A city grows outward from a central area in a series of concentric rings. The size and width of the rings may vary.
A - The Central Business District (CBD) This is the area most accessible to the largest number of people, containing shops, offices, banks, etc. Land is expensive and this area has high rents and multi-story buildings as a consequence. There is very little space and competition for land is high. Traffic congestion is high. Vegetated areas are sparse Boston’s central city
CBD of Boston Notice the high density of land uses and the presence of skyscrapers that Characteristically mark the CBD.
B - Zone of Transition ("Twilight Zone") This land has TWO sections: Wholesale light manufacturing low class residential (old inner city areas). cheap housing for each new immigrant wave. Redevelopment and renewal in this area and the growth of zone A to meet the needs of an expanding town, mean that Zone B is in a state of constant change. The poorest people in the settlement live here, but it is now fashionable for old warehouses to be refurbished in the center of some cities for sale at extremely high prices. Abandoned row houses in North Philadelphia.
C - Council Estates Semi-detached housing can be found here with gardens and on large estates. Less expensive private estates can also be found here. Often described as "medium class residential“. second-generation immigrants and rural migrants Middle-income neighborhoods in Reston, VA. Social areas can be delimited by Certain traits taken from the census, such As income, education, or family.
D - Commuter Zone (suburbs) High class residential area where private, top quality housing can be found. Detached and semi-detached housing can be built on cheaper land here. Often lots of garages. Big gardens and many outbuildings can be found here. Called the 'commuter zone' as it is expected that the more affluent members of the community would live in the zone furthest away from the center as they could afford the transport costs to the center for access to services and employment.
Suburban homes built on landfills, Treasure Island, FL. When land values are high and pressure for housing intense, terrain rarely stands in the way of the developer. In fact, particular physical site characteristics can actually increase land values.
E - Countryside Areas In the countryside surrounding the urban area, those seeking to escape from the urban area can live in pleasant rural surroundings whilst still being close to work. Although Burgess did not include this zone in his original model, it has been added here to show the importance of rural living, whilst still being close to services. Many satellite villages and towns surround major urban areas, allowing people to live further away from the main settlement.
Four recurring themes & regularities evident in all cities All cities perform functions. They have an economic base. No city exists in a vacuum. Each city has an orderly internal arrangement of land uses, social groups, and economic functions. All cities have experienced problems of land use, social problems, and environmental concerns.