How Does Air Pollution Shape Cities?

Hoyt sector model

Image via Wikipedia

Why Are the Western Ends of Cities Generally Wealthier than the Eastern Ends of Cities? (Neatorama, Dec. 31, 2010)

Discussed here: Why are the East of Cities usually Poorer?(The Januarist, May 31, 2010)

And here: Sector model (or Hoyt model) (Wikipedia)

And here: Concentric zone model (or Burgess model) (Wikipedia)

Today’s review articles look at what part air pollution under the flow of prevailing wind direction plays in attracting more or less affluent neighbourhoods, superimposed on urban models that place a central business district in the city centre. The various views expressed in the referenced sources do not agree citing other influences such as river flow carrying sewage and the general influence of sprawl and the tendency to move out of town during the 20th century when fuel was cheap. Whether the higher costs of energy and the resulting urban intensification will reverse earlier trends remains to be seen.

Key Quotes:

“As the towns and cities expanded, the residential areas for the workers tended to be in the east, with the middle and upper-classes in the west”

“The massive, unchecked pollution from these early industries would therefore drift eastward, making the air quality much lower in the east end of cities, lowering the desirability (and price) of the housing. Middle classes preferred the cleaner west ends”

“The quality of the environment, social history, customs & traditions, transportation linkages to the center, and other factors could all figure in why certain groups and/or activities move to certain locations with certain criteria in the decision mix”

“This concentric ring model depicts urban land use in concentric rings: the Central Business District (or CBD) was in the middle of the model, and the city expanded in rings with different land uses… there was a correlation between the distance from the CBD and the wealth of the inhabited area; wealthier families tended to live much further away from the Central Business District. As the city grew, Burgess also observed that the CBD would cause it to expand outwards; this in turn forced the other rings to expand outwards as well.”

“the Hoyt model, is a model of urban land use proposed in 1939 .. is a modification of the concentric zone model of city development. The benefits of the application of this model include the fact it allows for an outward progression of growth”

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