Urban Models by Burgess

Categories: London

In this investigation I will be investigating 5 wards, which have been carefully chosen to go from the south to the north of the borough Brent. I will be investigating these wards to see whether or not Brent fits the Burgess mode therefore to do this I will travel through these 5 wards collecting various types of data.

Patterns of land use in cities have often been demonstrated by urban models (theoretical framework). There are three popular types of the urban model. There are the: Hoyt's sector model, the multiple nuclei model and most well known; the Burgess model.

Urban Models

Burgess model, developed by E.W. Burgess, identified social-ecological zones radiating out from the Central Business District. Ethnic communities, factories, and slums, known as the transition zone, surround the CBD. Outside the transition zone lays a zone of working class housing with higher income residents living in the outer commuter ring.

The Hoyt Sector Model, developed by Homer Hoyt, emerged in 1939 to explain urban growth and expansion and the location of urban land uses.

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Hoyt recognized that over time a city expanded from the Central Business District along the major transportation lines, such as highways and railroads. This process creates distinctive economic sectors within the city, influenced and contained by the major highways, railroads, and waterways.

The multiple nuclei model, Geographers C.D. Harris and E. L. Ullman developed the multiple nuclei model in 1945. According to this model, a city contains more than one CBD. Some activities are attracted to particular area while others try to avoid them.

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For example, a university may attract well-educated residents, pizzerias, and bookstores, whereas an airport may attract hotels and warehouses. Incompatible land use activities will avoid clustering in the same area, explaining why heavy industry and high-income housing rarely exist in the same neighbourhood.

These models have certain similarities they consist of:

  1. The central business district (CBD): is where there are the most offices and most major transport links go.
  2. Light manufacturing area is where most industrial activities take place
  3. Low class residential: this is were the factory workers in the light manufacturing zone would live because it's not too long of a journey to work. It contains the poorest segment of the urban population, notably it is where the first generation immigrants live, in the lowest housing conditions.
  4. Inter war period residential zone dominated by the middle class society, this zone has the advantage of being near the major employment areas.
  5. High class housing: Represents higher quality housing linked with longer commuting costs.

Problems with the Burgess model

The Burgess model was founded during the 1940's in Chicago there does not take into account of the redevelopment of areas which have occurred recently. Therefore, this model is does not tell the complete truth about different areas in London.

The Burgess model over London

From this rough image of the Burgess model and the map of boroughs in London; you can see that Brent comes into the category of the low and medium class residential. Also we see the North and West of Brent are based in the interwar period whereas, the South and East of Brent live in the inner city area.

As I am doing this investigation I find it appropriate to find a brief history on the borough Brent

Brent was formed in 1965 from the area of the former Municipal Borough of Wembley and Municipal Borough of Willesden of Middlesex. Its name derives from the River Brent which runs through the Borough.

According to the 2001 census, the Borough of Brent has the country's highest percentage of people born outside of the UK (46.53%). This would be no surprise to anyone who knows the area because brent is a well known multi-cultural society.

Motto; interestingly enough brent has its own motto: "forward together"


  1. I expect that as you move from South to North Brent; there will be more semi-detached and detached houses.
  2. I expect as you move from south to North Brent there will be less traffic. I think this is because The South of Brent is closer to the CBD than the North so it is more likely to be more congested because of the jobs and facilities available for people in the city.
  3. I expect that as you move from South to the North of Brent the houses will be further apart from each other. This is because there should be more space in the North because it further away from the City centre furthermore housing plots will be cheaper as they are further away from the CBD.
  4. I expect as you move from South to North Brent the streets will become less grid like.
  5. I expect that as you move from the South to the North of Brent the environment will be much cleaner and will be much quieter because there will be less demand for transport.
  6. I expect that as you move from the South to the North of prices of houses will decrease because the further away from the CBD you are, the less competition there is for land and property.


I choose to investigate 5 different site of Brent which have been chosen to give wide and average results for Brent as a whole.

Going from the south to north:

  1. Kilburn
  2. Willesden Green
  3. Stonebridge
  4. Preston
  5. Kenton

Also to back up my results I also used secondary data from the census results of 2001 in Brent, this is because the data is released every 10 years therefore I had to use it because the next census will be available in 2011 which is 4 years from now. I am to use the results to see which type of housing is more popular in Brent so we can compare and hopefully back up my results with the census results.


  • How was this done (equipment used)
  • Why this method was chosen
  • Problems encountered and how they were overcome
  • Survey sheet to find out different types of housing
  • A tally chart for different types of housing on the street.

This method was a simple and efficient way to justify my hypothesis of; as you move further North of Brent, there will be more Semi detached and detached houses.

Many roads were long and different amounts of houses on each road. So I stopped the tally after roughly 60 houses on each street

Pictures of housing

A camera was used to take a picture of the different houses on each street. This was to compare to the different types of feature of houses in different wards to justify my hypothesis of as you move further North, there will be more interwar style houses. Many houses were different from each other in one street so we took more pictures of different houses on one street to compare which houses matched the pattern.

  • Walked a 140 paces and counted how many houses were passed
  • Walked in a straight line using the same size of pace.
  • To compare the distance between each house.
  • Had to work out the length of one pace.
  • Walked in a parallel line across the road
  • Walked in a straight line using the same size of pace.
  • To compare the width of the road
  • Do not know how many meters it is so I measured the length of 1 normal step and multiplied it by the number of paces.
  • Walked around the area of the street to find any open spaces
  • Walked around the area writing down the different types of open space
  • To see which area
  • had more open space
  • Did not walk in the same radius from the street.
  • Did an environmental survey of the street
  • Walked up and down the road and area surrounding the street and labeled the different types of environmental situations on the road.
  • This is to compare the environment and surroundings of the area
  • I was there at different times of the day so the surroundings may have changed.

Secondary Data

Used Census results from 2001

This is to show that the street I investigated was not an exception.

Very difficult to find a set of results which are important for this investigation.

Results; from south to north:


I have carried out environmental surveys which are labeled -2 to 2. -2 being poor and 2 being excellent.

I have also looked at over head shots and street maps to look at the range of idea in the areas I've chosen.

Kilburn; Exeter Road had large houses. There were many more terraced houses than semi detached in this road as shown in the table below.

This supports my hypotheses that there will be more semi detached and detached housing in the North of Brent rather than the southern part.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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Urban Models by Burgess. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/urban-models-by-burgess-essay

Urban Models by Burgess essay
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