Models of Urban structure.

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Hoyt, 1939 ] Mann (1965) ] Ullman and Harris (1945) ]

Over time people have tried to understand how cities grow into the way they are and why certain areas are richer than others and a way of doing this is through models. Each of the following models has taken data from at least one city although probably more and through looking at the trends between different cities spatially they have formed models to illustrate what they have found


1) Burgess model (1924)

based on Chicago, attempted to identify the outward expansion of the city in terms of socio-economic groupings of it's inhabitants. There are five concentric rings and as we move out from the center we find that the land use changes as distance from the center increases.


Assumptions for the model:

- land was flat and therefore transport was equally cheap in all directions

- all transport were as efficient as each other

- Land near the center was of higher value than land at the outskirts

- buildings aged as we move out from the center.

- well-defined separations either ethnically or economically.

- those who could afford transport lived further out.

- no concentration of heavy industry


Resultant model:

1) CBD

Central business district contains all the major shops, offices thereby making it the center for commerce and entertainment.

all roads lead to it


2) Wholesale light manufacturing

either invaded by light industry or degrading old housing, mostly recent immigrants.


3) Low class housing:

This is where people who are slightly better off live, these may also be second generation immigrants working in industry

reduced traveling cost


4) Medium class housing

higher quality housing, in England would include Inter-war "semi detached houses and council estates.


5) High class housing

Occupied by people who have both the money to afford housing here and who can afford to commute every day.


Problems with the model:

As it assumes that land is flat it does not show the importance that good roads may have in encouraging settlement. It is also a model from the 1920's and since then things have changed, in a city such as Sao Paolo we may find that there are favellas on the outskirts of cities where the poorest people live, who have moved from rural settlements. Another limiting factor is that the city is near Lake Michigan thereby making it semi-circular so that the model is only right to a certain extent. Since it is based on only one city it only shows that city at one point in time, therefore it would be better to develop a more complex model.

If you're interested in reading more about models then continue on to read about these three more models which you will notice are more complex thereby painting a more precise image of the settlement pattern.

Hoyt (1939)

Mann (1965)

Ullman and Harris (1945)