essay3 geo101 - THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHICAGO AS A POLYCENTRIC...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHICAGO AS A POLYCENTRIC CITY The city of Chicago is known by geographers everywhere as a world city, meaning that there is a large amount of business from all over the world that takes place there. This trend began in the nineteenth century, when the population of Chicago skyrocketed due to the presence of many stockyards and industrial areas. Around the middle of the twentieth century, many people began leaving the city for the suburbs. This trend continued into the 1990s, causing a huge growth rate in suburban population. This suburban sprawl has transformed Chicago into a textbook example of a polycentric metropolis, with different suburban hubs, many of which are becoming extremely important in terms of population and economic matters. However, this has caused the central business district of Chicago (the CBD) to become, in a way, less important in the overall scheme of the metropolitan area due to the fact that, while there were many businesses in the CBD, there were just as many if not more in other suburban hubs. In the last ten years, there has been a trend that indicates economic growth in the CBD. Nonetheless, this recent growth in the CBD does not mean that the city is “less polycentric”. The suburban hubs will remain and continue to grow – new hubs may even form in the future. The following pages will explain how Chicago is a great example of a polycentric metropolis, and how it developed into such an example. It will also examine the decline of the central business district, and explain ways that the city is attempting to resurrect it. The city of Chicago itself is a textbook example of North American urban structure. The CBD is located at the center of the city. It contains many office buildings, shopping areas, and hotels. Being at the center of the city, it is also the transportation hub. It is located at the hub of the commuter rail system as well as the city elevated trains, and three freeways converge here as well. Surrounding the CBD are many warehouses, apartment buildings, and (formerly) housing 1
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
projects. In Chicago, this area also contained vast areas of low-income housing. In the early twentieth century, the many immigrants who came looking for better opportunity settled in this area. They lived here because they had little money and this was the only place that they could afford. They also settled in areas as a culture – Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, and Pilsen (Mexico) are just a few examples. As the families began to make money, they began to leave the ethnic neighborhoods and move to the residential areas, where the housing was nicer. (Knox and Marston 430) However, more immigrants moved into these vacated areas, meaning that many of these neighborhoods are still identifiable today by their cultural boundaries. The next area beyond here is the residential area. This area is made up of single-family homes, apartments, condos, and other residential complexes. This area extends to the city edge; beyond here is the suburban area.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern