Urban areas do not develop in a haphazard way – various factors determine what land use takes place in different areas or ‘zones’. In turn, these zones may affect the volume of pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Some of the factors which affect the ‘make-up’ of a town or City include:- Historical factors: present day towns have developed over many years and their ‘layout’ may have been determined and developed in the past. Economic factors: often the Central Business District (CBD) is a sought after location for shops and offices. Factories may now locate with fast transport routes in mind.
Political factors: local Governments affect the structure of towns with their planning decisions, e.g. The location of an industrial estate may be decided by the local authorities. Environmental factors: the physical environment may influence the make up of a town. For example, housing may avoid the flood plain of a river or the town may be restricted in a certain direction by steep slopes. It can be suggested that, although each town is unique, it may share certain characteristics with other towns.
Therefore this allows us to put together a MODEL showing certain urban characteristics:- A simple urban model Logic behind the model: Ground floor land use: It makes sense that shops and offices will be central in a town, as it is the most accessible place and therefore the easiest place for them to attract customers to. Also they are going to be in the area in the middle as they are very rich services, and will be able to afford the high land prices in the centre. It also makes sense for Industry to be outside of the centre, because they will not be able to afford the plots in the centre as they need large plots of land, which would be too expensive and so they couldn’t compete with the shops for that land.
Also transport links would always be delayed if industry was right in the centre. However, they would still want to be as central as possible to attract workers. Finally residential property would be on the outside as it would pay the least for its’ plots, and so would use the cheaper land outside the centre. Also, it is more likely for residential to expand the most and therefore, they will be on the outside as it is the only area with free space. Also the outskirts provide a much nicer environment for families to live, as there will be space for children to play and parks for pleasure and rest. BID RENT THEORY that was designed by an economist called Alonso supports all this. This is the maximum amount of money a particular land user is willing to pay for a ‘parcel’ of land.
This is the bid rent theory diagram: Vehicle Density: It is most logical that there are more vehicles in the centre, because the shoppers who go to the centrally located shops come in their cars and therefore increase the volume of traffic. Also roads generally meet and radiate out from the centre so traffic is naturally channelled into the centre anyway. Pedestrian Density: There are likely to be more pedestrians in the centre, as the shops and offices attract them for shopping and working.
Also the centre is a focal point for socializing as the pubs and restaurants magnetize customers into the centre making it densely pedestrianised. Building Density: As there are higher land prices in the centre than people will only be able to afford small plots and so these will be tightly packed together. Also, what residential there is, will be in the form of flats and so there is no wasted space due to gardens or garages. Another factor is that the centre includes generally old buildings and these are most likely to be cramped together as that was the style of the era.
Building height: It is very obvious that buildings are more likely to be higher and with more storeys when in the centre, opposed to outside. This is because in the centre land prices are high. So to maximise the area of you plot of land, you build upwards. This is maximising your limited ground floor area by multiplying the area you have by the amount of storeys you build upwards. Building age: This is simple, in that a town builds from the inside out and therefore the first buildings to have been built are in the centre where the town originated. As the town expands, new buildings are built outside of the existing meaning the newest houses are on the outskirts of the town.