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Acid Rain

rain that occurs after excessive pollution from industrial gas emissions (especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogran oxides) and water vapor; acids that form in the atmosphere

Amenities (Urban)

factors that make a place appealing to prospective inhabitants, part of a city's situation and site

Anti-Urban Ideologies

dream - "anything but the city"; back to nature

Automobile Dependency

areas of urban sprawl that are characterized as highly dependent on automobile transportation

Back Office

the part of most corporations where tasks dedicated to running the company itself takes places (such as filing/administrative tasks); moved to suburbs in the 80's for women workforce


leftover land used from various industries; danger zone, especially for children, etc.

Burgess, Ernest

sociologist at the University of Chicago who created the concentric zone model


contains the oldest homes; the central portion of a city, characterized by high-density land uses; a dense cluster of offices and shops and is formed around the point within the city that is most accessible; businesses and services located here experience the most "action" as measured by the volume of people, money, and ideas moving through space

Central Place Theory

set of models designed to explain spatial distribution of urban service centers formulated by Walter Christaller

Centrifugal Forces

any factor that disrupts the internal order of a country; Examples - classism, white flight, automobile dependency, aging infrastructure, inner-city crime, school quality, and inner-city pollution

Ceremonial Center

a building (or buildings) that serves as the focus of religious and governmental activities, differing from a village or town

Climate Change

significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years; change in average weather or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions; caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions


process through which forests and trees are cut for commercial uses; began at least 3000 years ago; in the last half century, 1/3 of world's forest cover is gone

Economic Restructuring

the assumption that by restructuring an area with low standards of living, which are mainly in the primary sector, in the form of industrialization will lead to this


responsible travel that does not harm ecosystems or the well-being of local people

Edge Cities

a new urban cluster of economic activity that surrounds nineteenth-century downtowns; were once peripherals to the central city; 5 characteristics - has 5 million sq. feet of leasable office space; has 600,000 sq. feet of leasable retail space; has more jobs than bedrooms; perceived by the population as one place; nothing resembling a city as recently as 30 years ago

Endocrine Disruptors

synthetic chemicals and industrial byproducts that have an effect on the endocrine system

Exotic Species

species that have origins outside of the country i.e. Kudzu and zebra mollusk

Exurban Development

habitat destruction for various reasons, a region lying beyond the suburbs of a city inhabited by wealthy people

Federal Highways Act

authorized the building of highways throughout the nation

Festival Marketplace

perform a vital function in the attempt to revitalize downtowns, usually large-scale projects focused on a multi use redevelopment scheme built around a particular setting, often one with a historical association; San Antonio Riverwalk has a festival setting

Fiscal Retrenchment

when a government has to introduce deflationary measures designed to reduce the amount of borrowing and debt that has been run up during a downturn in their economy; done by either raising taxes or reducing government expenses

Gated Community

residential areas that are inaccessible to the public; are often considered "American" but can now be found throughout the world; can be seen as wanting to shield themselves from the "dangerous" urban setting; sign of wealth/prestige and perhaps paranoia depending on the area


the displacement of lower income residents by higher income residents as buildings in deteriorated areas of city centers are restored; however, can also be seen as environmentally sustainable (does not take up large plots of agricultural land as suburbs do); happening in East Austin; home to a large LGBT community; also attractive for young, urban couples - distinct lifestyles/change in view about family values than the 1950's; seen as more exciting area to live in than the suburbs


Geographic information system

Global Cities

a city that is a control center of the global economy; from the top level of a hierarchical global system of cities, they are the places where major decisions about the world's commercial networks and financial markets are made; i.e. New York, London, Tokyo

Global Climate Change

increased frequency of severe storms, cooling in Europe, fluctuations in ocean currents, change in weather patterns, cycles, etc. globally; due to industrial activity, particularly, due to increasingly produced carbon dioxide


the binding together of all of the lands and peoples of the world into an integrated system driven by capitalist free markets, in which cultural diffusion is rapid, independent states are weakened, and cultural homogenization is encouraged


an area of agricultural or forest land, or some other undeveloped site earmarked for commercial development or industrial projects; Woodlands area for Houston

Greenhouse Gases

gases in the atmosphere that absorb radiation from the sun, thus making Earth's temperature warmer; these include CO2, water vapor, nitrous oxide, methane, and ozone; although naturally occurring, the burning of fossil fuels has led to a much higher concentration of CO2, making Earth warmer

Habitat Loss

squirrels, possums, snakes, etc. lose their homes due to driveway paths and deforestation

Hoyt, Homer

created the Sector Model - 1930s

Hydraulic Civilization Model

a civilization based on large-scale irrigation; can't be applied to all urban hearths; i.e. Mesoamerica

Independent Invention

a cultural innovation that is developed in two or more locations by individuals or groups working independently

Industrial Agglomeration

clustering which results in mutual benefits for businesses; a snowballing geographical process by which secondary and service industrial activities become clustered in cities and compact industrial regions in order to share infrastructure and markets

Industrial Location Factors

includes raw materials, energy supply, natural routes (rivers, waterways, etc.), land, available labor force, market, transport (road, train, air, etc.), government policies

Industrial Revolution

a series of inventions and innovations, arising in England in the 1700s, that led to the use of machines and inanimate power in the manufacturing process; initial breakthrough came from the manufacturing sector/industry, more specifically the British cotton textile cottage industry; also revolutionized primary industries such as coal mining; revolutionized the service sector/industry by causing a need for new forms of transportation; this fostered cultural diffusion

Infrastructure (urban)

basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Kyoto Accord

Established a CO2 cap to help reduce the effects of global warming

Land Use

human use of the land; involves management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements

Leapfrog Development

development that is spaced far apart, sometimes separated by lawns, landscaping roads, or parking lots; the development of land for suburban areas intermixed with farmland; cheap for the developer, but more expensive for the area (utilities such as water, electricity, etc.)

Levitt, William

Levittown - suburban 'cookie-cutter' housing (inexpensive post-war housing)

Light Rail

railway system for commuting between suburban areas and downtown/CBD/inner city

Militarized Urban Space

refers to the increase in space being used to set up defenses against people the city considers undesirable; Example - lack of street furniture to guard against homeless living on the streets, gated communities to keep certain people out

Mixed Use Development

mix of services in a single area

Montreal Protocol

1989; the greatest success so far in implementing an international environmental agreement; designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer; signed by 25 nations

Morphology (Urban)

the form and structure of cities, including street patterns and the size/shape of buildings

Mueller Development

similar to the Triangle development in Austin; an isolated area

Multiple Nuclei Model (of city)

a model that depicts a city growing from several separate focal points; Chauncey Harris and Edward Ullman

Nonrenewable Resources

a resource that once consumed cannot be replaced; fossil fuels


the physical separation of some economic activities from the main production facility, usually for the purpose of employing cheaper labor

Ozone depletion (stratospheric)

pollution affecting the upper atmosphere


toxins in food chain - "persistent organic pollutants"

Post-industrial economy

economies in which most of the jobs are in services

Postwar Housing

mass produced housing from the 1950s; which reflected influences from desire to create a certain kind of site (scenic, close to economic centers, etc.)

Primary industries (Primary Sector)

an industry engaged in the extraction of natural resources, such as agriculture, lumbering, and mining such as mining, hunting, fishing, logging, and farming, involve extraction of raw materials directly from the earth - "extractive" industries

Public Transit

a means of bringing people together again; active use by Charlotte, NC (Lynx light rail system)

Quincy Market

model for urban planners; good for tourists but not as good for local economy; Boston

Radioactive Pollution

the release of radioactive substances or high-energy particles into the air, water, or earth as a result of human-activity


a practice by banks and mortgage companies of demarcating areas considered to be high risk for housing loans

Renewable Resources

a resource that is not depleted if wisely used, such as forests, water, fishing grounds, and agricultural lands; refers to those that are replenished naturally at a rate sufficient to balance their depletion by human use; often disrupted by industrialization

Resource Depletion

exhaustion of raw materials within a region; use of resources beyond their rate of replacement

Riverside, Illinois

designed by Frederick Law Olmsted; Prototype suburb 9 miles from Chicago; reached by streetcars

The Riverwalk

plan to revitalize downtown San Antonio; ironic development because it's trying to attract tourists historically while at the same time expelling locals ("rowdy Hispanic teenagers")

Rural-Urban Migration

has brought millions of people to urban life; people leave their rural villages and migrate to cities for better economic and social opportunities; ends up being relatively better than rural life, but people still lack human capital (job skills) to fit most positions; surplus of labor > unemployment

Secondary Industries (Secondary Sector)

an industry engaged in processing raw materials into finished products; manufacturing activities that work on the products that are extracted - ore refining, fish packing, lumber milling, etc.

Sector Model

an economic model that depicts a city as a series of pie-shaped wedges; Homer Hoyt; focus on major transportation routes (wealthy are attracted to), and then middle-income attracted to where wealthy go, and then lower-income fill in the gaps; exception - freeway; why? Freeways were expanded/invested in after this sector model was developed in the 1930s; developers found that locating freeways next to low-income housing was the cheapest method

Sennett, Richard

wrote a book that criticized suburbs as "purified" communities where people escape from the complexity and diversity of society

Service Industries

tertiary sector; producer services - wholesalers, finance, investment, real estate, corporate lawyer; consumer services - doctors, retail, food service

Shopping Mall

competition with downtown shopping 'centers'; outward movement; following suburbs; have a characteristic form (anchor stores like department stores and then smaller stores as well) and are said to be the new centers of urban life because they seem to be the major sites for social interaction; considered private spaces of consumption not public spaces of socialization (too noisy of shoppers are removed by mall security)

Spatial Mismatch

employment opportunities for low-income people are located in areas far from where they live


low density development, usually occurs after rapid suburbanization; reliant on vehicles


corporate stakeholder can affect or be affected by the actions of the business as a whole; organizations would not exist without their support; theory was later developed by R. Edward Freeman in the 1980s; gained wide acceptance in business practice and in theorizing relating to strategic management, corporate governance, business purpose and corporate social responsibility


early form of public transit dating from the 1870's / driven by horse, cable, and eventually electricity; by 1950's it was in competition with the car, bus companies (that are also automobile companies) then bought up and dismantled the system


the survival of land-use system for centuries or millennia without destruction of the environmental base, allowing generation after generation to continue to live there


Temporarily Obsolete And Derelict Structures; abandoned or underused property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by the presence or potential presence of environmental contamination

Transition Zone

Abandonment of obsolete land uses and structure, assimilation of these structures by new development, and slow displacement of poor residential populations


edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing; beyond the tree line, they are unable to grow because of inappropriate environmental conditions, usually cold temperatures or lack of moisture

The Triangle

development in Austin, TX; attempts to recreate a walkable city; very compact; consists of housing units located directly above shopping centers; surrounding areas aren't nearly as compact or busy though

UNO (university neighborhood overlay)

a city initiative passed in 2004 "intended to help create a residential district that is close to the campus, consolidating some of the student housing that is presently scattered throughout the city, and thereby reducing transient student traffic to campus from outside, and reducing the transient parking requirements around West Campus"; the plan seeks to bring UT students closer to campus, as well as create a denser, urban environment in order to provide more space for the growing student population

Urban Decentralization

sprawl and the associated outward shifts of retail, offices, and jobs

Urban Hearth Areas

a region in which the world's first cities evolved

Urban Renaissance

started in the 1990's and accelerates in the early 2000's, the rebirth and revitalization of the urban areas; Example - the riverwalk in San Antonio and the Quincy Market in Boston

Urban Site

the relationship between a city and the physical environment and landscape in which it is located

Urban Situation

the relationship between a city and the rest of the urban system in which it is located

Urban System

Any network of towns and cities, and their hinterlands, which can be seen as a system, since it depends on the movements of labor, goods and services, ideas, and capital through the network; crucial to the interactions within the system are efficient systems of transport and communication; with improved technology, it is possible to see urban systems which transcend national boundaries


the increase over time in the population of cities in relation to the region's rural population

Waller Creek Project

urban planning project going on in Austin to revitalize the degrading downtown area

White Flight

whites move out of an area because of minorities moving in; racial avoidance strategies

Wind Power

conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electrical power, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships

Wittfogel, Karl

developed the hydraulic civilization model

Zonal Model

concentric zone model; a model that shows zones that appear because of accessibility and land in the central business district remains more valuable than in the periphery (wealthy vs. poverty); there are now multiple nuclei because different land uses benefit different amounts of accessibility; social model that depicts a city as 5 areas bounded by concentric rings (CBD, transition, blue-collar, middle income, commuter or suburbs)


university neighborhood (especially West Campus) overlay; main tool used by American cities to regulate and manage growth; protect property values

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