AP Human Geography chapter 18 : Urban Location Theory and Interaction


the permanently inhabited portion of the earth's surface, created by the greeks.


a place with a permanent human population. characteristics: the presence of an agricultural surplus, the rise of social stratification and a leadership class or urban elite, and the beginning of job specialization


the process of developing towns and cities

percent urban

an indicator of the proportion of the population that lives in cities and towns as compared to those that live in rural areas


a largely residential area adjacent to an urban area. they form communities that are connected to the city for jobs and service. however, they are often less densely populated and less ethically diverse than cities.

why and when did suburbanization grow?

after world war 2, with the creation of economic expansion, greater purchasing power for many families, the growth of a car-centered lifestyle, and the government's construction of a vast system of new highways, Federal Housing Administration providing mo


some suburbanites return to live in the city


some suburbanites move farther out into rural areas and work remotely

satellite city

when an established town near a very large city grows into a city independent of the larger one

when and why did the first urban centers come into being?

the most prosperous of the earliest settlements were the ones that became the world's first city-states shortly after the Neolithic Revolution, about 10,000 B.C.E, as human groups began to grow crops and domesticate animals.

urban hearths

areas generally associated with river valleys in which seasonal floods and fertile soils aided the production of an agricultural surplus. These urban hearths included The Tigris-Euphrates Valley (Mesopotamia), the Nile River Valley, the Indus River Valley

What was the purpose of the first cities

early cities often specialized in particular services, as administrative centers from which the elite ruled, or (often associated with important shrines) became religious centers. Later, defensive strongholds, university towns, and centers of specialized

legal definition of city

the territory inside officially recognized boundaries. this definition determines the precise population, taxing residents, and establishing and enforcing governing rules

metropolitan area (metro area)

a collection of adjacent cities across which the population density is high and continuous and usually using only the name of the largest city. Ex : the metro area of Denver

Metropolitan statistical area

A city of at least 50000 people, the county in which it is located, and adjacent counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration or connection with the urban core

Micropolitan statistical area

cities of more than 10000 inhabitants (but less than 50000); the county in which they are located, and surrounding countries with a high degree of integration. This is when a city is considered a nodal region

Nodal region

Focal point in a matrix of connections

Ways to define a city

Legally, the morphology of then state, and the social aspects of the state

A city's morphology

Built up area : where the landscape has a high concentration of people and things constructed by people
Outskirts of the city : where the built-up areas begin to give way to open spaces and underdeveloped areas. This can be called the urban border

Social heterogeneity

Particularly high in cities. A great diversity in people, cultural interests, sexual orientations, languages spoken, professional pursuits, and other characteristics. The large size of then city means that it is easier for individuals with less common cul

Pedestrian cities

Earliest urban centers shaped by the distances people could walk

Streetcar suburbs

Communities that grew along rail lines, emerged, often creating a pinwheel shaped city

Urban system

An independent set of cities within a region

Gravity model

Places that are larger or closer together will have a greater interaction than places that are smaller and farther away from each other. Exceptions : tourist destinations (orlando and Las Vegas) religious sites (Jerusalem and Mecca) and government centers

Rank-size rule

The nth largest city in any region with be 1/n the size of the largest city. That's are more commonly found in Federal governments and are considered an indicator of an urban system that can efficiently provide needed services to its population. Ex : Cana

Primate city or primacy

The largest city in an urban system that is more than twice as large as the next largest city.because services are more centralized, it is more common in less developed countries and regions and in unitary forms of governments or extremely strong central

central place theory

developed by Walter Christaller in 1933, defined central place as a location where people go to receive goods and services (hamlet, town, or major city). In Christaller's model, each level, or size, of settlement would be evely distributed across space

central place

a location where people go to receive goods and services (hamlet, town, or major city).

market area

surrounds each central place, for which it provides goods and services and from which it draws population. Christaller depicted these market areas as hexagonal hinterlands

hexagonal hinterlands

a shape that was a compromise between a square (in which people living in the corners would be farther from from the central place) and a circle (in which there would be overlapping areas of service)


the size of population necessary for any particular service to exist and remain profitable. Low threshold : convenience stores and gas stations (found in very small communities). High threshold : hospitals, high schools, and restaurants (found in larger c


the distance people will travel to obtain specific goods or services. will travel far for high-order services such as wedding rings and heart transplants but won't travel at all for fast food or toothpaste. this explains why fast foods can be found everyw


the world's largest cities that typically have more than ten million people. they were once found only at the centers of large empires or the most powerful countries. Now, they are found in less developed countries because of high birth rates and rural-to

world/global cities

ones that exert influence far beyond their national boundaries. They are media hubs and financial centers. Ex : New York, London, Tokyo, and Paris. Some are the headquarters of international organizations. Ex : New York is home to the UN


describes a chain of connected cities. Became more common after 1961 when Jean Gottman used it to describe the continuously developed string of cities from Boston through New York and Philadelphia to Baltimore and Washington D.C. Called the "Bos-Wash Corr


a merging of many large cities into essentially a single, uninterrupted urban area. These cities crossed state boundaries and exceeded the definition of a metropolitan area, which is focused on a single urban center. Ex : Bos-Wash Corridor, corridor in Ca

Borchert's Epochs

- Sail Wagon (water ports became very important; poor road conditions mad long-distance travel between cities difficult)
- Iron Horse (steam engines powered by boats, which promotes the growth of river cities; regional rail networks connected cities; rail

why did the government of brazil relocate its capital to Brazili´┐Ż?

the government sought to relieve the population pressure around Rio, and promote further development in its interior by moving its capital there