Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

12.6: Key Terms Defined

  • Page ID
    38720
  • Annexation – legally adding land area to a city

    Blue Banana – a discontinuous corridor of urbanization in Western Europe, from North West England to Northern Italy

    Boswash – the United States megalopolis, extending from Boston to Washington D.C.

    central business district (CBD) – the central nucleus of commercial land uses in a city

    Centrality – the functional dominance of cities within an urban system

    City-state – a sovereign state that consists of a city and its dependent territories

    Clustered rural settlement – an agricultural based community in which a number of families live in close proximity to each other, with fields surrounding the collection of houses and farm buildings

    Concentric zone model – a model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are spatially arranged in a series of rings

    City – an urban settlement that has been legally incorporated into an independent, self- government unit

    Dark Ages – early medieval period, A.D. 476-1000

    Dispersed rural settlement – a rural settlement pattern in which farmers live on individual farms isolated from neighbors

    Dualism – the juxtaposition in geographic space of the formal and informal sectors of the economy

    Edge city – a nodal concentration of shopping and office space situated on the outer fringes of metropolitan areas, typically near major highway intersections

    Fiscal squeeze – increasing limitations on city revenues, combined with increasing demands for expenditure

    Fordism – principles for mass production based on assembly-line techniques, scientific management, mass consumption based on higher wages, and sophisticated advertising techniques

    Gateway city – serves as a link between one country or region and others because of its physical situation

    Gentrification – invasion of older, centrally located, working-class neighborhoods by higher-income households seeking the character and convenience of less expensive and well-located residences

    Hearth areas – the locations of the five earliest urban civilizations

    Informal sector – economic activities that take place beyond official record, not subject to formalized systems of regulation or remuneration

    Iraal – a traditional African village of huts, typically enclosed

    Megacity – very large city characterized by both primacy and high centrality within its national economy

    Megalopolis (megapolitan region) – a continuous urban complex (the chain of metropolitan areas) along a specific area (a clustered network of cities)

    Merchant capitalism – the earliest phase in the development of capitalism as an economic and social system

    Multiple-nuclei model – a model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are arranged around a collection of nodes of activities

    Neo-Fordism – economic principles in which the logic of mass production coupled with mass consumption is modified by the addition of more flexible production, distribution, and marketing systems

    Primacy – condition in which the population of the largest city in an urban system is disproportionately large in relation to the second- and third-largest cities

    Primate city – the largest settlement in a country, if it has more than twice as many people as the second-ranking settlement

    Protestant Reformation – a schism from the Roman Catholic Church initiated by Martin Luther

    Rank-size rule – statistical regularity in size distribution of cities and regions

    Renaissance – a period in European history, from the 14th to the 17th century, regarded as the cultural bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history

    Reurbanization – growth of population in metropolitan central cores, following a period of absolute or relative decline in population

    Scientific Revolution – a concept used by historians to describe the emergence of modern science during the early modern period

    Sector model – a model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are arranged around a series of sectors, radiating out from the central business district

    Shock city – a city recording surprising and disturbing changes in economic, social, and cultural life in a short period of time

    Sprawl – development of new housing sites at relatively low density and at locations that are not contiguous to the existing built-up area

    Suburbanization – growth of population along the fringes of large metropolitan areas

    Underemployment – situation in which people work less than full-time even though they would prefer to work more hours

    Urban area – a dense core of census tracts, densely settled suburbs, and low-density land that links the dense suburbs with the core

    Urban forms – physical structure and organization of cities

    Urban system – interdependent set of urban settlements within a specified region

    urbanism – way of life, attitudes, values, and patterns of behavior fostered by urban settings

    Urbanization – increasing concentration of population into growing metropolitan areas

    World city – city in which a disproportionate part of the world’s most important business is conducted

    WorLd-empire – minisystems that have been absorbed into a common political system while retaining their fundamental cultural differences

    Zone in transition – area of mixed commercial and residential land uses surrounding the CBD

    • Was this article helpful?