How does land use vary in an urban area?

What you need to know: 

I can describe what land use is.

I can provide examples of land use.

I can describe what a function is.

I can provide examples of functions

I can describe what the Central Business District, Inner City, Suburbs and Rural-Urban Fridge is.

I can locate the Central Business District, Inner City, Suburbs and Rural-Urban Fridge on a map.

I can explain typical land-use within Central Business District, Inner City, Suburbs and Rural-Urban Fridge.


Step 1: Read the key terms list below. Make sure that you understand and could give a definition to somebody else.

Step 2: Read the information in Section 1. Answer the exam questions here:  9_2 Land Use Vary


Land use – is the function of land – what it is used for. Land use varies from area to area. In rural areas (countryside) land use can include forestry and farming. In urban areas (towns and cities) land use could be housing or industry.

Function – the function is the purpose of a particular area

Central Business District (CBD) – the main shopping and service area of a town or city. It is usually located in the centre of a city where it is most accessible (easy to get to)

Inner City – area around the CBD. Often built before 1918.

Suburbs – area on the the edge of a city. Many suburbs were built after 1945 in the UK.

Rural – Urban Fringe

Section 1 

What is land use?  

Landuse is the function of land – what it is used for. Land use varies from area to area. In rural areas (countryside) land use can include forestry and farming. In urban areas (towns and cities) land use could be housing or industry. Land use in urban areas in MEDCs varies from land use in urban areas in LEDCs. Urban landuse use models attempt to simplify the way land is used in urban areas.


Land use model for a typical city in an MEDCs

Land use model for a typical city in an MEDCs

The function of land use

The FUNCTION of an area is its reason, job  or purpose for being.  In urban areas this relates to the purpose of a land use for residential areas, recreation, industry etc.  The dominant function in different cities varies, for example, London is known for its function as a financial centre. Functions can change over time.


The Central Business District
The CBD or Central Business District is the commercial centre. It contains the main shops, offices and financial institutions of the urban area. It is usually the most accessible (easy to get to) part of the city. This is because most of the main transport routes lead here. 
Due to high land values, buildings tend to be tall and building density is high. 
Land Values
Land values tend to be very high, this is the result of great competition to locate here. It is cheaper to build up than out. Also, there is a limited amount of open space available. New developments tend to focus on redeveloping existing areas rather than using the limited open space available.
Population Density 
During the day the CBD is densely populated. This is due to the high number of pedestrians and shop and office workers. However, the CBD has a limited number of houses and flats due to the high land values in this area.

The Inner City
This area tends to contain high density 19th Century housing and wholesale manufacturing. Housing is usually linear, back to back and terraced. The streets form a gridiron pattern. This area tends to be run down unless housing has been redeveloped or gentrification has occurred. This area usually experiences social and economic problems. 
Land Values
Land values are lower than those in the CBD. However, they still remain high.
Population Density 
Population density in the inner city is very high. To save money planners wanted to house as many people into a smaller space as possible.

The Suburbs
This area contains private houses built during the inter-war period (1930’s). Many of the houses found in this zone are semidetached. The houses are characterised by their front and back gardens, garages and bay windows. This are also contains some council housing. 

Land Values
Medium value land. Cheaper than in the inner city which is why the houses are larger and have bigger gardens.Population Density 
Medium population density. At the time these houses were built on the edge of the city where land values are cheaper.

The Rural – Urban Fringe
The urban rural fringe contains a mixture of landuses. this includes residential areas, recreational facilities such as golf courses and farming. 

These areas tend to contain areas of better quality housing. Gardens and houses are larger due to lower land values and more open space. There is usually a mixture of private and council-owned housing.

Areas of private housing usually consist of low density, high quality housing. The layout of these areas are usually crescent shaped.

Although the council estates have a higher density than the private estates, they are still lower than the inner city areas. The accommodation is often a mixture of housing, flats and tower blocks.

Land Values
Low land values. Therefore larger houses with sizeable gardens are located here.Population Density 
Low population densities exist in this area. 
Reasons for development of rural – urban fringe
Developers prefer rural areas, on the edge of towns because there is more space to expand. The land is usually cheaper too. People increasingly want to live in a rural environment and travel (commute) to work in the city. Also, out of town shopping centres take advantage of the cheaper land and locate close to major roads so they are accessible to customers all over the region. 

Locating the CBD, Inner City, Suburbs and Rural-Urban Fringe on a Map

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