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Urban Land Use

  • By: Jeffrey P. Richetto
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Cities across the world are complex mosaics of economic, social, political, and recreational land uses. How and where these land use activities are organizationally patterned reflect not only a city's primary function (e.g., an “economic engine” in an industrial economy or a “cultural/administrative” center in an agrarian economy) but also at least two other overarching forces—accessibility and territoriality/congregation/segregation. In general, the utility of a designated place or location within a city is defined by its potential usefulness, which, in turn, is often a function of its accessibility. Activities that tend to be land intensive have a propensity for high levels of interaction and serve a necessary and functional purpose that requires accessible locations. Alternatively, low-accessible locations are occupied by those land use activities that are ...

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