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Hoyt's Sector Model

A model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are arranged around a series of sectors, or wedges, radiating out from the central business district (CBD)

Edge City

A new urban cluster of economic activity that surrounds nineteenth-century downtowns

Urban realm

A spatial generalization of the large, late-twentieth-century city in the United States. It is shown to be a widely dispersed, multicentered metropolis consisting of increasingly independent zones or realms, each focused on its own suburban downtown; the only exception is the shrunken central realm, which is focused on the Central Business District (CBD).

Harris & Ulman's Multiple Nuclei Model

A model that depicts a city growing from several separate focal points

Urban Realm Model

describes spatial components of the modern metropolis- separate economic, social, and political entity


Areas that are outside a city and that are usually classified as suburbs


the net loss of population from cities to smaller towns and rural areas.

Griffin-Ford Latin American City Model

showing a blend of traditional elements of Latin American culture with the forces of globalization that are reshaping the urban scene.

Disamenity Sector

The very poorest parts of cities that in extreme cases are not even connected to regular city services and are controlled by gangs or drug lords.


The disamentiy sectors in Latin America contain relatively unchanging slums or barrios


in griffin ford model (updated by larry ford) adds a ring highway around the outskirts of the city

McGee Model

Developed by geographer T.G. McGee, a model showing similar land-use patterns among the medium-sized cities of Southeast Asia.

Urban Sprawl

Unrestricted growth in many American urban areas of housing, commercial development, and roads over large expanses of land with little concern for urban planning.


Unplanned slum development on the margins of cities, dominated by crude dwellings and shelters made mostly of scrap wood, iron, and even pieces of cardboard.

Zoning Ordinances

A law that limits the permitted uses of land and maximum density of development in a community.

Restrictive Covenants

A statement written into a property deed that restricts the use of the land in some way; often used to prohibit certain groups of people from buying property


to isolate in or as if in a ghetto

Uneven Development

The tendency for industry to develop in a core-periphery pattern, enriching the industrialized countries of the core and impoverishing the less industrialized periphery. This term is also used to describe urban patterns in which suburban areas are enriched while the inner city is impoverished.

Cumulative Causation

A process through which tendencies for economic growth are self-reinforcing; an expression of the multiplier effect, it tends to favor major cities and core regions over less-advantaged peripheral regions


A process by which real estate agents convince white property owners to sell their houses at low prices because of fear that persons of color will soon move into the neighborhood

Racial Steering

Realtors steer nonwhites to non white neighborhoods.


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


The displacement of lower-income residents by higher-income residents as buildings in deteriorated areas of city centers are restored


Movement of upper and middle-class people from urban core areas to the surrounding outskirts to escape pollution as well as deteriorating social conditions (perceived and actual). In North America, the process began in the early nineteenth century and became a mass phenomenon by the second half of the twentieth century.


A ring of land maintained as parks, agriculture, or other types of open space to limit the sprawl of an urban area.

Master Planned Communities

Large-scale residential developments that include, in addition to architecturally compatible housing units, planned recreational facilities, schools, and security measures

Gated Communities

Restricted neighborhoods or subdivisions, often literally fenced in, where entry is limited to residents and their guests. Although predominantly high-income based, in North America gated communities are increasingly a middle-class phenomenon.

Economic base

A community's collection of basic industries

Basic Sector

Those products or services of an urban economy that are exported outside the city itself, earning income for the community.

Non-Basic Sector

a sector in which workers are responsible for the functioning of the city itself

Ethnic Culture Region

An area occupied by people of similar ethnic background who share traits of ethnicity, such as language and migration history

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