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Unformatted text preview: IB World Geography
What is a city It is a concentrated nonagricultural human settlement Cities have been located in every
settled society, and are essential because cities provide a variety of services that are not readily available to
inhabitants of rural areas. The study of cities is called urban geography, and the study of the method in
which cities are settled and transform over time is called urban morphology
Urban Geography considers three topics:
1. The study of the functions of the cities and their economic role in organizing territory.
2. The comparative study of urbanization as it occurred in the past and a s it is continuing in
different countries today.
3. The study of the internal geography of cities —that is, the internal distribution of housing,
industry, commerce, and other aspects of urban life across different cultures.
Early Public Services
Public services probably followed the religious activities into early permanent settlements. The group’s
political leaders also chose to live permanently in the settlement. The settlement likely was a good base
from which the group could defend nearby food sources against competitors. For defense, the group
might surround the settlement with a wall Thus, settlements became citadels Although modern
settlements no longer have walls, their military and political services continue to be important.
Everyone in the settlements needed food, which was supplied to the group for hunting or gathering
Settlements took on a retail-service function People brought objects and materials they collected or
produced into the settlement and exchanged them for items brought by others. The settlement served as
neutral ground where several groups could safely come together to trade goods and services. To facilitate
this trade, government officials in the settlement provided producer services such as regulating the
terms of transactions.
The first geographer to be given credit with studying the land use of a settlement was German farmer and
economist, J.H. Von Thünen’s in 1826. Von Thünen studied the settlement patterns on numerous European
towns and found that the patterns were similar. Each settlement had concentric rings around the center
that were land areas specializing in providing resources for the settlement. IB World Geography
Urbanization Notes 5: Ranching/Animal Products 1: Central City
3: Forests 1 4: Extensive
Field Crops 2
3 Seat of Power
4 The Von Thünen model was created in a time before factories, highways and even railroads It is still an
important model in geography. The Von Thünen model is an excellent illustration of the balance between
land cost and transportation costs. Von Thünen found the price of land increases as one gets closer to
the city center The farmers of the city balance the cost of transportation, land, and profit and produce the
most cost-effective product for market.
costIn several countries, one large city concentrates a high degree of the entire nation’s population or national
political, intellectual, or economic life. These cities are called primate cities. London in the UK or Paris in
France are examples. Not all countries have a clearly-defined primate city. Countries with a large territory
may have numerous regional primate cities The U.S. is a very large nation, and has numerous primate
cities that are located in the various regions. New York City and Los Angeles are good examples of
regional primacy. The region for which any city provides services, and upon which it draws its needs is
called its hinterland
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- Spring '08