Wednesday, July 31, 2019

How useful are urban models to the modern geographer and urban planners?

An urban model is a simplification of a real city. They are used to help us understand more about real cities by showing patterns or processes which in real life may be complex and difficult to identify. They are applicable to a large number of cities rather than one particular city. They are based on the idea that there are similarities between cities. Geographers use these models to try and identify and explain urban spatial patterns and variations in their structure. Where as urban planners use the models to deal with real life situations such as deciding where to place a new motorway or deciding where to build a new business park. The first urban model to be produced was by Burgess in 1924 he attempted to explain the outward expansion of the city (Chicago) and the socioeconomic groupings of it inhabitants. He did this by splitting the city into five concentric zones: the central business district, transition zone, low class housing, medium class housing and high class housing. He devised these zones by the theory that individual compete with each other for the most favourable locations within the city. This competition was founded on the market for buildings and land: those who can afford the highest prices will get the best and most favourable land. This model could be useful to modern geographers as it could be used as a good starting point to look at the spatial variations of sections/zones within a town. It could also help to explain why people live where they do and why they live in certain groups. This model could be useful to modern urban planners as it could be used to describe the existing patterns of land use or city morphology and be compared to that of the modern morphology of a city in deciding where to place a certain building etc. due to the density of inhabitants in a certain area. It could also be used to measure land values and density within a city. Hoyt was the second producer of an urban model in 1939. He adapted on the same implicit assumptions that burgess had made but with adaptations. Hoyt's model was based on the mapping of eight housing variables for 142 cities in the USA. He tried to account for changes in, and the distribution of residential patterns. He had the addition of three new factors on the burgess model. He suggested that areas of the highest rent tended to be alongside main lines of communication and that the city grew in a series of wedges. He also said that once an area had developed a land use that it would remain that use as the city extended outwards. This model could be useful to modern geographers as it is a better adaptation of the burgess model. Meaning that extra factors have been taken into consideration such as the wealth and similar land uses. This could be more helpful as it makes more judgements on where and why variations will happen. Such as wealthy people can afford the highest rates so will have the best position and afford to buy cars so will live further from he Central business district. This model could be useful to modern urban planners as it is a better adaptation of the burgees model with extra factors taken into consideration. This could be helpful to a planner as it talks about land value and how similar land uses attract other similar land uses. This is helpful as a planner can locate where certain industries are and where to situate them. Also to know where the wealthy people are will help to know what services and transport routes are best targeted towards them Mann was the third producer of an urban model in 1965. He tried to adapt the Burgess and Hoyt models to three industrial towns in northern England. He made a compromise model that combined ideas of burgess concentric zone model with that of Hoyt's sectors model. He assumed that because of prevailing winds in northern Britain blow from the west, that the high class housing would be in the west and industry with its smoke, would be locate to the east of the central business district. This model could be useful to modern geographers as it combines the two theories of Hoyt and burgees resulting in a more complex and relevant model. It could be useful to see if industry does affect the position and distance of certain types of economic wealth. This model could be useful to modern urban planners as it combines the theories of Hoyt and burgees producing a more complex and applicable model. It could be useful in the location of industry and the construction of houses for different socio economic inhabitants. Ullman and Harris were the fourth producers of an urban model in 1945. They set out to produce a realistic model compared to those of Burgess and Hoyt but consequently they ended up with one that was more complex and this meant that the model was more descriptive then predictive. They said that a multiple nuclei needed to be developed as a response to the need for maximum accessibility to a centre, to keep certain types of land use apart and to show differences of land values, This model could be useful to modern geographers as it is more realistic to the modern world with its complexity. It could be useful to see if a town/city does actually follow the model with several nuclei. It also help to explain the inhabitants that commute to the central business district and see if they add to its density and population. This model could be useful to modern urban planners as it could help to locate bus routes and roads that were needed for the commuters and people who travel to work from the multiple nuclei. It could also help in the planning and placing of new houses for the people leaving the city to commute to work. In conclusion I think that urban models are very useful to modern geographers and planner's .I think that models are a good starting point for analysing the morphology of modern cities. These models were produced in the past so it is obvious that changes will have taken place such as technology, fashions and transport. This does not mean that the models cannot be of use. The principles can still remain with a little adaptation to the real modern world.

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