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Human Geography, Interactive Study Questions: Chapter 12

Click on each question to check your answer.

1. In what ways is zoning one of the major tools used by planners?

Zoning has a major impact on the social and economic uses of space in a city. Typically, there are various classifications of zones in a city, with several classes of residential and industrial zones. These labels are used to make sure that incompatible land uses are not located adjacent to each other.

2. What are the main differences between the concentric zone and the multiple nuclei models of the city?

The concentric zone model focuses on the impacts of distance between various uses of land in a city. The multiple nuclei model focuses on distances, direction, and multiple centres. Hence, the concentric zone model tends to be represented by concentric circles, and the multiple nuclei model has several discrete centres, which may not be symmetrical or based on regular forms.

3. What are the three major criticisms that Marxist and postmodern geographers point out about the classic models of the city?

Marxist and postmodern geographers point out that the classic models of the city tend to ignore human decision making in favour of economic operators. Another criticism is that the positivist classic models claim to be value-free. Finally, they also criticize the lack of attention paid to social justice by the classic models.

4. What are the five challenges to governing a city?

There are many challenges to governing a city. One challenge is that local governments may have uneasy relationships with other levels of government. Further, the available tax base acts as a fundamental constraint, and if the economy is not generating enough income, the tax base suffers. Also, as most cities are growing outwards spatially, this can lead to conflicts with other local governments over space and the provision of services. Further, there tends to be a variety of interests held by residents of the city, making it difficult to make decisions which please everyone. Finally, influential public interest groups can direct urban policy decisions to favour their cause—sometimes to the detriment of other issues.

5. What are the impacts of information technology on cities?

Information technology directly affects many service-based businesses found in urban centres. Increased information technology is affecting worker relationships, allowing some to perform duties from home or in other regions, thereby affecting the types of jobs in a city centre.