Urbanization and City Patterns
Chapter 10 and 11
(Note: This covers 2 chapters.)
(I am testing both chapters.)
Urban Center Definitions
• Urbanization: (increase in) the number and percentage of
people living un urban settlements. (Urbanized Population)
– Driving factors:
• Convenience/Proximity (distance and access to services)
• Primate City: a large city, dominating the country
– Usually more than twice the next largest city
• Often, dominant economic, political and cultural center
• Jobs, services, convenience migration
• These are often megacities, and may dominate regions.
Where have urban areas grown?
• 3% urban in 1800,
• now 50%+ and growing
• Change in extent, density, heterogeneity
– Ag. Mfg. Services,
– Urbanization is effectively completed.
– London, Tokyo, New York City, Los Angeles
– Migration from country in search of jobs,
– Local population growth often outstrips job availability.
– Delhi, Jakarta, Mexico City, Mumbai (Bombay).
Historical growth: the rise of cities
– Technical (ex: Thebes-Nile River, Mesopotamia)
• Irrigation: make canals, surplus crops drive pop. growth
– Religious (ex: Aztecs)
• Religious activities bring people together.
– Political (ex: London)
– Trade (Silk Road cities)
– War (every city with a fort, shield wall or barrier:
– Multiple factors:
• Technology, religion, politics, war, agriculture, and trade
– Aztec, Toltec Empires
– Incan Empire
• Nile Valley
– Pharohic Dynasties
• Tigris-Euphrates Rivers:
• Huang Ho River Valley:
– Han Chinese, many successive dynastic cycles
• Indus Valley
Cities and Religion
• Many rulers used religion to maintain power.
• Belief systems shaped cities and architecture.
– Cosmomagical (Cosmological) Cities:
• Sacred symbolic center, aka Axis Mundi
– Near seat of power and granary
» Forbidden City in present Beijing
» Imperial Palaces in Kyoto, Nara
» Mayan city temples
• Orientation toward the 4 cardinal directions
• City layout reflecting cosmologial form
– Sometimes architectural forms, such as solar observatories
– Align the world to mirror aspects of heaven or the universe
– Free time specialization
– Inventions arts and crafts, trade, storage
– Square for trade, wall for defense, temple for
prayer, fort for powerful…
• Learned traits from other city patterns
– Good ideas are copied.
• Chang-an Nara, Kyoto, Roman colonies, etc.
• Figure 10.7, Map, p. 283
Cities and globalization
• Global cities: global economy control centers.
– Ex: London, NY City, Tokyo
• Globalizing cities: are modified by globalizing
economies and cultures
– Ex: any city not politically isolated from the world.
• Even Timbuktu has had some globalizing influences.
– The degree of globalization depends on accessibility and desire.
Urban Ecology: Location
– Natural trade advantages (site and situation)
– Natural barriers to attack (site and situation)
• Food Supply
– e.g. city states: city + controlled countryside
– e.g. floods, quakes, hurricanes
• Site: characteristics of a place
– Bluffs, rivers, islands, protected harbors, mesas,
– Local barriers of a city.
• Situation: relative location of locations
– Far from enemy, intervening marshes,
mountains, seas, etc.
• Barriers (outside the city site) between cities or states
• Ex: marshes and distance from Germany and Moscow
Trade: Site and situation
• Trade sites:
– Route branches, portages, end of navigable rivers, fords,
river mouths, bays, estuaries, etc.
• Trade situations:
– Closer to other cities
• Berlin, Paris, London, Milan, etc.
– Along trade routes
• Singapore, Detroit, Venice (historical), Los Angeles
– Access to nearby friendly ports
• Mexico City, Beijing
– Access to resources or production regions (agriculture/mfg.)
• Hong Kong, New Orleans, Chicago
Central Place Theory: Threshold and Range
• Threshold: minimum population required to survive.
• Range: maximum distance people travel for a service.
Central Place Theory
• All things being equal, go
to closest service.
• Over time, patterns
become hexagonal as
– Ex: Europe (night image)
• In grid patterns, start
seeing grid central city
– Ex: Midwest
Globalizing City Problems
• Squatter settlements
– Insufficient income illegal housing, with poor/no services
• Informal sectors
– All cities have them, all economies have them, all countries have them.
• Apartheid (There is a city model for this in the text.)
– Isolation of undesired ethnicities in all aspects of life
• Central planned economy cities
– Economic inefficiencies are costly, and quality is lower.
– They may be as environmentally problematic as hyper-capitalist cities.
(Central planning can miss local problems.)
• Hyper-capitalist cities (e.g. transition from communist)
– Business growth can result in illegally appropriated land.
– Illegal pollution is a larger problem.
– Laws may be less strictly enforced, and can be circumvented.
– Not limited to post-communist cities… See Singapore.
Chapter 11: Inside the City
• Look at this as the other half of a single topic.
• Differences between cities are also found as
differences within cities.
– Patterns often repeat at different scales.
Models of urban structure
1. Concentric Zone: Concentric rings: CBD, transition zone,
independent worker houses, better houses, commuter zone.
• Like VonThunen’s concentric ring agricultural model
2. Sector: initial land use patterns expand in wedges from the
center. (think of this as being like wedges of different pizzas.)
3. Multiple Nuclei: Initial nuclei form around basic activities,
and land uses are attracted to those nuclei of development.
– Nuclei: CBD, harbor, university, airport, park, railroad
yards, manufacturing, military bases, etc.
4. Peripheral Model: Ring cities and a ring road (next page)
4. Peripheral Model
• urban area with inner city
and suburbs connected by
a ring road
• suburbs become edge
– Washington DC
– Los Angeles CA
• (Add the beltway!)
• Colonial mission
• (Google Earth)
Inner cities: distinctive problems
• Deterioration and Blight (housing & services):
– Housing ages.
– Rent < maintenance skip it.
– Rent < bills, etc abandon / raze / sell
• Urban renewal (& public, private, or both types of housing):
– Demolition of old housing dislocates people,
– High rises can provide poor environments if not careful.
• Renovation ( & gentrification):
– Pay for renewal,
– gentrification dislocates lower classes, usually affecting
Land use influences
• Filtering: (a housing use/reuse pattern): Large houses
subdivided, age, occupied by successive immigrant
• Red-Lining: (illegal denial of credit): drawing lines on a
map to identify areas in which loans will not be given.
• Public housing: units reserved for low income
households, who pay reduced rates (e.g. 30% of their
income) for rent.
• (inner city text reference, only there?)
• peoples trapped in an unending cycle of
economic and social problems.
Culture of poverty:
• Single Parents:
– 2/3 of children by unwed mothers, 90% one parent, inadequate child
care, deadbeat dads
• Poor Education:
– Lack of motivation, less parental support, school drug use, etc. low
• High Crime Rate:
– drug use, gang violence over drug turf, more visible drug distribution than
– (chain migration), separation in poor regions by recent immigrants, lower
classes, some ethnicities
– insufficient local taxation poorer services, (schools, parks, transit,
refuse, libraries, etc.)
• Renovation (ex: urban renewal projects)
– (who wins, who loses?)
• The Great American Dream (days gone by…)
• (Alternatively, the Great Escape)
– Close Satellite workplace (Services and Industry)
• Peripheral residences, gas station, & other services develop
– Established shopping centers and malls,
– Then light manufacturing centers,
• Often developed around nuclei of attraction.
• These become edge cities.
• Alternate explanation
– (extension of central place theory)
– original communities grow with increasing pop. density.
• Change in density with distance
• Once high, with CBD and nearby regions
• Decay and urban blight suburban flight,
smaller cities farther out
Segregation by income…
• Upper & middle class housing, separated, zone no apartments,
min. acreage (more sale profit)
• Jobs are often suburban, but the poor workforce is often urban.
Need a transportation match for increased employment.
• Progressive spread of development over the landscape. (Why?)
– Home ownership, lifestyle, Fed. auto subsidies, &
– Inefficient costly development, less farmland, less truck
farming, patchwork development, higher utility costs, &.
– Increased dependence on transportation.
– If inadequate, means, then less travel.
– Lower class isolation.
• Loss of rail transit,
• partial recovery,
• 90% interstate automobile subsidies,
• ¼ of land transit and parking, congested
• Public transport:
– Cheaper, less polluting, more energy efficient (if there are
MANY commuters per bus). Separate rail services avoid
delays of rush hour.
– Under-funded in the US compared to the EU.
– Arguably cheaper than building more roads.
• Less pollution (tie to resources in previous chapters.)
• Services in an urban area often cross multiple municipal
– e.g. transit, water, e-, schools.
• Costs are higher, when handled separately, and confusion
– Some cities cooperate, forming combined governments.
– This leads to…
Inter-governmental Cooperation Approaches
• Metropolitan Governments: coordination of service provision
– Councils of Government:
• cooperative agency with local government reps, often used for overall
• two tiered structure, higher level control over taxation, assessment,
and borrowing, local service responsibility
• City and county governments work together, sometimes formally
separate, sometimes unified.
– This cooperation also facilitates better growth strategies…
• (Planning concept)
• Legislation and regulation with limiting suburban sprawl, and
preserving (open space, e.g.) farmland
– reduce infrastructure costs,
– Compact development,
– possibly greenbelts
– limits annexation / development outside the city limits
– (other means and outcomes)
• (Pause, query, wait…)
(Time permitting) Tie back to:
• Site and Situation
Tie back: Migration
• Urban to suburban for quality of life, usually
middle to upper middle class.
• Near CBD: If poor transportation or high
costs, migrate closer to work, prices
• Chain Migration ethnicity concentrations