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Urban models in MEDCs

Central business district (CBD)

The land in urban areas is used for many different purposes:

  • leisure and recreation - may include open land, eg parks or built facilities such as sports centres
  • residential - the building of houses and flats
  • transport - road and rail networks, stations and airports
  • business and commerce - the building of offices, shops and banks
  • industry - factories, warehouses and small production centres

The CBD in the city centre is where most business and commerce is located.

Features that identify the CBD

Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham

Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham

  • High/multi-storey buildings.
  • Expensive land values.
  • Department stores or specialist shops, like jewellers.
  • Shopping malls and pedestrian precincts.
  • Cultural/historical buildings, museums and castles.
  • Offices, finance, banks, administration, town hall (business sector).
  • Bus and railway stations (transport centres).
  • Multi-storey car parks.

The CBD is located in the centre because it is:

  • a central location for road/railways to converge
  • the most accessible location for workers
  • accessible to most people for shops and businesses

To help you remember how to identify a CBD, think of a city you know. In your exam give named examples for the features listed above.

Back to Urban environments index

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