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Human Ecology

  • Theory highlights the links between the physical and social dimensions of cities and identifies the dynamics and patters of growth

    • Cities grow in a pattern of ever-expanding concentric circles

    • Three processes animate this growth

      • Differentiation – populations and their activities become more complex and heterogeneous

      • Competition – on-going struggle by different groups to inhabit optimal locations

      • Ecological succession – one group replaces another

Black Belt

Underworld Roomers

Slum

I

Deutschland

The Loop

IV Residential Zone

Figure 1. Concentric Zone Model of Chicago, 1920

Single-Family Dwellings Residential Hotels

Bright Light Area

Second Immigrant Settlement

Apartment Houses

Little Sicily

II Transitional Zone

Two-flat area

III Zone of Working Class Homes

Ghetto

Chinatown Vice

Bright Light Area

Restricted Residential District Bungalow Section

V Commuter Zone

  • Zone 1: Central business district (‘the Loop’)

    • Retail shopping, office buildings, entertainment centers

      • Land is most valuable

  • Zone 2: Zone of transition

    • Intense competition between residential and commercial interests

      • Businesses drive up prices and re-zone, property value declines, (cheap) rentals emerge, the ‘slum’ attracts new immigrants, the poor, the mentally disordered, the unemployed, and criminals

  • Zone 3: Working class homes

    • When members of ethnic groups in zone 2 could afford better housing, they moved to mostly inexpensive, semi-detached homes

  • Zone 4: Residential zone

    • Upwardly mobile residents from zone 2 buy small, detached homes

  • Zone 5: Commuter zone

    • Middle and Upper class families live in more expensive, detached homes

3

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