Geography 1.6 Urban Settlements 2

Urban land use

urban land use: a simplified model of the land use that may be found in towns and cities

The growth of cities in the 19th/early 20th century produced a form recognizable by its ULU

  • central commercial area
  • surrounding industrial zone 
  • densely packed housing
  • outer zones of suburban expansion and development

Land Value: varies with different land uses; land in the centre of cities is the most expensive

  • the most accesbile land to public transport
  • only a small amount available
  • land prices decrease away from the central area
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Burgess's concentric/Hoyt's sector M (1925-39)

1. Asummed new migrants moved into inner city areas where housing was cheapest+closest to sources of employment

  • residents move out of the inner city area as they become wealthier
  • in the model, housing quality/social class increases with distance from centre

Centre Land-commerce 

Beyond Centre-manufacturing zone (includes high denisty housing for workers) 

Zone of Transition- from commercial to residential


  • emphasises the importance of transport routes + the incompatibility of certain land uses
  • sectors develop along important routeways
  • certain land uses deter each other and are separated by buffer zones/physical features
  • ---high-class residential and manufacturing industry


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Urban land use:Developing countries Latin America

The CBD is developed around the colonial core; commercial avenue extending from it. 

  • that is the spine of a sector containing open areas, parks and homes for upper/middle class; has good-quality streets, schools, public services
  • more employment opportunities

Further Out: recent suburbs (fewer services, haphazard housing)

Older established housing: along some sectors extending in towards the city centre

Industrial Areas: scattered alongmajor transport routes

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Land use zoning in Developing Countries

Models describing development of cities in developing countries:

  • the rich live closer to the city centre, the poor are found on the periphery
  • better-quality land is occupied by the wealthy
  • segregation by wealth, race and ethnicity
  • manufacturing is scattered throughout the city
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Internal Structure of towns/cities #1

CBD "Central Business District": the commercial/economic core of the city                                    

  • multistorey development: high land values force buildings to grow upwards; total floor space of CBD is much greater than the ground space                                                                                                   
  • concentration of retailing: high accessibility levels attract shops w. high range + thresholds (e.g department stores in central areas vs. specialist shops in less accessible areas)                               
  • concentration of public transport: convergence of bus routes                                                  
  • concentration of offices: centrality favours office development                                                           
  • vertical zoning: shops on lower floors for accessibility, offices on upper floors                                   
  • functional grouping: similar shops/functions tend to locate together (increases their thresholds)                                                
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Internal Structure of towns/cities #2

  • low residential pop: high bid rents can only be met by luxury apartments                                            
  • highest pedestrian flow: attractive commercial outlets / service facilities                               
  • highest traffic restrictions:pedestrianisation has reduced car access since the 1960s                         
  • CBD changes over time: assimilation zone:direction in which CBD is expanding discard zone: direction from which it is moving away                                                                                                 


  • lack of space/sites
  • high cost of land
  • congestion
  • pollution
  • planning restrictions
  • strict government controls                 
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