi storey buildings                 Expensive land values
  • Offices, finance, banks
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