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ESSAYS: Gentrification, Smart Growth

urban hearths

area where cities first arose--river valleys in Southwest Asia, Mesopotamia, Nile, Indus, Wehuang, Middle Europe, Mesoamerica, West Africa, Andean America

urban origins

theories of _____ ______: 1. irrigation led to agricultural surplus; 2. king as central political power led to increased demand for labor, which led to surplus; after one of these theories, the area moved away from agriculture to writing, then to codification of laws

hydraulic civilizations

civilizations that construct irrigation and/or water systems


physical character of place


location of a place relative to other places


_____ needed these site/situation factors: dependable food and water supply, trade routes, building materials, defensibility

relative location

Position on Earth‟s surface relative to other features. (Ex: My house is east of I-75)


the _______ of early cities included: religious center, irrigation, protection

Greek city-states

800BC-500BC; these cities were miserable and its citizens had poor health; interconnected cities, urbanized, theater (center for philosophical and artistic showcasing), grid system to allow wind to blow through city, agora, acropolis; built by slaves


high place for impressive (usually religious) buildings


market, designed by Miletus, focus of economic activity

roman urban system

cities linked together; transport systems; sites chosen for defensibility, trade, religious significance, grid system (Greek influence), aqueducts (carried water daily), underground sewage systems


Roman combination of Greek agora and acropolis


this system served as the Roman transportation system; very effective; "all ____ leads to Rome"


some Greek influence; Roman theater

Silk Road

early non-European cities often developed along this and/or an oasis


people and buildings together for center of politics, culture, and economics


5000-7000 years ago; the _______ period of cities


in this area of ancient cities, the poorest lived on the outskirts of the city, protected by mud wall, no waste disposal system which led to constant disease that controlled population


cities here at 9200BC; good irrigation, no walls


in these ancient cities, intricate plans of cities, equal size homes (before social stratification)

social stratification

this and agricultural surplus led to advent of cities


in these times, there were little urban growth, feudal system (very structured); European-style city with high density of development, narrow buildings, and an ornate church at the city center, with high walls for defense (walls proved futile when gunpowder made its way into Europe by the 1300s).


in this part of Africa and also Americas there was significant urban growth in ancient times


in these cities, there were citadel or casbah (fortified house of government in high part of town; market central located, houses promoted privacy (with walls) as wells as separation of public and private aspects of city life

mercantile city

beginning of downtown part of city; central square is focus; Atlantic maritime trade disrupted old trade routes & centers of power starting in the 1500s (from interior to coastal ports); central square became focus ("downtown"), these cities became nodes of a network of trade; brought huge riches to Europe (e.g. Lisbon, Amsterdam, London, ...).

colonial city

central plaza is focus; sector development radiating out from Central Business District

manufacturing city

grew out of the Industrial Revolution and the "Little Ice Age"; associated w/ mushrooming population, factories, tenement buildings, railroads, ...; poor living & health conditions; cities improved w/ government intervention, city planning, and zoning; late 17th/18th century; tech advances lead to less jobs and people move to US; segregation by economic class; pay determined home

shock city

city that is seen as the embodiment of surprising and disturbing changes in economic, social, and cultural life (Such as Manchester, England during the Industrial Revolution.)

cumulative causation

continued growth due to positive aspects of principle itself; ex: if agglomeration is successful, more agglomeration occurs

functional specialization

some cities are characterized by one specific activity (e.g., Orlando - tourism, Las Vegas - gambling, ...); cities tend to lose their functional specialization as they grow. Typically specialize in management, research and development of a specific industry (motor vehicles in Detroit), or are centers of government and education, notably state capitals that also have a major university (Albany, Lansing, Madison, or Raleigh-Durham).

modern city

no concern for traffic/transport; kind of city

post-modern city

cultural borrowing evident in city design and landscape, shopping

suburban center

usually has mall, department stores, festivals, market place, outlet malls


the degree of "economic reach" an urban area has into the surrounding area


overgrown urban area created by the gradual merging of several metropolitan areas; also called conurbation; 2 or more metropolitan areas


condition experienced in many LDCs in which the city grows more rapidly than the jobs an housing they can maintain.

gateway cities

"entrance point" which functions as a break-of-bulk and transsipment point.

postmodern landscape

Urban landscape characterized by festival marketplaces and an orientation towards consumerism.

metropolitan area

central city and its suburbs

streetcar suburb

residential community whose growth and development was strongly shaped by the use of streetcar lines as a primary means of transportation

GI Bill

guaranteed home loans to returning veterans after WWII

edge cities

suburban area that has its own employment base (associated with decentralization); have own shopping and job base; characterized by extensive office and retail space, few residential areas, and modern buildings (built since the 1960s); signifies a newer worldwide trend of the movement of the loci of economic activity to the urban fringe (unlike the loci of activity around the CBD - which had dominated the industrial world).


process of industrial deconcentration in response to technological advances and/or increasing costs due to congestion and competition.


movement of people and industry away from major towns and cities.


out of city; suburb that is separated from the city by open space

gated communities

provide comfort and safety for wealthy

Walter Christaller

Geographer associated with central place theory.

Central Place Theory

explains the number, location, size, and spacing of settlements within an urban system; organized by hexagons to eliminate unserved or overlapping market areas; basic conclusions: 1. cities are equidistant, towns are equidistant, etc., cities are furthest apart from each other, towns next furthest, etc; 2. same size places with same function are spaced same distance; 3. larger cities placed farther from each other than smaller towns

central goods and services

part of Central Place Theory; provided only at a central place, or city (available to consumers in a surrounding region).


part of Central Place Theory; breaking point; maximum distance people will travel for a good or service (economic reach).


part of Central Place Theory; minimum number of customers needed to keep the business running

complementary region

part of Central Place Theory; market area; an exclusive hinterland w/ a monopoly on a certain good or service.

urban hierarchy

size and spacing of towns and cities--the basis of central place theory


lowest level of settlements (often not urban); offers few if any services; very small settlement that provides a few services to those living closeby.


clustered human settlement larger than a hamlet and generally offering several services; provides basic goods and services for inhabitants and those who live in a small hinterland.


clustered human settlement larger than a village; may range from a few to thousands of inhabitants (even hundreds of thousands); generally many goods and services are available.


clustered conglomeration of people and buildings together serving as a center of politics, culture, and economics; a town may have outskirts, but virtually all cities have suburbs (hinterlands).


Literally "country behind"--a term that applies to a surrounding area served by an urban area


____________ of central place theory: broad, flat plain, no physical barriers, even soil fertility, uniform transition network, constant "range" in all directions for sale of any good

gravity model

Predicts that the optimal location of a service is directly related to the number of people in the area and inversely related to the distance people must travel to access it.

low order goods

perishable/need large quantities; short range

high order goods

costly, required less often; long range; ex: surgery

primate cities

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

rank-size rule

model urban hierarchy, the idea that the population of a city or town will be inversely proportional to its rank in the hierarchy.

sun-belt cities

in South; refers to cities that grew due to retirement demand, cheap land, AC invention, immigration

Central Business District

location of skyscrapers and companies (would always be the center of the 3 urban models, many people commute, few actually live there)

Zone in Transition

where immigrants go; ring of land uses (characterized by disinvestment) lying between the CBD and the inner ring of working-class residential areas.

invasion and succession

part of the process of urban growth that involves more intensive land uses outbidding existing use of buildings

bid rent theory

land rent higher closer to Central Business District

peak land value intersection

street intersections where land values are at their highest; 360, IH35


ability to reach a place


follow transportation routes, specifically trains

Multiple Nuclei Model

Harris and Ullman; basic model of urban structure; reflects the settlement patterns of ethnic groups in cities; urban center grows and therefore lose functional specialization; reflects Central Business District losing power; based off of language and race

Concentric Zone Model

Burgess; structural model of the American city that suggests land use rings arranged around a common center; parts include CBD, zone in transition, etc.; SHOWS: older people and families farther from CBD in American cities

Sector Model

Hoyt; Classic model of urban structure developed on the assumption that the internal structure of a city is determined by transportation routes radiating out from the city's center; SHOWS: social/economic status in American cities

Urban Realms Model

loose association of economic subregions bound together through urban freeways that tend to function semi-independently


slang term; "duel income with no kids"

empty nesters

slang term; "older couples whose kids have moved away"


large urban area of the Netherlands

zone of maturity

shown in American cities; middle income people, good infrastructure, gentrification

in situ

lower income; homes in construction, self-built


squatter, few services or schools, self-built

Latin America

in this part of the world, services are more reliable near "spine"

Law of the Indies

only those of European descent were allowed to live in city walls in Latin American cities with this; central plaza with Catholic Church, grid system, wealthy live closer to plaza, middle/lower income further out

McGee Model

Southeast Asian urban model; says colonial port city is focus, central point of economic activity

alien commercial zone

traditional Chinese or Indian enclave

African urban model

found in sub-Saharan Africa; 3 Central Business districts: European/colonial, informal, traditional


this type of planning has led East European residential parts of cities to be organized into microdistricts


designed to minimize cost by reducing roads and maximizing living space

Basic economic sector

produces exports; earns community money; economic activities that contribute directly to the economy by bringing money in from outside.

Non-basic economic sector

businesses that provide services to basic industries

employment structure

ratio of basic to nonbasic workers (nonbasic is always larger)

multiplier effect

small fluctuations in one sector of the economy have a ripple effect; 1:2 (or 1:3) for most large cities for every worker in the basic sector, there are typically 2-3 workers in the nonbasic sector for most modern cities.


this occurs in an area when jobs go towards cheaper labor elsewhere.


on edge of cities; live in favelas (or barrios in Venezuela)


Discriminatory practice involving the demarcation by financial institutions of ares within which they will not loan money.


Rapid change in the racial composition of residential areas in American cities when real estate agents stir up fears of neighorhood decline after encouraging people or color to move into previously white neighborhoods.

racial steering

Practice in which real estate brokers guide prospective home buyers towards or away from certain neighborhoods based on their race or ethnicity.

planned communities

cities in which all aspects of development are determined before construction begins. (May be referred to as "new towns" "garden cities" or "greenbelt towns"

restrictive covenants

Deed restrictions that apply to a group of homes or lots in a specific subdivision or development and can include such things as size of residence allowed or landscaping features.


inner cities that become dilapidated centers of poverty, as affluent whites move out of the suburbs (white flight) and immigrants and poorer people vie for scarce jobs and resources.


the rehabilitation of deteriorated, often abandoned, housing of low income inner-city areas; trend of mid to high-income Americans moving into city centers and rehabilitating much of the architecture, but also replacing low-income population - changing the social character of certain neighborhoods.

urban renewal

revitalization of run down sections of central cities.


transformation of an area of a city into an area attractive to residents and tourists.


city planners have redesigned their central cities to make them more amenable to people moving in, especially higher income residents.

festival landscape

A safe and trendy attraction intended to serve as a major catalyst for other redevelopment. (Indicative of a post-modern landscape.)


slang term for "Not In My BackYard"; effort to stop the establishment of certain types of housing or service facilities within or adjacent to a specific community


central area, often landscaped, which separates opposing lanes of traffic on divided streets, roads, and limited-access highways


road that encircles a town or city

commuter zone

Area from which a city draws workers each day.

mass transit

this has declined because of livability of central cities

growth poles

industries designed to stimulate growth through establishment of supporting industries

entrepot center

specialized port where goods are held to be shipped to the final destination later on--a "transshipment point"

zoning laws

public regulation of land and building use to control the character of the place.


including a new area to a city


incorporating a new area to a city or area

eminent domain

government privilege to take citizens' lands for the greater good

enterprise zone

area where special policies apply to encourage economic development

Metropolitan Statistical area

groups of counties (or equivalent) with total populations exceeding 100,000 with a central city (50,000+ residents) and surrounding suburbs

census tract

census region designed to represent neighborhoods where possible

urban sprawl

Uncontrolled growth on the urban fringe.

smart growth

Urban planning that concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl

checkerboard development

When housing tracts jump over parcels of farmland resulting in a mixture of open lands with built-up areas.

infill development

development of sites initially bypassed in the expansion of an urban area.


an area or zone of open, semi-rural surrounding a city (subject to permanent restrictions on new development)


CONCERNS: increases risk of flooding, sprawl, loss of soil, less natural landscape, pollution, waste, consumption habits, loss of farm land, heat island effect

heat island effect

microclimate of a city is typically slightly warmer than the temperature of the surrounding countryside.

suitcase farmer

farmer who has farm but works in city

asylum seekers

refugee seeking shelter and protection in one state from another state.

Levitt town

term for "cookie cutter" homes in a town

bootstrapped building

squatter settlement habit of using mismatched and random materials in one building

informal economy

sector of the economy that operates outside official recognition and not measured by official statistics


money migrants send back to family and friends in their home countries

inner city

loosely defined area close to a city center--sometimes referred to as the "zone in transition."


Those who suffer from a degree of poverty from which there seems to be no escape

urban village

more urbanized than a village; ex: Westlake

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