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process of legally adding land area to a city.

Concentric zone model

model created by EW Burgess in 1923, which explains that a city grows outward from a central area in a series of concentric rings, like the growth rings on a tree.

Density gradient

density change in an urban area.

Edge city

city around a beltway that is a node of consumer and business services


process of subdivision of houses and occupancy by successive waves of lower-income people.


process by which middle-class people move into deteriorated inner-city neighborhoods and renovate the housing.


rings of open space. New housing is built in the older suburbs within the rings and planned extensions, small towns, and new towns are built beyond the rings.


Greek word for "great city." Region described as an MSA that may overlap and cause several large metropolitan areas to come so close together that they form one continuous urban complex.

MSA (metropolitan statistical area)

area studied using a method created by the US Bureau of the Census that measures the functional area of a city.

MSA (micropolitan statistical area)

smaller urban areas that the census has designated to include in part of their measure.

Multiple nuclei model

model created by CD Harris and EL Ullman in 1945, which explains that a city is a complex structure that includes more than one center around which activities revolve.

Peripheral model

model created by Chauncey Harris, which describes how an urban area consists of an inner city surrounded by large suburban residential and business areas tied together by a beltway or ring road.

Public housing

housing provided to low-income households, who pay 30% of their income as rent for the housing.


drawing of lines on a map to identify areas in which banks will refuse to loan money.

Renovated housing

housing maintained as result of the alternative to demolishing houses.

Sector model

theory developed by land economist Homer Hoyt in 1939, which explains that a city develops in a series of sectors rather than rings.

Smart growth

legislation and regulations to limit suburban sprawl and preserve farmland.


what US suburbs are characterized by; the progressive spread of development over the landscape.

Squatter settlement

settlement where a large percentage of poor immigrants to urban areas in LDCs live because of a housing shortage.


what inner-city residents are frequently referred to because they are trapped in an unending cycle of economic and social problems.

Urban renewal

something under which cities identify blighted inner-city neighborhoods, acquire the properties from private owners, relocate the residents and businesses, clear the site, and build new roads and utilities.

Zone in transition

name given to the second ring of the concentric zone model, which surrounds the CBD, in the concentric zone model. This place typically contains industry and poor-quality housing.

Zoning ordinances

rules developed in Europe and North America in the 20th century that encouraged spatial separation. They also prevented mixing of land uses within the same district.

Galactic city

mini edge city that is connected to another city by beltways or highways.

Scattered site

site in which dwellings are dispersed throughout the city rather than clustered in a large project.

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