Geographers have tried to make sense of the patterns made by
urban areas and have devised a number of models which urban areas in MEDCs could
be compared to. The definitions below apply to all the models.
Zone 1: Central Business District; contains the major shops,
offices and entertainment facilities.
Zone 2: Inner city area (twilight zone). This is an area of old
housing and light manufacturing industry. This area dates back to the Industrial
revolution when it filled with coal-fired factories and tenement housing blocks.
Zone 3: Low class residential. This is an area of poor quality
housing, although the conditions are better than in Zone 2.
Zone 4: Medium class residential. This is an area of housing
which was built between the wars. It is mainly semidetached housing and council
Zone 5: High class residential (commuter zone). This is an area
of expensive housing on the outskirts of the city. It also stretches in to the
countryside beyond the city.
The concentric ring model (below) was devised by Burgess. It
split the land use of the city into rings, starting from the centre. The idea
was that urban areas grow equally in all directions, with the oldest, most dense
housing being found closest to centre.
The Hoyt model (below) has land use concentrated in wedges or
sectors radiating out from the city centre. For example, factories may be
concentrated along a river, canal or road to form a zone of industry. This would
attract low-class housing, but repel high-class residential land use.
There are three explanations for these land use patterns.
The urban area expanded outwards from the original site which
is where the city centre is found today.
Rents and rates in the CBD became too expensive for people. In
the suburbs there was more land and it was cheaper. Only businesses could afford
to stay in the CBD, but even they needed to make the most of expensive land by
3 Concentrations of similar land uses
One part of the urban area may have all the advantages for
industrial location so that a lot of factories want to locate there; but few
people want to live next door to a factory, so the residential areas are located
elsewhere. Planners also prefer this segregation of land uses into definite
Both the Burgess and Hoyt models can be applied to the land use
patterns of Barcelona as shown in the simplified land use model below: