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Selected Aspects of Land Use and Distance From The City Center: The Case of Chicago Clyde E. Browning University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The distribution of land use is fundamental to a detailed study of the urban spatial structure. The manner in which land uses are distributed in relation to the focal point of the city—the Central Business District (CBD) —permits one facet of the land use pattern to be brought into focus in a manner not revealed by studying the distribution of land uses per se. Considering the advantages of this approach, and its use by investigators in other fields, it is surprising that very few land use analyses of this type have ever been attempted. The reason for the lack of studies of this type probably lies in the fact that land use data have not been generally inventoried on a quantitative basis within a framework of equal areas. The goal of this paper is twofold: to evaluate the significance of distance in land use analysis and to present data on selected aspects of land use and distance from the city center for the Chicago area. Three aspects of the subject are presented: 1.The proportion of all land in use (or developed) by distance from the CBD. 2.Land use proportions or land use "mixes" by distance from the CBD. 3.The cumulative per cent distribution of land use by distance from the CBD. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DISTANCE IN LAND USE ANALYSIS. Before reviewing some of the empirical results obtained for the Chicago area we shall consider briefly the significance of distance to the city center to land use analysis. Why should distance to the city center be suggested as a fruitful means of arraying land use data? Organizing data on this basis is by no means a novel approach. It has been used by Bogue in his study of metropolitan dominance, by the Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS) in studying net population and worker density gradients, by Hamburg investigating trips per dwelling unit and car ownership, and by others. (J) The conceptual basis of this approach, however, is often treated implicitly rather than explicitly. Listed below are some of the reasons why distance has significance in land use analysis. The statements are suggestive rather than exhaustive: the intent is to review briefly—in survey form—some of the more important approaches which have the greatest potential for further development. 30The Southeastern Geographer 1.Importance to the Study of the Urban Structure and Accessibility The value of distance lies not in itself but in its association with many aspects of the urban structure. Of these, the most important is the fact that distance to the city center may be used as a crude measure of accessibility. Accessibility, which is defined here as ease of contact between two or more locations measured in terms of distance, cost, time, and/or convenience, is a major factor in determining the desirability of a given location or site. Accessibility is one of the most important and pervasive influences upon the urban spatial structure. The central business district is usually identified as the point of maximum accessibility of a city, not necessarily because it occupies the geographic center, but because it is the focus of transportation facilities which permit the largest assembly of people in the shortest amount of time. If the CBD is taken as the point of maximum accessibility, then it may be assumed that as distance from the CBD increases, accessibility decreases. This, of course, is a simplifying assumption that does not recognize variations in accessibility within equal distance rings caused by natural barriers, differences in transportation facilities, and other factors. Nevertheless, distance to the CBD may be used as a crude measure of accessibility. Distance is also associated with many other aspects of the urban structure. It can be used as an indirect measure of age since the oldest parts of the city are almost invariably at its center. It is associated with changes in population and worker densities, floor area-ground area ratios, and other measures of land use intensity. 2.Importance to the Measurement and Study of Centrality among Land Uses...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1549-6929
Print ISSN
0038-366X
Pages
pp. 29-40
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
No
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