Figure 11. 5 The distribution of services for the homeless in the skid row district of Los Angeles

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НазваниеFigure 11. 5 The distribution of services for the homeless in the skid row district of Los Angeles
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DPSS Welfare Office

i City



Q Overnight shelter facilities: men only

Efi Overnight shelter facilities: women only or men and women


Social service providers (no shelter facilities) Q

Park |_

^m Skid row boundary 0

0.25 km J_

0.25 mi.

Figure 11.5 The distribution of services for the homeless in the skid row district of Los Angeles. The population of the area is difficult to estimate, ranging from 6000 to 30,000. There are approximately 2000 shelter beds in the area, half of which are available to women. Single-room-occupancy hotels provide about 6700 units of longer-term housing. More than 50 social service programs are run through agencies, missions, and shelters. Love Camp and Justiceville are the sites of informal street encampments of homeless people. (After Rowe and Wolch, 1990.)

Models of the Internal Structure of American and Canadian Cities

Beginning in the 1920s, urban geographers in the United States began to recognize and create models to describe the ways that central business districts and residential areas are located in relation to each other. They examined these rela­tionships in a range of North American cities and ended up devising three different spatial models of urban land use. Below we describe each of these models and discuss what each has to offer in terms of describing land use within cities. We then discuss some of the important critiques of these models that highlight their limitations.

Concentric-Zone Model The concentric-zone model was

developed in 1925 by Ernest W. Burgess, a sociologist at the University of Chicago. Figure 11.6 shows the concentric-zone model with its five zones. At first glance, you can see the effects of residential decentralization. There is a dis­tinct pattern of income levels from zone 1, the CBD, out to the commuter residential zone. This pattern shows that even at the beginning of the automobile age, American cities expressed a clear separation of social groups. The extension of trolley lines into the surrounding countryside had a lot to do with this pattern.

Zone 2, a transitional area between the CBD and resi­dential zone 3, is characterized by a mixed pattern of indus­trial and residential land use. Rooming houses, small apartments, and tenements attract the lowest-income segment of the urban population. Often this zone includes slums and skid rows. In the past, many ethnic ghettos took root here as well. Landowners, while waiting for the CBD to reach their land, erected shoddy tenements to house a mas­sive influx of foreign workers. An aura of uncertainty was characteristic of life in zone 2, because commercial activi­ties rapidly displaced residents as the CBD expanded.

social networks that a permanent neighborhood provides, the homeless are left to fend for themselves. Most cities have tried to provide temporary shelter, but many homeless peo­ple prefer to rely on their own social ties for support to main­tain some sense of personal pride and privacy. In a study of the Los Angeles skid row district, Stacy Rowe and Jennifer Wolch explored how homeless women formed new types of social networks and established a sense of community to cope with the day-to-day needs of physical security and food (Figure 11.5). This study points to the importance of social ties in maintaining personal identity and helps us under­stand the magnitude of a problem that deprives people of their home and neighborhood.

CBD (central business district)

Transition zone Blue-collar residential Middle-income residential Commuter residential

Figure 11.6 The concentric-zone model. Each zone represents a different type of land use in the city. Can you identify examples of each zone in your community?

Chapter 11 Inside the City

Figure 11.7 An abandoned building in the uptown area of Chicago. The transitional zone in the city contains vacant and deteriorated buildings. Why has this area become a likely target for gentrifiers? (See the section on gentrification on page 370.) (Cameramann International, Ltd.)

Today, this area is often characterized by physical deterio­ration (Figure 11.7).

Zone 3, the "workingmen's quarters," is a solid blue-collar arc, located close to the factories of zones 1 and 2. Yet zone 3 is more stable than the zone of transition around the CBD. It is often characterized by ethnic neighborhoods: blocks of immigrants who broke free from the ghettos in zone 2 and moved outward into flats or single-family dwellings. Burgess suggested that this working-class area, like the CBD, was spreading outward because of pressure from the zone of transition and because blue-collar work­ers demanded better housing.

Zone 4 is a middle-class area of better housing. From here, established city dwellers—many of whom moved out of the central city with the construction of the first street­car network—commute to work in the CBD.

Zone 5, the commuters' zone, consists of higher-income families clustered together in suburbs, either on the farthest extension of the trolley or on commuter rail­road lines. This zone of spacious lots and large houses is the growing edge of the city. From here, the rich press outward to avoid the increasing congestion and social heterogene­ity brought to their area by an expansion of zone 4.

Burgess's concentric-zone theory represented the American city in a new stage of development. Before the 1870s, an American metropolis, such as New York, was a city of mixed neighborhoods where merchants' stores and sweatshop factories were intermingled with mansions and hovels. Rich and poor, immigrant and native-born rubbed shoulders in the same neighborhoods. However, in Chicago, Burgess's hometown, something else occurred. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire burned down the core of the city, leveling almost one-third of its buildings. As the city was rebuilt, it was influenced by late-nineteenth-century market forces: real estate speculation in the suburbs, inner-city industrial development, new streetcar systems, and the need for low-cost working-class housing. The result was more clearly demarcated social patterns than existed in other large cities. Chicago became a segregated city with a concentric pattern working its way out from the downtown in what one scholar called "rings of rising affluence." It was this rebuilt city that Burgess used as the basis for his con­centric zone model.

However, as you can see from Figure 11.8, the actual residential map of Chicago does not exactly match the simplicity of Burgess's concentric zones. For instance, it is evident that the wealthy continue to monopolize certain high-value sites within the other rings, especially Chicago's "Gold Coast" along Lake Michigan on the Near North Side. According to the concentric-zone theory, this area should have been part of the zone of transition. Burgess accounted for some of these exceptions by noting how the rich tended to monopolize hills, lakes, and shore­lines, whether they were close to or far from the CBD. Crit­ics of Burgess's model also were quick to point out that even though portions of each zone did exist in most cities, rarely were they linked in such a way as to totally surround the city. Burgess countered that there were distinct barri­ers, such as old industrial centers, that prevented the com­pletion of the arc. Still other critics felt that Burgess, as a sociologist, overemphasized residential patterns and did not give proper credit to other land uses—such as indus­try, manufacturing, and warehouses—in describing urban patterns.


0 6 km

0 6 mi.

CBD (central business district) Low-income residential Middle-income residential High-income residential

Figure 11.8 Residential areas of Chicago in 1920 were used as the basis for many studies and models of the city. Compare this pattern with the concentric-zone and sector models.

Sector Model Homer Hoyt, an economist who studied hous­ing data for 142 American cities, presented his sector model of urban land use in 1939. He maintained that high-rent res­idential districts (rent meaning capital ouday for the occu­pancy of space, including purchase, lease, or rent in the popular sense) were instrumental in shaping the land-use structure of the city. Because these areas were reinforced by transportation routes, the pattern of their development was one of sectors or wedges (Figure 11.9), not concentric zones.

Hoyt suggested that the high-rent sector would expand according to four factors. First, a high-rent sector moves from its point of origin near the CBD, along established routes of travel, toward another nucleus of high-rent build­ings. That is, a high-rent area direcdy next to the CBD will naturally head in the direction of a high-rent suburb, even­tually linking the two in a wedge-shaped sector. Second, this sector will progress toward high ground or along water­fronts when these areas are not used for industry. The rich have always preferred such environments for their resi­dences. Third, a high-rent sector will move along the route of fastest transportation. Fourth, it will move toward open space. A high-income community rarely moves into an occupied lower-income neighborhood. Instead, the wealthy prefer to build new structures on vacant land where they can control the social environment.

As high-rent sectors develop, the areas between them are filled in. Middle-rent areas move direcdy next to them, drawing on their prestige. Low-rent areas fill in the remain­ing areas. Thus, moving away from major routes of travel, rents go from high to low.

There are distinct patterns in today's cities that echo Hoyt's model. He had the advantage over Burgess in that he wrote later in the automobile age and could see the tremen­dous impact that major thoroughfares were having on cities. However, when we look at today's major transportation arteries, which are generally freeways, we see that the areas surrounding them are often low-rent districts. According to Hoyt's theory, they should be high-rent districts. Freeways are rather recent additions to the city, coming only after World War II, which were imposed on an existing urban pat­tern. To minimize the economic and political costs of con­struction, they were often built through low-rent areas, where the costs of land purchase for the rights-of-way were less and where political opposition was kept to a minimum because most people living in these low-rent areas had litde

J Low-rent sector

Figure 11.9 The sector model. In this model, zones are pie-shaped wedges radiating along main transportation routes.

Chapter 11 Inside the City

political clout. This is why so many freeways rip through eth­nic ghettos and low-income areas. Economically speaking, this is the least expensive route.

Multiple-Nuclei Model Both Burgess and Hoyt assumed that a strong central city affected patterns throughout the urban area. However, as cities increasingly decentralized, districts developed that were not directly linked to the CBD. In 1945, two geographers, Chauncey Harris and Edward Ullman, suggested a new model: the multiple-nuclei model. They maintained that a city developed with equal intensity around various points, or multiple nuclei (Figure 11.10). In their eyes, the CBD was not the only focus of activity. Equal weight had to be given to an old community on the city outskirts around which new subur­ban developments clustered; to an industrial district that grew from an original waterfront location; or to a low-income area that developed because of some social stigma attached to the site.

Harris and Ullman rooted their model in four geo­graphical principles. First, certain activities require highly specialized facilities, such as accessible transportation for a factory or large areas of open land for a housing tract. Sec­ond, certain activities cluster together because they profit from mutual association. Car dealers, for example, are com­monly located near one another because automobiles are very expensive and so people will engage in comparative shopping—moving from one dealer to another until their decisions are made. Third, certain activities repel each other and will not be found in the same area. Examples would be high-rent residences and industrial areas, or slums and expensive retail stores. Fourth, certain activities could not make a profit if they paid the high rent of the most desirable locations and would therefore seek lower-rent areas. For example, furniture stores may like to locate where pedestrian traffic is greatest to lure the most people into their showrooms. However, they need large amounts of space for showrooms and storage. Thus, they cannot afford the high rents that the most accessible locations demand. They compromise by finding an area of lower rent that is still relatively accessible.

The multiple-nuclei model, more than the other models, seems to take into account the varied factors of decentralization in the structure of the North American city. Many geographers criticize the concentric-zone and sector models as being rather simplistic, for they empha­size a single factor (residential differentiation in the concentric-zone model and rent in the sector model) to explain the pattern of the city. But the multiple-nuclei model encompasses a larger spectrum of economic and social factors. Harris and Ullman could probably accom­modate the variety of forces working on the city because they did not confine themselves to seeking simply a social or economic explanation. As geographers, they tried to integrate the disparate elements of culture into a workable model. Most urban scholars agree that they succeeded.

Critiques of the Models Most of the criticisms of the models just discussed focus on their simplification of reality or their inability to account for all the complexities of actual urban forms. More recently, feminist geographers have noticed some flaws in the models and in how they were constructed that call into question their descriptive power.

All three models assume that urban patterns are shaped by an economic trade-off between the desire to live in a suburban neighborhood appropriate to one's eco­nomic status and the need to live relatively close to the cen­tral city for employment opportunities. These models assume that only one person in the family is a wage worker—the male head of the family. They ignore dual-income families and households headed by single women, who contend with a larger array of factors in making loca­tional decisions, including distances to child-care and school facilities and other services important for other members of a family. For many of these households, the tra­ditional urban models that assume a spatial separation of workplace and home are no longer appropriate.

CBD (central business district) Light industry and warehouses Heavy industry Low-rent residential Middle-rent residential High-rent residential

Figure 11.10
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