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Geography- contemporary urban enviro > Urban Form > Flashcards

Flashcards in Urban Form Deck (46):

What is urban growth

An increase in the total population of an urban place.

Measured for each urban place as a number of people


What is urbanisation

Increase in the proportion of people living in urban places

It is measured on a global/national scale as a %


What is urban expansion

An increase in the physical side of an urban place

Measured for each urban place in km squared


What is urban form

The physical characteristics that make up a city, including its size and shape, population density and how the city is arranged (eg land use pattern in different areas)

Urban forms can be considered at different scales from local street level to whole city to whole country

Also called urban morphology


What is urban morphology

Urban form


Is urban form fixed

No it changes due to social economic environmental political and other technological factors


Explain how social factors affect urban form


Population increase (urban growth) can lead to urban expansion through a process called suburbanisation

Future growth may lead to shortages in housing, schools, healthcare etc

Eg this happened in Leicester- population now aground 330,000 which is 12000 more than in 1901


Explain how economic factors affect urban form

Decentralisation- when industries move out from centre of city eg Fosse Park

This causes a change of shape as houses are built nearby to house workers

This causes urban expansion


Explain how politics affect urban form

Governments and/or councils make decisions of where the greenbelt is etc

This affects density as the council can decide to build more residential areas etc
This could affect urban growth as more houses means more people

It also affects organisation as the council has the ability to organise where to build more residential areas and where to build


Explain how environmental factors affects urban form


Affects size and shape as if an area where the greenbelt is changes- where businesses and residential areas are built will also change

This affects urban expansion and can affect urban growth as if the greenbelt is moved to make the city larger, more residential areas can be built etc ( more people move there)- urbanisation

This could also affect org and density ( more people move closer to work etc)


What is the greenbelt

Outskirts of a city that you cannot build on (conservation)


Explain how technology affects urban forms

Being able to work from home and live anywhere

Access to super fast broadband

This affects shape and size and organisation as more people can work from home so less buildings are needed for work

It can affect density as the areas where work offices are can be changed to residential areas

It affects urban growth and urbanisation

Teleworking (working from home)


Explain how physical factors affect urban growth? (4))

Topography- physical factors often influence the growth of cities

Eg steep slopes are harder to build on and less accessible so poorer housing (eg slums) may be built on them

Large flat areas encourage low density developments because there’s lots of space to build
This affects urban growth

Water- the presence of lakes and seas limits urban growth in those areas, while cities may grow along the course river
City centre shops and businesses are usually located close to the waterfront rather than at the geographical centre of the city- this affects organisation

Natural resources-Rich resources eg coal, metal
Encourage growth in size and population of city
This affects urban growth and urban expansion

Land type- some surfaces are more difficult or expensive to build on eg swamps and wetlands can limit urban growth


Explain how human factors affect urban growth

Planning- urban expansion can be planned or unplanned
Eg a lot of urban growth in developing countries is caused by the unplanned expansion of the slums
In contrast planned developments often include open space, leisure facilities etc- affects urban growth

Infrastructure- new developments are often build along transport links eg motorways leading to linear growth

Land value- highest often found in city centre so profitable business eg chain stores normally locate there while less profitable businesses eg independent stores may be further away from the centre


Land uses in developed world

Cbd- A central zone of shops and businesses

CBD surrounded by housing. Although Lang value- highest in city centre, houses generally increase in value w distance away from CBD

Inner city areas- high land value so housing is typically high density eg sky scrapers.
Wages are often low and many residents live in relative poverty.
The proportion of people from ethnic minorities tend to be high

Land value is lower in rural- semi rural areas. Residential areas are less dense and have more open space.
Houses are usually larger and newer than in inner city areas.
Residents are generally quite wealthy and earn relatively high wages.
The proportion of people from ethnic minorities tend to be low

As cheap land in semi rural area close to urban centres, many science parks and large shopping centres are constructed there
Eg Bristol and Bath Science Park, the Trafford centre in Manchester

SUSTAINABLE - walking brownfield sights etc


Land uses in developing world

Also has CBD- contains shops offices and entertainment services

CBD surrounded by housing which decreases in value with distance away from the centre

Land value is highest around the city centre so high cost housing (eg luxury apartments) is built there

These areas are often gone to wealthy immigrants from developed countries and emerging economies

Surrounding this zone of medium cost housing
May have started as informal settlement but gradually the housing has been improved and some services have been provided

Land value is v low on outskirts of city so lo cost informal housing built there often w limited access to services
Most residents have poorly paid jobs and poverty levels are high
Immigrants from elsewhere in country and other developing countries may settle there

Industrial areas are often located along transport links eg main roads

Rapid urbanisation and urban growth and urban expansion so urban form is hazardous and unplanned


Reasons for pre-industrial cities as urban forms

Largely unaffected by industrial developments and have retained much of their urban layout and characterises

Elite groups tended to locate in the centre surrounded by the lower socio-economic groups including artisans who worked from home and lived with other artisans who shared the same trade


Reasons for modern or industrial cities (most common in UK) for urban form

Similar activities and similar people group together

This led to homogenous areas with each area being dominated by a particular land use or social group

Arrangement of areas are strongly determined by the general decline in land values outward from city centre


Reasons for post industrial/ post modern/ post modern western cities as urban forms

Urban mosaic- more chaotic and looser structure with many smaller zones rather then one or 2 dominating

Post suburban and peripheral developments with high tech corridors or zones


Reasons for public transport orientated (PTO) cities and motor based cities (MBC

PTO developments takes an interstates approach towards planning eg minimising walking distance between services and residential developments

MBC- the onset of mass motorisation from the 1950s helped increase rates of suburbanisation and decentralisation of some economic activities


Reasons for African cities as urban forms

Many cities have grown from colonial settlements and have not experienced the industrialisation of US and European urban centres

Recent and rapid urban growth have forced changed to establish and older zones as well as expansion on the periphery

Lacking resources and control urban form may be unplanned and sometimes chaotic


Reasons for socialist cities as urban form

Follows principle of classless city

Everyone should live in same type of housing block irrespective of location of city

Housing blacks located close to local services to encourage walking

City centre large and an administrative and political centre rather then commercial centre


Characteristic urban forms (6)

Pre industrial

Modern/ industrial

Post industrial/post modern





Functional zones of preindustrial cities

Historic buildings such as churches and castles likely to dominate centre

High class residential zones near centre

Less clear delineation of residential and commercial districts as today


Functional zones of Modern city

Dominant CBD

Residential zoning

Industrial zone likely to be manufacturing based


Post industrial functional zones

Multi nodal structure

Less dominant CBD

Higher degree of social polarisation

Service sector based industry that is less tied to one location


MTO and MBC functional zones

PTO cities may develop along railways lines and main roads
More intensive development might be allowed near railway stations

MBC development will be linked to freeways or motorways
Non residential land uses such as retailing and offices may location in urban fringe locations


African cities functional zones

Dominant CBD that is likely to be the political and cultural centre

HQ of foreign multinationals msg be present along with large hotels and old historic buildings

Older industrial areas adjacent to transport routes such as railways

Newer peripheral middle class housing served by road network

Informal housing developments on marginal land


Functional zones of socialist cities

Homogenous (old fashioned) blocks throughout city

Four micro neighbourhoods (15000) made up a residential district (60,000)

Neighbourhoods has local services

Districts had higher order shops and entertainment services

City centre had prestige buildings and a central square for socialists


Eg of pre industrial city




Eg of modern city




Eg of modern city


Las Vegas


Eg of PTO and MBC

Hong Kong



Eg of African cities




Eg of socialist cities



Difference in structure between modern and post modern city

Modern- central commercial CBD with highest land values (bid price model)

Post- multi nodal structure with a more varied and random pattern of land values


Difference in urban architecture between modern and post modern city

Modern- architecture is functional and it is designed to meet needs

Post- architecture is aesthetic designed to make a statement


Difference in urban planning between modern and post modern city

Modern- cities planned in totality with peoples social needs and wants considered

Post- city planned w inter connected fragments. Focus on aesthetic ends rather then social needs


Difference in urban gov between modern and post modern city

Modern- Public services- provided by local authorities (the council)

Post- public services are provided by the marker sometimes in partnership with the local authority


Difference in urban economy between modern and post modern city

Modern- mass production of goods require a large labour force. A national and global market

Post- services especially quaternary activities dominate
consumer oriented global in scale


Difference in urban culture and society between modern and post modern city

Modern- segregation by social class
Homogeneity in terms of ethnicity

Segregation by class and ethnicity. A high degree of social polarisation in some inner urban districts


What is a post modern city

A new urban form characterised by a patchwork of changing land use and striking architecture


Is Leicester modern or post modern

Like many other British cities fits best in the modern city but has characteristics of a most modern city eg in urban fog and architecture


Benefits of post modern urban form

Partnerships to run services like transport saves costs

Tourists and investors are attracted to the city as it is aesthetically pleasing

Less traffic- multi nodal


Problems of post modern city

Aesthetic architecture is expensive

Less jobs in secondary industries


Characteristics of a mega city- and which ones apply to Leicester

High density living in central zones (leic)

Redevelopment of low quality housing or conservation of historic core in HICs (Leics)

Inadequate infrastructure- result of rapid growth
All types of pollution linked especially to carbon based pollution- cars/factories

Environment issues
All types of pollution linked especially to carbon based pollution- cars/factories noise smell, visual, air

Suburbanisation and low density living
As city expands outwards ‘car dominates urban sprawl’ (Leica)

Residential differentiation
segregation. Can be a barrier to social cohesion

Out of town Edge cities- new population centres w OOT retailing and business. This is decentralisation of peripheral growth. They have transport routes to the mega city