Wendy A. Mitteager
State University of New York, Oneonta
Urban Structure - Key Terms
Land Use & Spatial
North American Cities
Urban Land Use
City The term is a political designation
Refers to a municipal entity that is governedby some kind of administrative organization
In Europe the largest cities (especially capitals) are often
the foci of the state
microcosms of their national cultures
A hypothetical uniform plane representing a City & its Use Zones
Accessibility of a location is a function of its utility, which decreases steadily with distance from the city center.
Utility decreases from center but at different rates for different land users.
Figure 11.1 Accessibility, bid-rent, and urban structure
Bid-rents - Different users are
prepared to pay different
amounts for locations at various
distances from the City center.
Urban dwellers trade-off
between accessibility & living
North American City Structure
Central business district
(CBD) traditional city development based on
urban center with administrative functions
including government, banking, law, education,
& retail functions.
Zone in transition as city space evolves &
changes, previous zones of industrial use fall
into decay, may develop into new business
with different land use; mixture of growth,
change & decline.
Figure 11.2 Chicago's
Globalized Financial CBD
Historic 3rd Street
Santa Monica, CA
1950s to 2012
North American Cities
Figure 11.3 The ecological model of urban land use
The Chicago Model
Zones of concentric land use in a model City.
Central business district (CBD) at center, location of
original agricultural farmers markets, livestock
transport & slaughter, rail yards for shipping nationally
& regionally. Manufacturing. Historic ethnic enclaves
with distinct cultural fabric in proximity to groups
experiencing discrimination due to race and ethnicity.
Kids in the Dump yards of
Chicago Union Stockyards, Railroads
Urban Population & Congregation
Congregation provides a means of cultural preservation. Allows religious & cultural practices to be maintained & strengthens group identity
through daily involvement in routines & ways of life.
Minority groups are population subgroups that are perceived as different
from the general population. Defining characteristics of minority groups can
be based on race, language, religion, nationality, caste, sexual orientation, or
Segregation The combined result of congregation & discrimination, the spatial separation of specific subgroups within a wider population.
Enclaves are tendencies toward congregation & discrimination are long-
standing but dominated by internal cohesion.
Ghettos long-standing products of discrimination than congregation.
Colonies result from shorter lasting congregation, discrimination or both.
Persistence depends on continuing arrival of new minority-group members.
Long BeachNew York
Segregation The combined
trend of racial
Figure 11.6 Decentralized multiple-nuclei model
Contemporary American urbanization; ever-
increasing metropolitan sprawl with outlying nodes
of residential & economic development
Ex: Los Angeles & southern California regions,
Northeastern Indiana Chicago metropolitan region
Figure 11.5 Hoyt's model of urban structure:
Hoyt observed dominant patterns of population
classes in as concentric & sectors of land use.
Wage earners live in proximity to manufacturing
The Central Business District containing
administrative functions & segregated low & higher
income residential areas.
Spatial OrganizationFigure 11.7
Polycentric new metropolis
Non-concentric reality of American
Urban & suburban growth
Both multiple-nuclei & polycentric
Metropolitan urban regions merge into
megalopolis Gottmans 1961
Conceptualization of the urbanized region
from Boston New York Baltimore
Washington, DC & its role in industrial,
trade/shipping, financial, &
Tysons Corner, Virginia**
Urban development with new
Business, commercial, retail, &
Upscale residential areas
Outside of more established cities.
Business Parks are ex. of outlying
Centers of economic innovation.
Also planned developments such as Irvine, CA
Figure 11.9 Gentrification in Philadelphia Elite
economic class enjoys revitalization of older core
residences near the CBD & Downtown of American
cities. Controversial for displacing lower income
residents & neighborhoods.
Figure 11.8 Metroburban landscapes merging of
urban centers with edge cities of residences, retail
centers, & business parks. Commute times are
extended but over time the regions merge into
interconnected metro-urban areas. Example is San
Diego from Mexico border north east and north
west is all developed commercially & residentially &
connected via freeway networks to Orange County
and to Los Angeles.
Smart Growth versus Sprawl
Figure 11.F Smart growth in Pasadena
Figure 11.E Transformation of California farmland to
suburban sprawl Water comes from Colorado River
Water & from Water Table via municipal wells.
Pasadena was founded in 1900, part
of original Los Angeles landscape at
turn-of-century; not the same as
contemporary sprawl, not really a
good comparison, nations 1st freeway
led from downtown LA over pass LA
River into town against Mts. Pasadena
used to be connected to Pacific Ocean
via the Red Cars trolley system
removed when automobiles became
Problems of North American Cities Central cities inner-city cores experience decay, crime, poverty.
Fiscal squeeze Occurs when tax revenue goes down (businesses
leave area, homeowners move out) plus increasing demand for
money to improve & support urban infrastructure & city services.
Detroit entire industry leaves & city disintegrates
Infrastructure Bridges, roads,
Sewers, electrical grids, public
Transportation all has to be maintained
Poverty- lower wage populations who
need support to escape cycle of poverty.
Neighborhood decay lack of investment in maintenance of
properties - low income areas needs investment
Redlining racial/financial profiling of homebuyers nice word for
economic Racism. Contributes to economic decline by undermining
neighborhood stability.Figure 11.10 Decaying infrastructure, Minneapolis
Problems of North American Cities
Figure 11.11 Devastation of Poverty in the District of Columbia or DC
The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees homes owned by the government, and ensures that
tenants and renters are treated fairly under the law. http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Federal/Executive/HUD.shtml
The mission of the Office of Housing is to:
Contribute to building and preserving healthy neighborhoods and communities
Maintain and expand homeownership, rental housing and healthcare opportunities
Stabilize credit markets in times of economic disruption
Operate with a high degree of public and fiscal accountability
Recognize and value its customers, staff, constituents and partners
Addresses Literacy as many as 37% of DC residents are functionally illiterate.
Discrimination in Education, Employment & Housing: What
explains such significant racial disparities?
Historically, African Americans have faced many uphill challenges
that partly trace back to longstanding spatial segregation, social
and economic exclusion, and isolation. All, in turn, can
undermine employment and educational success especially in
neighborhoods served by failing public schools. Some disparities