Cities and urban land use
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Cities and Urban Land Use . Unit VII . Settlements. Settlement : a permanent collection of buildings and inhabitants. ORIGINS OF SETTLEMENTS. Religious - graves, churches, temples Cultural - schools, libraries Political/Military - leader’s house, walls Economic - stores, food.

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Cities and urban land use

Cities and Urban Land Use

Unit VII



  • Settlement: a permanent collection of buildings and inhabitants

Origins of settlements


  • Religious - graves, churches, temples

  • Cultural - schools, libraries

  • Political/Military - leader’s house, walls

  • Economic - stores, food

Types of settlements


  • Rural Settlements- agriculture as the predominant occupation.

    • Can be Clustered or Dispersed

    • Clustered Rural Settlements – Grouped settlements in rural areas to minimize travel

    • Dispersed Rural Settlements – Isolated farms with enclosed continuous fields

  • Urban settlements- principal industries are secondary and tertiary.

Geographic perspective of settlements


  • Geographers are interested in the patterns of settlements and the interrelationship of settlements

  • How do the patterns of settlements explain human culture?

Cities and urban land use

Site – Physical characteristics of a city or setting

Situation – A city or settings location in relation to other cities or settings.

Developed Country (Core) - Those countries with the highest level of technological advancements.

Countries with high literacy rates, GNP’s and good health care.

Developing Country (Periphery/Semi – Periphery)

Those countries with limited use of high technology.

Countries with lower literacy rates, GNP’s and poorer health care

Origin of cities

Origin of Cities

  • Cities arise following efficient agriculture use

  • Food surplus

  • Agriculture hearths and cities

Historical rise of cities

Historical Rise of Cities

  • 3,000-4,000 BC

  • Iraq, Fertile Crescent

  • Eridu (Mesopotamia) 3,000 -4,000 BC

  • Thebes/Memphis (Nile Valley) 2500 BC

  • Ugarit/Byblos (Med. Europe) 1500 BC

  • Ayan (Huan-Ho) 1500 BC

  • Teotihuacan (Mesoamerica) 200 BC

Ancient world cities

Ancient World Cities

Oldest cities are found in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Indus Valley.

Mesopotamia (Jordan/Iraq)

Jericho 10,000 B.C.

Ur 3,000 B.C. (Iraq)

Walled cities based on agricultural trade

Ziggurat (stepped temple)

Ancient Ur in Iraq

Ancient world cities1

Ancient World Cities

Oldest cities are found in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Indus Valley.

E. Mediterranean

Athens 2,500 B.C.

1st city to exceed 100,000

Many cities organized into


Ancient Athens

Historical rise of cities1

Historical Rise of Cities

  • Rise of Trade and Agriculture create cities in Europe

  • Decline of Western Cities during the “Dark Ages” 700’s

  • Growth in East and Mesoamerica

    • Feudal System

Medieval world cities

Medieval World Cities

After collapse of Roman Empire in 5th Century, Europe’s cities were diminished or abandoned.

European Feudal Cities

-Begin in 11th Century

-Independent cities formed in exchange for military service to feudal lord.

-Improved roads encouraged trade

-Dense and compact within defensive walls

Paris, France

Cittadella, Italy

Medieval world cities1

Medieval World Cities

Cittadella, Italy

Cittadella, Italy

Historical rise of cities2

Historical Rise of Cities

  • Renaissance 1350-1650

  • Cities as centers of learning

  • Europe began to compete with world cities

  • Growth of trade

Historical rise of cities3

Historical Rise of Cities

  • Colonial Period: Renaissance – 19th Cent.

  • Colonial powers explore earth in search of plunder

  • Transform many ancient world cities into colonial cities

    • Tenochtitlan = Mexico City

  • Growth of European cities = decline of world cities

Historical rise of cities4

Historical Rise of Cities

  • Industrial Revolution

  • Growth of cities near manufacturing and transportation routes

  • Gateway cities

Historic city functions

Historic City Functions

  • Cities as location of industry and services

  • Cities as centers of social and technological innovation and freedom

  • Commercial Centers - Fresno, Venice, New York

  • Industrial Cities - Manchester, Detroit, Los Angeles

  • Primary Resources - Scotia, Minas Gerais, Nevada City

  • Resort Cities - Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, Marseille

  • Government / Religious Centers - Monterey, D.C., Brasilia

  • Education Centers - Palo Alto, Berkeley

Cities and urban land use

U.S. Urban Growth Stages

Cities and urban geography

Cities and Urban Geography

  • In 1950 1/3 of the world lived in a city.

  • Today 1/2 of us live in cities and the number is increasing.

Major cities of the world

Major Cities of the World

Modern world cities

Modern World Cities

A high percentage of world’s business is transacted and political power is concentrated in these cities.

  • Headquarters of large businesses

  • Media control centers

  • Access to political power

    London, New York, Tokyo

  • Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, Sao Paulo, and Singapore

  • Urban planning building better cities

    Urban Planning Building Better Cities

    How to Make a Great City

    • Famous Planned Cities

      • Canberra, Australia

      • Brasilia, Brazil

      • Washington, D.C.

      • Irvine, CA

      • Seaside, FL

      • Poundbury, England

    • Smart Growth

      • Pedestrian Friendly

      • Increase Density

      • Mix Ethnic and Income Groups

    Largest world metropolitan areas

    Largest World Metropolitan Areas

    Ten Most Populous Today

    Largest world cities

    Largest World Cities

    Ten Most Populous in A.D. 1975

    1. Tokyo 19.8 million

    2. New York 15.9 million

    3. Shanghai 11.4 million

    4. México 11.2 million

    5. São Paulo 9.9 million

    6. Osaka 9.8 million

    7. Buenos Aires 9.1 million

    8. Los Angeles 8.9 million

    9. Paris 8.9 million

    10. Beijing 8.5 million

    Source: U.N., 2001

    * Note that five of these cities are in the Core or more developed world.

    Largest world cities1

    Largest World Cities

    Ten Most Populous by A.D. 2015

    1. Tokyo 28.7 million

    2. Bombay 27.4 million

    3. Lagos 24.4 million

    4. Shanghai 23.4 million

    5. Jakarta 21.2 million

    6. São Paulo 20.8 million

    7. Karachi 20.6 million

    8. Beijing 19.4 million

    9. Dhaka, Bangladesh 19.0 million

    10. México 18.8 million

    Source: U.N., 2001

    * Note that only one of these cities is in the Core of the more developed world!



    • Urbanization – the process by which the population of cities grows

    • 2 Dimensions:

      • Increase in the number of people living in cities

      • Increase in the percentage of people living in cities

    Increasing number of people in cities

    Increasing Number of People in Cities

    • PEDs have a higher percentage of people in cities, but PINGs have more of the large urban settlements

    • Eight of the top ten cities are currently in PINGs

    • Top Ten cities ranking

    Rapid growth in pings

    Rapid Growth in PINGs

    • Growth of urban areas in PINGs is the reversal of Western Europe…it is not a measure of development

    • Where is the growth coming from?

      • 50% is coming from the countryside

      • 50% results from high natural increase rates

    The streets of mumbai

    The Streets of Mumbai

    Distribution of cities


    • International Distribution

      • Developed countries have a higher population living in urban areas

        • Two thirds live in urban areas

      • Developing countries have the greatest increases in the number of large urban settlements

        • One quarter live in urban areas

        • Most of the largest cities are in the developing regions

    Percent urban by region

    Percent Urban by Region

    Fig. 13-2b: Over 70% of people in MDCs live in urban areas. Although under half of the people in most of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are urban, Latin America and the Middle East have urban percentages comparable to MDCs.

    Legal definition of a city

    Legal Definition of a City

    • City – an urban settlement that has been legally incorporated into an independent, self-governing unit

      • Elects officials

      • Can raise taxes

      • Responsible for providing essential services

    • Central city – a city that is

      surrounded by suburbs

    Characteristics of modern cities

    Characteristics of Modern Cities

    Large size

    Large Size

    • In rural areas – you know the other inhabitants

    • You might be related to them!

    • In urban areas – you only know a small percentage of the other inhabitants

    High density

    High Density

    • The only way for large numbers of people to survive in a small area is through specialization

    • Each person in an urban area plays a special role to allow the system to function smoothly

    • High density causes people to compete for survival in limited space

    Specialized jobs

    Specialized Jobs

    Social heterogeneity

    Social Heterogeneity

    • The larger the settlement, the greater the variety of people

    • Urban areas provide for more freedom to pursue an unusual profession, sexual orientation, or cultural interest

    • Urban residents are more tolerant of diverse social behavior

    Urbanized area

    Urbanized Area

    • A central city and its contiguous built up suburbs where population density exceeds 1000 people per square mile

    • About 70% of the U.S. population live in urban areas, divided equally between the central city and surrounding areas

    Metro atlanta

    Metro Atlanta

    St louis metropolitan area

    St. Louis Metropolitan Area

    Fig. 13-3: The metropolitan area of St. Louis is spread over several counties and two states. It is also a diversified trade center, due to its position on the Mississippi River.

    Development of urban settlements


    • Megalopolis -

      • conurbation of a number of cities blended together without separation

        • “The Blob” Lewis Mumford

      • SMSA- Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Metropolitan statistical area

    Metropolitan Statistical Area

    • An MSA includes the following

      • A central city with a population of at least 50,000

      • The county within which the city is located

      • Adjacent counties with a high population density and a large percentage of residents working in the central city’s county

    Overlapping metropolitan areas

    Overlapping Metropolitan Areas

    • A county between two central cities may send commuters in either direction

    • Megalopolis – metropolitan areas that overlap

    • Bosnywash – the areas from D.C., to New York and Boston form a large complex of cities



    Fig. 13-4: The Boston-Washington corridor extends over 700 km and contains about one-quarter of U.S. population.

    Us megapolitan areas

    US Megapolitan Areas



    • Why build up?

    • Why copy Western model?

    • Where are the world’s tallest buildings?

    Growth of the city


    • Skyscrapers - using vertical space

      • intensive use of land

        • shops at street level

          • professional offices at higher levels

    • Outward Expansion

      • advent of the automobile & transportation routes

      • decline of public transport

    Urban patterns


    • City Center

      • best known area, most visually distinctive

        • San Francisco, London

      • original site of settlement

    • Central Business District (CBD)

      • retail & office space

      • accessible

      • often a focal point with skyscrapers

      • specialized stores for the office workers

    Cities and urban land use

    CBD, Chicago

    Urban patterns1


    • Zones in Transition

      • mixed use with light industry

      • transition from business to residential

      • older neighborhoods (slums)

        • home to ethnic groups not culturally integrated

        • ghettos vs. ethnic neighborhood

    • Suburbs

      • residential

      • nodes of retail services

    Outward expansion


    • Squatter Settlements- illegally erected shacks, cardboard structures and tents, due to rapid growth in cities of developing countries

    • De-urbanization of the City

      • suburbanism - legally independent cities

      • cluster cities

      • rural areas- preferable to urban lifestyle

      • telecommuting - economic activity from a distance

    Consequences of rapid growth

    Consequences of Rapid Growth

    • Large numbers of people working in informal sector of the economy.

    • Unhealthy living conditions and high sickness and mortality rate in squatter settlement.

    • Development of strong anti-govt. or anti-authority political parties or branches of political parties.

    • Development of gangs, mafias, or other non-legal authority systems in the squatter settlements that use violence to enforce their rule.

    • Increased police corruption.

    Consequences of rapid growth1

    Consequences of Rapid Growth

    • Increased soil erosion on hillsides as existing vegetation is removed for housing.

    • Increased water pollution resulting from lack of sanitary facilities in squatter settlements.

    • Decreased air quality resulting from fires used for cooking and heating in settlements.

    • Social and health issues, such as increased drug use, limited access to fresh water, children not attending school.

    • Strain on infrastructure, illegal access to electricity out of necessity.

    Squatter settlements


    Squatter shanty towns

    Squatter/Shanty Towns

    • Every South American city has them – usually on the edge of town outside the ring road, often on steep slopes or along river corridors subject to periodic flooding.

    • So common are the squatter areas that almost every country in South America has its own term for them – favelas, villas miserias, pueblos jóvenes, cerrosandquebradas, and so forth.

    • Depending on the country and city, shanties may contain more than half of the urban population, although 20-30% is a more common figure.

    • In some situations, rapid growth of cities has led to shanties filling in underutilized space (for example steep unstable slopes) inside the sprawling metropolises, creating stark juxtapositions.

    Squatter settlements highly variable zones

    Squatter settlements – Highly Variable Zones

    • They are characterized more by the fact that the land they occupy has no title – the communities are squatting on (usually) public or ejidal lands – than the nature of the dwellings.

    • Depending on age, they can range from sprawling collections of hastily constructed shacks of scavenged materials to more orderly, multi-room brick or cement panel buildings, often with rebar or wood scaffolding sticking out of a flat roof - evidence of permanency, or at least ambitions of such.

    Changing attitudes

    Changing Attitudes

    • Population growth has overwhelmed most South American cities and shanty towns are obvious demonstrations of this.

    • In the 1960s and 70s, when officials had not yet accepted the ultimate, even necessary reality of the shanty town, they were seen as failures and blights and were frequently eradicated with or without efforts to replace them with public housing complexes financed, all to frequently, by foreign loans.

    • The elite viewed them with disdain and fear, imagining them to be soul-less hovels devoid of virtues and without community.

    • Frequently, we confuse economic poverty with poverty of spirit, absence of dignity and other redeeming social virtues and values.

    • Frequently, the opposite is true and gradually the shanty town has been looked at in a more positive light in terms of its societal role and the lives of its inhabitants, although it is still of great concern from the perspective of securing material quality of life and access to the key services enjoyed by formal settlements.

    Characteristics of shantytowns

    Characteristics of Shantytowns

    • Population densities are high, families living in close proximity to each other on small parcels of land.

    • Privacy is very limited, with minimal separation between households in both a geographical and physical sense.

    • Basic services are often absent: especially garbage collection, sanitary sewer service, telephone and piped potable water supply, although basic electricity service might be provided (often with many illegal connections).

    • Roads are usually unpaved, with no formal surface drainage to conduct surface runoff safely off the roads and down hillsides, leading to extensive erosion.

    • Garbage is usually burned in oil drums or pits and open-air defecation is common, thus development projects frequently promote pit-latrine projects in shanty towns.

    Squatter settlements change over time

    Squatter settlements - Change Over Time

    • In the beginning, amenities are limited with perhaps a local front-room store (pulperia) selling basic items in a particular vecino (neighborhood) and many street-vendors and hawkers will be present selling food items and/or anything that can be carried or pushed up the potholed and muddy streets.

    • Depending on the age of the settlement, schools may be absent although as time goes by and the shanty upgrades to greater permanency and substance, such things as churches, schools, police stations, health clinics and public transport nodes will become established.

    • Prior to this maturity, shanty dwellers will need to walk down to the bottom of the community and to the periférico to hop on a bus to work, the doctor, church or school.

    • Development more permanent structures and better roads, depending on the terrain, might bring bus service and water tankers to the streets.

    • In the cases where formal incorporation of the shanty town occurs and titles are provided, roads might by paved and water and sewer pipes laid along with telephone lines.

    Some pros and cons of shantytowns

    Some Pros and Cons of Shantytowns

    • Illegal squats that, over time, become established and provided with services by authorities gives the urban poor a stake in society that they could not otherwise get.

    • They are a solution to a public housing issue that the formal economic system and government programs are ill-equipped to satisfy.

    • As the poor search for a better life, they tend to upgrade their own environment through self-help, eventually raising the quality of the barrios to something approaching middle-class status.

    • The reserve of urban poor close to the city provides a wealth of potential employees usually willing to work for low wages.

    • Because they are unplanned, they do not conform to appropriate building or public-works standards and thus are likely to experience public safety problems.

    • Because they lack basic services, they are foci for disease, both vector-born and infectious, and lead to water pollution from erosion and sewage runoff.

    • Made of ramshackle materials in risky locations, they are especially subject to the impact of earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc.

    To summarize squatter settlements are most likely located

    To summarize: Squatter settlements are most likely located…

    • On the edge of the metro area on either public or private land which was unoccupied prior to the establishment of the squatter settlement.

    • On steep hillside areas either at the edge of the city or in the center, which were thought to be un-buildable or unoccupied before the squatters established themselves.

    • On dump sites in the city

    • On areas that are prone to flooding

    • Lands that have unclear title

    Factors that have resulted in the high proportion of squatter settlements

    Factors that have resulted in the high proportion of squatter settlements…

    • Large scale and rapid rural to urban migration resulting from push

    • factors. For ex: changing nature of agriculture, rural population

    • growth and violence.

    • Lack of employment opportunities in urban areas.

    • Inability of government to provide enough public or subsidized housing to meet the demand.

    • Undeveloped housing sector of the economy to provide financing, labor, property and development expertise to build large areas of low cost housing in the private sector.

    • Rapid population growth within the squatter population in the large cities.

    Urban hierarchy

    Urban Hierarchy

    • Cities are linked together (system)

    • Ranking based on size and functionally complexity

    • Interactions among cities tend to be vertical (move upward in search of needs)

    • Sphere of influence is proportional to size

    Rank size rule

    Rank – Size Rule

    Rank-Size Rule:nth largest settlement is 1/n the population of the largest settlement. In other words, 2nd largest is 1/2 the size of largest. Works best in most developed countries that have full distribution of services.

    Urban hierarchy1

    Urban Hierarchy

    • Rank Size Rule: The City Population = Largest City Pop/Rank of City

    • nth largest city of a national system of cities will be 1/n the size of the largest city

    • Works well for highly industrialized complex economies

    Urban hierarchy2

    Urban Hierarchy

    • Primacy

    • Country Dominated by a Primate City: a single city that is more than twice the size of the second largest city

    • Dominates the economics, political, and cultural landscape of a country

    • No obvious “second City”, violates rank size, colonialism

    Primate city rule

    Primate City Rule

    Largest settlement in a country has more than twice the number as the second ranking city. These cities tend to represent the perceived culture of the country.

    Primate cities

    Primate Cities

    • Seoul: 40% total population

    • Luanda: 66% of total population

    • Cairo, Mexico City, London, Paris

    • Sao Paulo

      • 10% of Population

      • 25% of GDP

      • 40% of manufacturing

    Cultural interaction in urban geography why do geographers study it

    Cultural Interaction in Urban Geography – Why do geographers study it?

    • Study of the spatial distribution of towns/cities

    • Attempt to determine the economic/political factors that influence patterns

    Models of urban structure

    Models of Urban Structure

    Models of urban structure1

    Models of Urban Structure

    • Study of the spatial processes occurring in cities

    • How land uses are grouped

    • How urban areas have changed over time

    • Key is relationship of CBD to high-income, middle-income, and low-income neighborhoods

    Varied land use and density

    Varied Land Use and Density

    • Cities have multiple land uses

    • Commercial

    • Industrial

    • Residential

    • Creates a pattern of competition for land use

    Rent gradient

    Rent Gradient

    • In a market economy most land is freely bought and/or sold

    • “rent gradient” – purchase price

    • The rent gradient indicates the rate at which the value of urban land declines with distance from the CBD

    Rent gradient1

    Rent Gradient

    Land further from the CBD is ???? Land closer to the CBD is ???

    Geographic theory quick write 4 30

    Geographic TheoryQuick Write 4.30

    • How far would you go to buy a cup of coffee?

    • How far would you go to buy a book?

    • How far would you go to buy a washing machine?

    • How far would you go to buy a car?

    • On average these distances will progressively increase

    • Goods have a threshold and range

    • Central Place Theory explains this…

    Central place theory

    Central Place Theory

    • Proposed by Walter Christaller

      • German geographer

      • 1933, translated into English 1966

      • Influenced by von Thünen and Weber

    • Focuses on the role of distance in the location of urban centers

    • Attempts to explain the relationship between cities and their hinterlands

    Central place theory1

    Central Place Theory

    • Cities exist for economic reasons

    • Are the articulation points that facilitate the exchange of goods and services

    Cpt focuses on four questions

    CPT focuses on four questions:

    • How may central places will develop?

    • Why are some places larger than others?

    • Where will cities locate?

    • What will be the size of each city’s trade area?

    Important concepts cpt

    Important Concepts – CPT

    The Central Place

    • Not all settlements are central places

    • Central places exist to provide goods and services to the hinterland

    • Excludes specialized function places

    • Central Places are towns and cities that support tertiary activities



    • Countryside is a flat, homogenous plain

    • Rural farm population of the hinterland is evenly dispersed

    • Consumers will always consume from the closest central place that offers a particular good

    • Actors are economically rational and have perfect market knowledge



    • Population size is positively correlated with the importance of a city as a central place

    • The correlation is far from perfect

    • Another measure besides population needs to be used

    • Centrality - distinction between size of a place and importance

    Cities and urban land use

    The Market Area

    • The market area of a central place is the sphere within which consumers will travel to purchase given goods and services.

    • The range is the distance consumers are willing to travel for a given good or service.

    • The threshold is minimum number of consumers needed to support a given good or service.




    • The purchasing power required to support a tertiary activity

    • Low-order goods

    • High-order goods

    • Dollar amounts often hard to measure

    • Use the number of consumers needed

    Range of a good

    Range of a Good

    • Distance people are willing to travel to purchase a particular good

    Central place theory cpt

    Central Place Theory (CPT)

    • In order to determine level of a central place, you must rank all goods and service

      according to their thresholds

    • Threshold (inner range) – minimum level of demand needed that will allow a firm to stay in business (minimum level of sales, minimum population)

    • Range – (outer range) average maximum distance people are willing to travel to purchase a good

    • Threshold and range vary for each good and service

    • Central places of a given level provide not only goods and services that are specific to its level, but also all other goods and services that lower order centers provide

    • Threshold influences the number and relative location of producers

    • High-order goods are available only at a few locations They are expensive and purchased infrequently

    • They have a high threshold and wide ranges

    • Low order goods provided by a large number of locations. They are relatively cheap and purchased frequently

    • For any market, the most effective system of marketing region will be a hexagonal lattice

    • Regular shape close to a circle. Completely covers an area without overlaps or unserved areas

    Size and spacing

    Size and Spacing

    Christaller’s Hierarchy

    • Hamlet

    • Village

    • Town

    • City

    • Regional Capital

    Central place theory2

    Central Place Theory

    In order to reduce spatial friction, places of similar size, rank, or function will tend to be evenly spaced across geographical space


    Cities and urban land use

    • The hinterland (market area) is what makes the central place theory hexagonal in shape. It is equidistant along all edges from the product center or urban area.

    • An entity’s sphere of influence remains strongest near its source or center, but people in the hinterland may still be willing to travel some distance to purchase or enjoy it.

    Central place theory in real world

    Central Place Theory In Real World

    • South West Wisconsin

    • 142 Hamlets

      • Avg. Spacing 5.5 miles

    • 73 Villages

      • Avg. Spacing 10 miles

    • 19 Towns

      • Avg. Spacing 21 miles



    • Towns not on major transportation routes are smaller than predicted

    • Trans- routes attract business = larger towns

    • Political boundaries may disrupt the even spacing of cities

    Let s define

    Let’s define…

    • The Hinterland (Market Area)

    • The Range of a Service

    • The Threshold of a Service

    • Let’s discuss the optimal location within a market…

    Where is the best location of a service such as a McDonalds?

    Cities and urban land use

    McDonalds Locations in Alpharetta

    Draw the market areas around each mcdonalds

    Draw the market areas around each McDonalds.

    • Answer the questions within your group…

      • Are the market areas the same size?

      • Are there concentrations of populations in some areas, i.e. are the thresholds the same size? Would concentrations of college students or apartment complexes influence the locations? Why? Would the locations of businesses with large work forces influence the range?

      • If the community had a large elderly population would that change the threshold, therefore influencing the range for each restaurant?

      • Are there ‘gaps’? Where would people go if they were not in the one of the market areas?

      • Where would the next McDonalds be built?

      • Do the transportation routes influence where people would stop?

      • What other factors might influence where people would stop?

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