Urban Morphology is the study of internal structure and organisation of space inside the city.
Settlements can be studied in 2 ways
- City in a region
- Urban Morphology
City in a region
The settlement can be studied as a part of a big settlement complex (the city in a region). For Example, the Primate city concept, rank-size rule, Christaller's theory, and the concept of the megacity, and other urban agglomeration.
The settlements can also be studied from within. Namely internal structure and organization of space inside the city (Urban Morphology). Urban Morphology includes studying the land use patterns, alignment of roads, social segregation of population, and land-use zonation. It also includes the architecture and the look of a city.
The internal structure is the consequence of both historical spontaneous expansion of cities and deliberately planned extensions where land use zonations are deliberately decided and regulated.
Models of internal structure of a City
The Concentric Zonation Model
The theory was given by Ernest Burgers in 1925. It was modified by parks. It was a theory in social sciences/sociology. It is a product of the Chicago school of thought. This is typically applicable to American cities.
In this theory, there is an assumption of the isotropic surface. The Distance decay function is operating for land rentals because land rentals fall proportionately in all directions.
The pattern of internal structure will be concentric circles around the center. The process that operates in the social segregation is much like the biological process of succession where the low and middle-income population that prefers living around commercial work area gradually displaces and process the high-income affluent population farther away from the city center.
The affluent population prefers to live in more open peripheral regions with less crowding and commute to the city center for commercial or business transactions. This is also possible because of the expansion of road connectivity with motor transport evolution.
The typical urban city would took like as follows
Central business district (CBD) - In America, the Central business district is exclusively for economic functions with high land rentals, skyscrapers, and it becomes the dead heart of the city after office hours.
In Europe and Asia, the central business districts are never exclusively for the economic or commercial function they are more traditional with medieval architecture and mixed land uses.
- Zone 1 - Light manufacturing / Processing with warehousing and storage to serve the central business district.
- Zone 2 - Low-income population. More of shanty towns and slums with people working in lower-class. They stay there in lieu of the employment opportunities of the Central business district.
- Zone 3 - Middle-income groups
- Zone 4 - High-income group who prefer living in expensive homes
- Zone 5 - Commuters zone.
Hoyt's sectoral model (1939)
Hoyt's sectoral model is essentially a modification of the burgers model. It considers a possibility of preferential expansion of the city along certain preferential arterial routes. So, some of the concentric zones expand into sectors.
Because of agglomeration factors and social affinity people prefer to live with others of the same class. So, the sectors resolve in terms of income classes.
Zone 5 will have good landscaping, open areas, and better civic amenities compared to Zone 2 and 3.
This model is best applicable for Calgary, a prairie town in southwestern Canada.
Multiple Nuclei Model (1945)
Multiple Nuclei Model was created by Chauncy Harris and Edward Ullman in the 1945 article "The Nature of Cities. It is an economical model.
According to this model,
- The pattern is not perfectly symmetric or geometric
- As the city expands, the Central Business District (CBD) may not be capable to cater to the entire population and it will force the development of Outer CBD
The Commercial centers will also tend to specialize because certain categories of functions attract similar functions.
In the figure, (1)Central Business District is the original CBD and (3) Outlying Business District will invariably specialize and focus on certain categories of the commercial function.
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