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the social process whereby cities grow and societies become more urban

Urban Morphology

the study of the physical form and structure of urban places

Urban Hearth Area

An area, like Mesopotamia or the Nile River Valley where large cities first existed.

Borchert's Model of Urban Evolution

Four different epochs that cause a large amount of industrial development, they were Sail-Wagon Epoch (1790-1830), Iron Horse Epoch (1830-1870), characterized by impact of steam engine technology, and development of steamboats and regional railroad networks. Steel Rail Epoch (1870-1920), dominated by the development of long haul railroads and a national railroad network. Auto-Air-Amenity Epoch (1920-

Urban Hierarchy

a ranking of settlements according to their size and economic functions

Colonial City

City established by colonizing empires as administrative centers. Often they were established on already existing native cities, completely overtaking their infrastructures.

Urban Banana

a crescent shaped zome of early urbanization extending across Eurasia for England in the west to Japan.

Shock City

a city that is seen as the embodiment of surprising and disturbing changes in economic, social, and cultural life.

Industrial City

city that has its base in industry and has been infrastructure associated with the industrial revolution, Cities that were developed hugely as an effect of the Industrial Revolution

Rank-size Rule

A pattern of settlements in a country, such that the 11th largest settlement is Un the population of the largest settlement.

Primate City

A country's largest city-ranking atop the urban hierarchy-most expressive of the national culture and usually (but not always) the capital as well.

Christaller's Central Place Theory

Theory proposed by Walter Christaller that explains how and where central places in the urban hierarchy should be functionally and spatially distributed with respect to one another.

Central Place

A market center for the exchange of services by people attracted from the surrounding area.


The market area surrounding an urban center, which that urban center serves.


The minimum number of people needed to support the service


Maximum distance a person is willing to travel to obtain a function/service

World cities

most important centers of economic and political power and wealth

Mega cities

A city with a population of greater than 10 million

Metropolitan Statistical Area

area with a city of 50 thousand or more people, together with adjacent urban communities that have strong ties to the central city.


Two urban areas blended into one

Micropolitan Statistical Area

an urbanized area of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, the county in which it is found, and adjacent counties tied to the city.

Functional Zonation

the division of a city into different regions or zones (e.g. residential or industrial) for certain purposes or functions (e.g. housing or manufacturing).

Central Business District

The downtown or nucleus of a city where retail stores, offices, and cultural activities are concentrated; building densities are usually quite high; and transportation systems converge.

Central City

the urban area that is not suburban; generally, the older or original city that is surrounded by newer suburbs


a residential district located on the outskirts of a city

Burgess's Concentric Zone Model

A model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are spatially arranged in a series of rings

Succession Migration

When one person of a family migrates, then proceeds to bring the rest of the family or village along after they have been established

Zone in Transition

An area that is either becoming more rural or more urban, area of mixed commercial and residential land uses surrounding the CBD; mixture of growth, change, and decline

Peak Land Value Intersection

The most accessible and costly parcel of land in the central business
district and, therefore, in the entire urbanized area.

Bid-rent Curve

f, Cities that were developed hugely as an effect of the Industrial Revolution, that refers to how the price and demand for real estate changes as the distance from the Central Business District (CBD) decreases. It states that different land users will compete with one another for land close to the city centre. This is based upon the idea that retail establishments wish to maximise their profitability, so they are much more willing to pay more money for land close to the CBD and less for land further away from this area.

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