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Urban Models
Do you live in a city?

Urban Models

This Geography quiz takes a look at urban models. Cities are large complex places so geographers use models to help them study urbanisation. A model is a simplification of reality and is used to help with spotting and explaining patterns. At GCSE level, the two urban models you will have been taught are the Burgess (concentric zone model) and the Hoyt model.

The Burgess model was developed in the 1920s to help with social studies of the American city of Chicago. It divided the city into zones by using concentric circles (circles with their centres at the same point). He identified five different zones of land use within Chicago. When this was tried out on other cities in the US, it seemed to work for those too.

The first zone is right at the centre of the city and is normally the oldest part and has the highest land values. It is called the CBD which stands for the 'central business district'. This contains the major offices, shops and entertainment centres. Around this lie the other zones, the industrial zone where there are factories, warehouses and smaller industrial units. The next zone is the working class housing, built at about the same time as the industry developed so that the workforce was readily available. The fourth zone is where the middle class housing lies and is effectively what is sometimes called 'suburbia' and furthest from the CBD is the commuter belt where the most affluent population live. No model is perfect so it is possible to find working class housing in the industrial zone or a factory in the middle class housing zone.

The Burgess urban model worked well for American cities in the 1920s but not for European cities in more recent times. Mass car ownership and changes in working and housing choices have changed the nature of urban areas. Every city is different so a better model was needed. This lead to the development of the Hoyt model. This is more realistic as it combines sectors and segments of circles in order to more accurately represent a city.

These models can be applied to cities in LEDCs as well, but with some modifications. Often, rural to urban migration has taken place which gives rise to the development of 'shanty towns' springing up on the urban fringe. Shanty towns are constructed illegally from whatever materials are to hand - plastic, sheets of metal, wooden palettes and so on. In South American towns like Rio or Sao Paulo, they are called 'favelas'.

Which of the following best describes the Burgess urban model?
Concentric squares
Concentric circles
Tesselated hexagons
Sectors and segments of circles
The Burgess model was developed in the 1920s to look at the US city of Chicago
Which of the following is the most likely to be different when drawing an urban model of a city in an LEDC?
There will be no CBD zone
There will be no industrial zone
There will be a green belt zone
There will be an illegal housing zone
Cities in LEDCs attract migrants from rural areas who cannot afford proper housing and settle around the outskirts of the city
What is the first zone on both the Burgess and Hoyt urban models called?
Central economic area
Central economic district
Central business area
Central business district
This is abbreviated to CBD
Which of the following types of house would you be most likely to find in a typical UK inner city?
Victorian terraces
Large detached houses
Modern development
Semi-detached houses with gardens
Inner city industrial brownfield sites are sometimes developed to provide modern homes but you are a lot more likely to find the Victorian terraced houses that were built to house the workforce of local factories
There are differences between the development of cities in poorer and richer countries. Which of the following is not correct?
In cities in LEDCs, the poorest housing is often at the edge of the city
Cities in MEDCs usually have large squatter settlements in their suburbs
There is often high-class housing close to the CBD in an LEDC city
Housing in the outer fringes of an MEDC city will often have gardens
The high-class housing of LEDC cities often extends along a main road from the CBD to the suburbs and consists of colonial houses with servant accommodation
Which of the following statements about cities in MEDCs is NOT usually true?
The oldest areas of a city are usually near the centre
The Hoyt model shows where sectors of industry have been developed along main access roads leading to the CBD
The oldest areas of a city are usually found in the urban rural fringe
The CBD is drawn at the centre of urban models
Cities usually grow outwards from the original settlement
Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of a CBD?
Lots of green spaces
High-rise buildings
Good communications infrastructure
High land and property prices
Land in CBDs is usually too expensive for individuals to buy
The Hoyt urban model was developed because the Burgess model was becoming less useful. Which of the following is not a reason that geographers needed a new urban model?
Air travel meant that it was easier for cities to expand
Mass ownership of cars
Cities were more complex than the one on which the Burgess model was based
Housing and working trends changed over time
The Burgess model did not allow for the development of industry or housing along the main roads, rivers flowing through cities or development alongside railways
Which of the following is least likely to be found in the urban rural fringe of a city?
Retail parks
High-rise office blocks
An airport
High-class housing
Businesses make the most of the land in a CBD by building upwards, this is not so important in urban fringes
How does the Hoyt urban model differ from the Burgess model?
It uses different colours
It takes into account sectors of similar land use concentrated in parts of the city
It is drawn to a more accurate scale
It shows the CBD as more accurate by using an irregular shape
This approach creates zones radiating out from the CBD on the model
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Urban issues and challenges

Author:  Kev Woodward

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