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Urban Geography


Urban Geography Shenzhen changed from a fishing village to a major metropolitan area in just 25 years. 25 years ago, all of this land was duck ponds and rice paddies. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Urban Geography

Urban Geography
  • Shenzhen changed from a fishing village to a
    major metropolitan area in just 25 years. 25
    years ago, all of this land was duck ponds and
    rice paddies.

When and why did people start living in cities?
  • Urban morphology the layout of a city, its
    physical form and structure
  • Ex Areas of low development in divided Berlin

  • Formation of Cities
  • Agricultural Surplus
  • Less Farmers needed
  • Social stratification
  • Creation of leadership class

  • First Urban Revolution
  • An independent invention
  • Occurred independently in Mesoamerica, Nile
    Valley, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, and Huang He
    River Valley
  • It is debated as to whether the Nile Valley is
    actually a hearth

First Urban Revolution
  • Mesopotamia 3500 BCE
  • Social Inequality in housing
  • Priest-king class controlled the harvests through
  • City surrounded by a mud wall.
  • Temples were the most noticeable buildings.

First Urban Revolution
  • Nile River Valley 3200 BCE
  • There were no walls around cities in the Nile
    River Valley.
  • The people who controlled the irrigation systems
    had the power.
  • The whole region was controlled by one power.
  • It was debated as to whether the Nile River
    valley was actually a hearth.

First Urban Revolution
  • Indus River Valley 2200 BCE
  • The cities seem very well planned.
  • All of the houses are the same size.
  • All the houses had access to the same

First Urban Revolution
  • Huang He River Valley 1500 BCE
  • Infrastructure for the elite and leadership
    classes were inside an inner wall.
  • This inner wall was built around a vertical
    structure in the center of the city.

First Urban Revolution
  • Mesoamerica 200 BCE
  • Cities were centers of religion.
  • The urban elite built religious buildings.
  • Rulers were god-kings.

Greek vs. Roman Cities
Greek cities
  • Every Greek city has an acropolis, where the
    largest building was it was usually religious
  • Greek cities had large squares for social
  • Housing in Greek cities was poor, along with
    sanitation and health conditions.
  • Cities were built with slave labor.

Greek vs. Roman Cities
Roman cities
  • Romans has an extensive transportation network.
  • Adopted the Greeks grid pattern for planning
  • Expanded on the Greek idea of the acropolis, and
    created the Forum.
  • In both Greek and Roman cities, infrastructure
    was built with slave labor.

Second Urban Revolution
  • Only happened after the second agricultural
  • Agricultural practices improved
  • Seed drill
  • Hybrid Seeds
  • Improved livestock breeding practices
  • Industrialization caused an increase in the
    number of people moving to cities.
  • These sudden change in population necessitated
    changes in infrastructure.
  • The Second Urban Revolution started in Great

Where are cities located and why?
  • Site and situation help explain why certain
    cities were planned and why cities thrive or fail
  • A trade area or hinterland is an adjacent region
    within which a citys influence is dominant
    (customers from smaller towns and villages come
    to shop, conduct business)
  • Three key components arose in the studies in
    urban geography population, trade area, and
  • Trade areas and population combine to form a
    hierarchy of urban places, following a pattern
    commonly called the rank size rule

  • The rank-size rule holds that in a model of urban
    hierarchy the population of a city or town will
    be inversely proportional to its rank in the
  • For example
  • - largest city 12 million
  • -2nd largest 6 million
  • -3rd largest 4 million
  • -4th largest 3 million
  • Does not apply in all countries, especially ones
    with supremely dominant cities (primate city)
    such as Paris (France) and Mexico City (Mexico)

Central Place Theory
  • 1933 Walter Christallers Central Place Theory is
    a model to predict how and where central places
    in the urban hierarchy (hamlets, villages, towns,
    cities) should be functionally and spatial
    distributed with respect to one another
  • Assumed
  • -surface is flat with no physical barriers
  • -soil fertility is the same everywhere
  • -population and purchasing power are evenly
  • -region has uniform transportation network
  • -from any given place, a good or service could be
    sold in all directions out to a certain distance

  • Central place any point or place in the urban
    hierarchy, such as a town or city, having a
    certain economic reach or hinterland
  • the largest central place provides the greatest
    number of functions to most of the region
  • Range is the maximum distance that people are
    willing to travel to purchase a product or
    partake in a service
  • Threshold the minimum number of customers needed
    to keep a business in existence
  • Hinterland the market area surrounding an urban
    center, which the urban center serves

Hexagonal Hinterlands
  • hexagonal regions as the shape of each trade area
  • Urban Hierarchy
  • City large, densely populated areas
  • Towns may consist of 50 to a few thousand people
  • Villages larger than hamlets and offer more
    services. May have grocery store
  • Hamlets may include only a few dozen people and
    offer very limited services, may have a gas

Central Places Today
  • When Christaller made his spatial model, the
    world was much simpler and much less populated,
    many factors make it less relevant today
  • In the Sunbelt phenomenon- the movement of
    millions of Americans from northern and
    northeastern States to the South and Southwest
  • existing cities would respond by increasing
    production of technological goods and services,
    increasing economic reach
  • Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix became increasing
    more important economically

How are cities organized, and how do they
  • Each model of the city is a study of functional
    zonation the division of the city into certain
    regions or zones (e.g. residential or industrial)
    for certain purposes or functions (e.g. housing
    or manufacturing)
  • zone area of a city with a relatively uniform
    land use (e.g. an industrial zone, residential
    zone) is typically proceeded by a descriptor
    that conveys purpose

Zones of the City
  • the central business district (CBD) the downtown
    heart of a central city, the CBD is marked by
    high land values, a concentration of business and
    commerce, and the clustering of the tallest
  • central city the urban area that is not
    suburban, generally the older or original city
    that is surrounded by newer suburbs
  • suburb an outlying, functionally uniform part of
    an urban area, and is often (but not always)
    adjacent to the central city
  • Suburbanization movement of upper and middle
    class people from the urban core areas to the
    surrounding outskirts to escape pollution as
    well as deteriorating social conditions(
    perceived and actual) In north America, the
    process began in the early 19th century and
    became a mass phenomenon by the second half of
    the 20th cent

  • Concentric zone model (Burgess) a structural
    model of the American central city that suggest
    the existence of five concentric land-use rings
    arranged around a common center
  • (Zone 1) At the center CBD
  • (zone 2) zone of transition is characterized by
    residential deterioration and encroachment by
    business and light manufacturing
  • (Zone 3) is a ring of closely spaced but adequate
    homes occupied by blue collar labor force
  • (Zone 4) consists of middle class residences
  • (Zone 5) is the suburban ring, commuters zone

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  • late 1930s Homer Hoyt published his
  • sector model places the CBD in the middle with
    wedge shaped sectors radiating outwards from the
    center along transportation corridors
  • focused on residential patterns explaining where
    the wealthy in a city chose to live
  • argued that the city grows outward from the
    center, so a low rent area could extend all the
    way from the CBD to the citys outer edge

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  • the 1940s Chuancy Harris and Edward Ullman
    proposed multiple-nuclei model it recognizes
    that the CBD is losing its dominant position as
    the single nucleus of the urban area
  • Cities have numerous centers of business and
    cultural activity

Edge Cities
  • Suburban downtowns, often located near key
    freeway intersections, often with
  • -office complexes
  • -shopping centers
  • -hotels
  • -restaurants
  • -entertainment facilities
  • -sports complexes
  • Urban realm a spatial generalization of the
    large, late 20th century city in the U.S. It is
    shown to be widely dispersed, multicentered
    metropolis consisting of increasingly independent
    zones or realms, each focused on it own suburban
    downtown the only exception is the shrunken
    central realm, which is focused on the CBD

  • Each realm is a separate economic, social and
    political entity that is linked together to form
    a larger metro framework.

Modeling the Cities of the Global Periphery and
  • colonial cities as urban areas where European
    transplants dominated the form of the city,
    laying it out with Western styles
  • indigenous cities remained remote from
    globalizing influences and various forms of
    Western society
  • These cities have been swept into the process of
    globalization today and have been transformed

  • Griffin-Ford model a model of the Latin American
    city showing a blend of traditional elements of
    Latin American culture with the forces of
    globalization that are reshaping the urban scene,
    combining radial sectors and concentric zones
  • The CBD is divided into the traditional market
    and the more modern high rise sector
  • Emanating outward from the urban core along the
    citys most prestigious axis is the commercial
    spine, surrounded by the elite residential sector
  • Disamenity sector the very poorest part of the
    cities that in extreme cases are not even
    connected to regular city services and are
    controlled by gangs and drug lords

  • Industrial park, reflecting ongoing concentration
    of economic activity

The African City (de Blij)
  • The central city often consists of three CBDs
  • a remnant of the colonial CBD
  • an informal and sometimes periodic market zone
  • a traditional business center with single-story
  • Manufacturing and mining operations are found
    near ethnic neighborhoods
  • Ringed by satellite townships that are squatter

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Southeast Asian City
  • In 1967, urban geographer T.G. McGee developed
    the McGee model shows similar land use patterns
    among the medium sized cities of Southeast Asia
  • The focal point of the city is its old colonial
    port zone combined with the largely commercial
    district that surrounds it
  • No formal CBD, rather McGee found the elements of
    the CBD present as separate clusters
  • Elite residential sector, an inner city zone of
    middle income housing, and peripheral low-income
    squatter settlements

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How do people make cities?
Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Cities reflect social and cultural preferences.
  • In poorer cities, there is usually no evidence of
    a middle class.
  • Shantytowns unplanned developments of crude
    dwellings and shelters made mostly of scrap.
  • Zoning laws ensure that space is used in
    culturally and environmentally acceptable ways.

Segregating Space
  • Redlining A process where business refused to
    offer loans to neighborhoods or areas of cities
    that they considered to be risky.
  • Blockbusting A process where realtors would
    convince white residents to sell houses by
    telling them that the neighborhood was declining
    because African-American residents were moving in.

Revival of Cities
  • Commercialization Changing the city area to make
    it more attractive to tourists and residents.
  • Gentrification When individuals buy and revamp
    old houses, raising the value of the neighborhood
    as well as changing it.
  • McMansions Large houses in suburbs that often
    will up the entire lot.

Urban Sprawl
  • The unrestricted growth of housing, commercial
    developments, and roads over large expanses of
  • Cities are growing out rather than up.
  • Leads to the destruction of farmland and old
    industrial sites.

Henderson, Nevada
Gated Communities
  • Fenced-in neighborhoods with controlled access
  • Came about to create spaces of safety in the
    urban landscape.
  • In poorer countries, gated communities provide
    extra comfort for the wealthy.

What role do cities play in Globalization?
  • World Cities function at the global scale,
    beyond the reach of the state borders,
    functioning as the service centers of the world

World Cities
  • Alpha cities in the first order
  • Beta next order of cities, San Francisco,
    Sydney, Toronto, Brussels, Madrid, Sao Paulo
  • Gamma third order, Amsterdam, Boston, Jakarta,

Primate City
  • A countrys largest ranking atop the urban
    hierarchy- most expressive of the national
    culture and usually (but not always) that capital
  • London, UK
  • Spaces of consumption areas of a city, the main
    purpose of which is to encourage people to
    consume goods and service driven primarily by
    global media industry
  • Times Square, New York City

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