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To what extent is an urban model useful to a geographer studying urban areas?

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Introduction

To what extent is an urban model useful to geographers studying urban areas? An urban model is a simplified diagram created by looking at a range of cities and making generalisations to include similar features. Therefore we cannot expect every city to conform entirely to the pattern they suggest. So the usefulness of a model to a geographer is reliant upon many factors e.g. area studying, time period. There are many different types of urban models ranging from a variety of time periods. The Hoyt model suggested that the city grew in a series of ?wedges? which grew along traditional communication routes. The land use would remain the same as like attracts like e.g. a ?higher class? sector would remain higher class as it would be the most desirable are to live, thus only the wealthy could afford to live there. The Burgess model or concentric rings model was developed over 89 years ago for a city experiencing rapid growth (Chicago), with this, Burgess concluded that the city land use can be identified as a series of rings around the CBD. ...read more.

Middle

Despite the division between land uses being far too clear cut, they do provide a bench mark for comparison and allow us to have a basic understanding of the complex processes that determine the distribution of land use within a city. However the model is oblivious to physical environment; much like Burgess? and it?s not made clear either, about the growth of out-of town areas. The growth of a sector can be stopped as land-use leapfrogs out of the old inner city. For example, out-of-town council estates have prevented large high class sectors developing in other areas of Bristol. Burgess? model can be followed by a number of cities if taken in a very broad pattern. It helps explain the process involved in the growth of a city, the model is relevant in identifying the reasons behind urban morphology of a city; despite the model not referring to changes in transport routes or society. ...read more.

Conclusion

In reference to Hoyt and Burgess, the clarity of the ?rings? within the city is too much. All zones of a city have a mixture of land uses. Residential zones will have industry and shops within them, just as the CBD may contain a few high rise flats like in Scotland. Thirdly, urban models are simplified diagrams, created by making generalisations so they?re never going to fit precisely to a city which is constantly changing and has unique land uses and developments which help to conform its morphology. In conclusion, urban models are useful to a geographer studying urban areas, they provide a comparison and a guide to the morphology of an urban area. They help explain the processes involved in the growth of a city. However no city directly follows an urban model so these models are only useful to an extent. Each city has unique characteristics and thus unique land uses too, which may differ from the various urban models. ________________ ...read more.

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