The Burgess Model

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  • Created by: Jamie Lee
  • Created on: 11-03-13 16:12

The Burgess Model

The Burgess Model proposed that a city in the developed world grew outwards in a series of concentric rings. He argued that each ring would represent an urban or functional zone in the city, an area of a city which has common geographical characteristics resulting from the period in which it developed.

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The CBD (Zone 1)

CBD = Central Business District

The original site of the settlement. Some cities may have historic remnants, but most CBD's have been re-developed to contain the main shopping centre, businesses, entertainment, local government offices etc. This is because the CBD is the most accessible part of the city. As a result of competition for space, land prices are high. New buildings are often high rise and there is little or no housing.

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Transition Zone or Inner City (Zone 2)

This zone represents the first new phase of growth. It dates from the Industrial Revolution when industries and tightly packed, poor quality terraced housing developed here. By the mid 20th century the area was no longer practical as an industrial zone. Most factories had closed. Some had been converted to offices or even flats. Most have been demolished, whilst some lay derelict. Most of the old housing has been replaced by high rise flats or newer terraced housing. The inner city is the poorest area of the city, often with economic and social problems. 

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Residential or Inner Suburbs (Zone 3)

With the development of public transport, first the railways and then the trams, people were able to live further away from the factories. This led to a new zone of housing. The houses were still terraced and for the supply, individual sanitation's and a small back courtyard or garden. The streets were laid out in a grid iron manner with a range of corner shops and pubs within the rows or at the end of terraces. This area still exists although homes have been modernised and most corner shops have gone.

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Inter War Residential or Inner Suburbs II (Zone 4)

The extension of public transport; trams and buses and the beginning of car ownership allowed the city to grow into more pleasant rural areas. The typical housing style was semi-detached. Services were better and back gardens were often quite large. These houses were for the emerging lower middle classes. This period also saw the first council house estates as local authorities started to rehouse people from the declining inner city.

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Post War Residential or Outer Suburbs (Zone 5)

Increased car ownership led to the the development of the outer suburbs. There was modern housing that was built in a variety of styles; Terraced, Semi-detached and Detached. Housing was for all kinds of people including professional working class (often on the new industrial estates) and those displayed by slum clearance in the inner city. Street layout in often typified by courts, crescents and cul-de-sacs.

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The Urban Rural Fringe (Zone 6)

This is an area on the edge of an urban area occupied by modern light industry and retail centres. Reasons for growth include:

  • Much better transport access than the old inner city industrial location.
  • Land prices are lower than other areas of the city.
  • Plenty of room for expansion on the greenfield sites.
  • A more pleasant working/shopping environment than inside the city.
  • Much greater mobility of people through car ownership which makes the area easy to reach.
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