The Central Business District (CBD)
The city centre is also called the Central Business District (CBD). The CBD contains the city’s main shops, together with leisure and entertainment facilities , e.g. cafes, bars, restaurants and theatres. It also includes buildings like town halls. Around its edge are the offices of professional people like solicitors and accountants. The tallest buildings are found here and land costs a lot to buy. There is a lot of traffic and very few people live there, instead commuting from the suburbs.
The inner city
The inner city use to include a lot of manufacturing industry, but much of this has now closed down. Traditionally, it also provided cheap terraced housing for the factory workers. These house were small, and the streets containing them were arranged in a grid pattern – with little or no green spaces. Recently, however inner cities have become more popular (especially with young adults), because they’re close to office workplaces and the facilities of the city centre. They’ve been smartened-up and redeveloped, with expensive upmarket apartments for young professionals being built to replace the old terraced housing.
The suburbs are more expensive places to live, and are popular with families. They can be divided into inner and outer suburbs. The further you go out from the city centre, the bigger the houses get – changing from semi-detached to detached. They also have bigger gardens, and there are more open spaces like parks.
The rural-urban fringe
The rural-urban fringe is on the edge of the city. It’s almost in the countryside. New housing estates are often built here, as well as big retail and leisure parks. It has villages and fields, as well as recreational facilities like golf courses and riding stables.
Simplified layout of a British City
My very first video – on land use in the UK
Land use in poorer countries
Just like richer countries, cities in poorer countries tend to have similar patterns of land use. The CBD is still in the centre, but the
pattern changes from the one seen in richer countries. The land use pattern in poorer countries is not that simple:
· the closest ring to the CBD isn’t a zone of old industry and cheap housing. It’s a high class residential area, with large villas and modern expensive apartments.
· cheaper housing is found further out of the city
· poor-quality housing can be found right next to the posh expensive areas, but shanty towns and slums are often found on the very edge of the city
· industry tends to be found along the main roads into the city