Functional Classification City

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Functional Classification City

Cities are settlements where many activities are carried out. In this sense all cities are multifunctional, however small they may be. It is possible to classify urban centers on the basis of the main activities they perform.

economic center political center 

Cultural Center Residential Center Recreation Center Symbolic Center Miscellaneous Center

  1. Economic Center

 centers of primary production mining, oiling, fishing towns like Ziway, Arba Minch

 Manufacturing centers Kalti, Wonji, Akaki,

 Business Center National or

 Reciprocal

that business centers like

 d) Transport Center Port and Train Center

 Service Center Financial Services like Banking Insurance

  1. Political Centre: Political iterative center a

  International nation and regional level eg. Washington DC, London, Paris < Geneva, Addis Ababa, Bahirdar, Awassa etc.

Most of the Ethiopian centers are political in nature. Their major function performed is administration at Warda, Zone, Area and Federal levels. Under political centers we have military centers including fort bases and training centers. eg. debrezeit, jigjiga 

  1. Cultural Centre: Those are the cities where most of their activities are cultural in origin. Religious cultural centers include cities such as Jerusalem, Mecca, Lalibela and Axum. Secular cultural centers are centers of learning and educational centers. Like Alemaya. Museum centers that attract visitors, and cities where films and videos are made, are also cultural centers. eg. holly wood
  2. Recreational Access: Cities where recreational facilities attract people. It is difficult to identify such a center in Ethiopia. it is difficult to identify


Center in Ethiopia. There are many of them in more developed countries because people spend part of their time in entertainment centers. Transport facility and income level of the population determine the existence of such centres.

  1. Residential Centers: Dormitory suburbs, retirement centers where residents work elsewhere.
  2. Symbolic Centres: Cities that are unique symbols of a country. rome is one

The symbolic city of Italy and Bethlehem in Israel are symbolic for the Christians of the world.

  1. Miscellaneous Centres: Sometimes it becomes difficult to classify urban centers in a specific category in the absence of a major activity. We then group such urban centers as miscellaneous centres.






physical and ecological pattern of the city







Central Place Theory


Central place theory is a spatial theory in urban geography that attempts to explain the reasons behind the distribution patterns, sizes and numbers of cities and towns around the world. It also attempts to provide a framework by which those regions can be studied both for historical reasons and for the spatial patterns of the regions today.

The theory was first developed by German geographer Walter Christeller in 1933, when he began to recognize the economic relationship between cities and their hinterlands (distant areas). He tested the theory mainly in southern Germany and came to the conclusion that people gather in cities to share goods and ideas and that they exist for purely economic reasons.


However, before testing his theory, Kristeller first had to define the central place. In keeping with its economic focus, he came to the conclusion that central places exist primarily to provide goods and services to their surrounding populations. The city is, in essence, a distribution center.




Christaller’s beliefs

In order to focus on the economic aspects of his theory, Chrysler had to make a set of assumptions. They decided, for example, that the rural areas of the areas they were studying would be flat, so no barriers would exist to impede the movement of people across it.

In addition, two assumptions were made about human behavior: 1) Kristeller stated that humans would always buy goods from the nearest place that offered the good, and 2) whenever the demand for a certain commodity was high, it would Will be offered shortly. Thanks for the population. When the demand decreases, the availability of the commodity also decreases.

Furthermore, threshold is an important concept in Kristler’s study. It is the minimum number of people required for a central location business or activity to remain active and prosperous.

This is followed by the idea of lower-order and higher-order items. Low-order goods are items that are frequently replenished such as food and other regular household items. Because these items are purchased regularly, small businesses can survive in small towns because people will often shop at nearby locations rather than going into town.

Higher-order goods, however, are specialty items such as automobiles, furniture, fine jewelry, and home appliances that are purchased less frequently. Because they require a large range and people do not buy them regularly, many businesses selling these items cannot survive in populated areas.


Small. Therefore, they are often located in large cities that can serve large populations in the surrounding hinterland.

size and spacing of the central spot

Within the central location system, there are five sizes of communities. A hamlet et is the smallest and is a rural community that is too small to be considered a village. Cape Dorset (population 1200), located in the Nunavut territory of Canada, is an example of a Hamel et. The rank order of central places is:


  • Hamlet
  • Village
  • town
  • City
  • Regional Capital


Examples of regional capitals would include Paris, France or Los Angeles, California. These cities provide possible goods of the highest order and a

There is a vast hinterland.





Central Place Theory Geometry and Ordering


If visualized visually, the central space is located at the vertices (points) of equilateral triangles. They then serve the evenly distributed consumers closest to the central location. As the vertices join, they form a series of hexagons—the traditional shape in many central space models.

This shape is ideal because it allows the central location to connect the triangles formed by the vertices and it represents the assumption that consumers will go to the closest location offering the commodity.

Furthermore, there are three orders or principles of the central place theory. The first is the marketing principle and is shown as K=3 (K is a constant). In this system,


The market area at a certain level of the central place hierarchy is three times as large as the next lowest. The various levels then follow a progression of three, meaning that as one moves up the order of places, the number of the next level increases threefold. For example, when there are two cities, there will be six towns, 18 villages, and 54 villages.

There is also the transport principle (k = 4) where the area in the central position hierarchy is four times larger than the area in the next lowest order. Finally, the administrative stratigraphic principle (K = 7) is the last system and here, the variation between the lowest order and the highest order is increased by a factor of seven. Here, the highest order trading area completely covers the lowest order, which means that the market serves a large area.


losch’s central place theory

In 1954, German economist August Lösch revised Chrysler’s central location theory because he believed it was too rigid. He thought that Chrysler’s model led to a pattern where the distribution of goods and


The accumulation of profits was entirely based on location. Instead they focused on maximizing consumer welfare and creating an ideal consumer scenario where the need to travel for any good was minimized and profits were kept level, not maximized to earn extra.


Central Place Theory Today


Although Losch’s central place theory looked at the ideal environment for the consumer, both his and Chrysler’s ideas are essential to the study of the location of retail in urban areas today. Often, small settlements in rural areas serve as central locations for various smaller settlements as they are the places people travel to buy their daily goods. However, when they need to buy high value goods


Like cars and computers, they have to travel to the big city or town — which not only serves their small township but also the people around them. This model is shown all over the world, from rural areas of England to the Midwest of the United States or Alaska with many small communities that are served by larger towns, cities and regional capitals. Central place theory attempts to answer the question “What determines the number, size and distribution of cities?”


Imagine a flat homogeneous plain with an even population distribution. The people of this plain require goods and services such as groceries, clothing, furniture, access to a doctor, etc. These goods and services have two important characteristics; limit and threshold. The range of a commodity is the distance over which people are prepared to travel to purchase the commodity.


The minimum population required to support a constant supply of the good is the threshold of a good. The goods and services having large quantity and wide range are called high order goods and services. Since lower order goods and services have smaller ranges and limited ranges, we would expect to find higher order goods and services in large cities that have large range populations. A large number of widely distributed small places will provide low order goods and services. There will be a small number of large centers which provide lower order and higher order goods and services.


Each city served as a hub for the surrounding hinterland. Central places came into being primarily as intermediaries for local commerce, serving the functions of the surrounding hinterland. Whatever is produced in the hinterland comes into the city and is then exported to the outside world, and vice versa. That’s why every city has an area of influence.


German geographer Walter Christeller published a book called “Central Place Theory” (1933). He stated that the cities with the lowest level of specialization would be evenly spaced and surrounded by a hexagonal-shaped hinterland.


For every six of these cities, there would be a larger more specialized city, which would in turn be located at a similar distance from other cities with a similar level of specialization. Such a city will also have a large hexagonal service area for its specific services. Even more specific settlements would also have their own hinterland and would be equidistant from each other.





national urban system

We have three types of urban systems


  1. Primate Pattern: Where the largest city accounts for 30% or more of the total urban population

, The Primate City is four or five times the size of the next largest city. It dominates all the economic, political and socio-cultural activities of the country. This pattern of urbanization is characteristic of underdeveloped countries and countries with a colonial past.

  1. Rank size rule pattern: It shows a vertical relationship between the number and p [cities population size]. If the urban settlements are placed in descending order of population size from 1st to nth, then the population of the nth settlement will be 1/nx of the size of the largest city. This type of urban pattern is characteristic of economically developed and self-sufficient countries.
  2. Medium-sized distribution: There is a situation where either large or small towns are missing. eg. Australia lacks small cities and Canada lacks very large cities.














Concentric Zone Theory


Concentric field theory is a diagram of ecological structure which, in the words of its author, ‘represents an idealized construction of one’s instincts’.

… the borough tends to expand radially from its central business district’ (R. Park and E.

Burgess, The City, 1925).

The theory places concentric zones around the central zone, defined by their residential composition, running from the very poor and socially disenfranchised, to a peripheral suburban commuter ring, in the inner zone of transition. this is model


It is based on the assumption that a city develops from a series of concentric zones from a central region outwards.

The first and smallest area is the Central Business District (CBD). It is the focal point of the commercial, social and cultural life of th

City, and corresponds to the area of highest land values. Only those activities whose profits are sufficient to pay the high rents can be located in this area. The heart of the zone is the downtown retail district with its large department stores and smart shops, but the area also houses the main offices of financial institutions, the headquarters of various political organizations, the main theaters and cinemas, and the more expensive ones. hotel. The CBD is the most generally accessible area in the city and has the largest number of commuters and commuters each day. The main transport terminals are located there.

Zone II is characterized by residential decline, its population ranging from the mentally disordered and criminal to the cosmopolitan, ethnic villagers and remnants of its earlier inhabitants now terrified of changes in their environment, the region is characterized by a highly mobile population . As members of a population become prosperous or raise families, they move into zone three, leaving behind the elderly, isolated, defeated, leaderless, and helpless.

Zone III is the area of “free working men’s homes”, its population consisting of families of factory and shop workers who have managed to prosper enough to escape the zone of transition, but who still have access to their workplaces. Need cheap and easy access. The area is centered on factories and its population forms a respectable working class.

Zone IV: An area of “better housing” which is an area of middle class population living in substantial private houses or in strategically good apartment blocks.


Points assisted sizing centers, “satellite loops” developed mimicking the expensive services of the downtown area.

Zone V, the “travelers’ belt” is characterized by single family residences, it is a dormitory area. Thus mother and wife become the center of family life.

Burgess himself argued that this structure is the result of competition between users for land – a process analogous to ecological competition between biological species for territory. In human societies, these ‘biotic’ processes are overshadowed by cultural processes, which limit the conflict and social disorder that result from unfettered territorial competition.


Control is exercised through the division of the population into specific groups defined by common ethnic identity, occupational status or economic status. Within each region, groups occupy particular natural areas, forming an ‘urban mosaic’ of local communities. Social and economic mobility through ecological processes of invasion, domestication and succession lead to changes in patterns of territorial occupation. This model is a perfect type.


However, geographers and economists later proposed more complex diagrams of urban structure and typology of natural regions, aided by larger data-sets and the advent of computer technology. This social field analysis largely ignores the broader issues of social process and structure that concern Burgess and his colleagues in their distinctive contribution to the development of urban sociology.









Sector Model



The sector model, also known as the Hoyt model, was proposed by economist Homer Hoyt in 1939. It is a model of urban land use and modifies the concentrated area model of city development. The benefits of applying this model include the fact that it allows for an outward progression of development, although like all models of urban form it has limited validity. Homer Hoyt said that Burgess’s way of persuading the development around the CBD

Kass will not happen. Rather than growing in a ring manner, specific areas of land use develop from the center, often focusing on major routes.




Model Interpretation


Recognizing the existence of a central business district, Hoyt suggested that the area extend outward from the city center along railroads, highways, and other transportation routes. Using Chicago as a model, an upper-class residential area developed outward along the desirable Lake Michigan shoreline north of the central business district, while industry expanded southward into areas following the rail lines.

In developing this model, Hoyt noted that it was common for low-income households to be near rail lines and for commercial establishments to be along commercial routes. Recognizing that various transportation routes in urban areas, including railroads, seaports and tram lines, represented greater access, Hoyt theorized that cities tended to grow in wedge-shaped patterns – or areas – emanating from the central business district and centered on major transportation routes.

Higher levels of accessibility mean higher land values, thus, many commercial functions will remain in the CBD, but manufacturing functions will develop in a wedge around transport routes. Residential functions will grow in a wedge-shaped pattern with an area of low-income housing adjacent to manufacturing/industrial areas (traffic, noise and pollution make these areas the least desirable), while areas of middle- and high-income households are the most. were located far away. from these works. Hoyt’s model attempts to elaborate a theory of urban organization.



model limitations


This theory is based on early twentieth century transport and does not allow for private cars which are able to travel on cheap land outside city limits. [3] This occurred in Calgary in the 1930s when several near-slums were established outside the city but close to the termini of street car lines. These are now included in the city limits but have pockets of low-cost housing in moderate-income areas. [2]

  • Physical Features – Physical features may restrict or guide growth with certain wedges
  • Development of an area can be limited by leapfrog land use









Multiple Nuclei Model


The multiple nuclear model is an ecological model presented by Chauncey Harris and Edward Ullman in their 1945 article “The Nature of Cities”. The model describes the layout of the city. It notes that a city may begin with a central business district, with similar industries with similar land use and financial needs established near each other.


These groups influence their immediate neighbourhood. Hotels and restaurants have opened around the airports, for example E. The number and type of nuclei mark the development of a city.

C.D.Harris and E. Ullman suggested that urban development does not only come from the CBD area. But there are many growth centers in many parts of the city. Cities have a characteristic cellular structure in which specific types of land use develop around certain growing points or “nuclei” in the urban area.

The theory was created based on the idea that an increase in car ownership leads to greater mobility of people. This increase of movement allowed for the specialization of regional centers (eg heavy industry, business parks). There is no clear CBD (Central Business District) in this type of model.

New Sociology


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