Models of Urban Structure

Concentric zone, Sector, and Multiple Nuclei Models

Introduction

Sociologists, economists, and geographers have developed three models to help explain where different types of people tend to live in an urban area. The are the concentric zone, sector, and multiple nuclei models. The three models describing the internal structure of cities were developed in Chicago.

Concentric Zone Model

According to the concentric zone model, created in 1923 by sociologist E. W. Burgess, a city grows outward from a central area in a series of five concentric rings. These rings are the central business district, zone of transition, zone of independent workers' homes. Zone of better residence, and commuters zone.

Sector Model

According to the sector model, developed in 1939 by land economist Homer Hoyt, the city develops in a series of sectors. Hoyt mapped the highest-rent areas fro a number of U.S. cities at different times and showed that the highest social-class district usually remained in the same sector, although it moved farther out along that sector over time.

Multiple Nuclei Model

According to the multiple nuclei model, developed by geographers C.D. Harris and E.L. Ullman in 1945, a city is a complex structure that includes more than one center around which activities evolve. The multiple nuclei theory states that some activities are attracted to particular nodes, whereas others try to avoid them.
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Concentric Zone Model
The Multiple Nuclei Model