What do we always say aboutWhat do we always say about
models?models?
Most importantly – they are just models
Models only represent patterns in space
The landscape does NOT look exactly
like the model
Models are thus representations of the
landscape to help better understand
patterns

The MODELThe MODEL
The Von Thunen model of agricultural land use
was created by farmer and amateur economist
J.H. Von Thunen (1783-1850) in 1826
Von Thunen’s model was created before
industrialization and is based on the following
limiting assumptions:

THE MODELTHE MODEL
The city is located centrally within an “Isolated State”
which is self sufficient and has no external influences.
The Isolated State is surrounded by an unoccupied
wilderness.
The land of the State is completely flat and has no
rivers or mountains to interrupt the terrain.

MOVEMENTMOVEMENT
The soil quality and climate are consistent
throughout the State.
Farmers in the Isolated State transport their
own goods to market via oxcart, across land,
directly to the central city. Therefore, there are
no roads.
Farmers act to maximize profits.

RINGY DINGY!RINGY DINGY!
In an Isolated State with the foregoing
statements being true, Von Thunen
hypothesized that a pattern of rings around
the city would develop.

There are four rings of agricultural activity
surrounding the city.
Dairying and intensive farming occur in the
ring closest to the city.
Since vegetables, fruit, milk and other dairy
products must get to market quickly, they
would be produced close to the city
(remember, we didn’t have refrigerated
oxcarts!)

LAND USE MODELLAND USE MODEL
Von Thunen’s regional land use model is the oldest. It was initially developed
in the early 19th century (1826) for the analysis of agricultural land use
patterns in Germany.
It used the concept of economic rent to explain a spatial organization
where different agricultural activities are competing for the usage of land.
The underlying principles of this model have been the foundation of many
others where economic considerations, namely land rent and distance-
decay, are incorporated.
The core assumption of the model is that agricultural land use is patterned
in the form of concentric circles around a market
Many concordances of this model with reality have been found, notably in
North America.

Burgess Concentric Zone ModelBurgess Concentric Zone Modelhttp://www.lgfl.net/lgfl/leas/barnet/accounts/migration/web/Land%20Use/documents/burgess-re-done.jpghttp://www.lgfl.net/lgfl/leas/barnet/accounts/migration/web/Land%20Use/documents/burgess-re-done.jpg

Characteristics of Concentric ZoneCharacteristics of Concentric Zoneen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Burgessen.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Burgess
Burgess studied 1920s
Chicago to make this
model
5 concentric zones
Burgess suggested that
immigrants lived in inner
zones which caused
affluent residents to move
further out
Concentric Zone’s
weakness is that it does
not allow for change in
the city
Concentric Zone does not
allow for physical
geographic barriers

Hoyt Sector ModelHoyt Sector Model
Late 1930s
Answered the drawbacks of
Burgess Model
Hoyt said growth created
pie-shaped urban structure
Hoyt said his pie-shaped
zones could reach from the
Core (CBD) to the edge of
the city (e.g. low rent sector
3 from CBD to outskirt of
city)
Sector Model says that the
CBD is not as important as
Burgess indicated
Sectors were developed
along transport routes (e.g.
highways, RRs, etc.)

Multiple NucleiMultiple Nuclei
1940s
Harris & Ullman
hypothesized the CBD
was further losing its
dominance
CBD no longer the
nucleus of the modern
city, thus emergence of
‘nuclei’
Reflects decentralization
and nucleation of urban
functions
Nuclei are disconnected
and do not necessarily
rely on each other

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