City Region and Regionalism: A Geographical Contribution to Human Ecology

By Robert E. Dickinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
REGIONS WITHIN THE CITY: THE NATURAL AREA

Special attention was given in the last chapter to the city as a whole and, in particular, to the process of concentric growth within it. This process is evident not only in the general formation of broadly concentric zones, named the central, middle, and outer zones, but also in the detailed movements and segregations of population and in the succession of land uses and population groups inside the compact built-up area. It has already been indicated, however, that, important as this process of concentric growth is in the differentiation of the structure of the city, much more important is the formation of distinct districts, whose functional character depends not only on position in relation to the centre, but also on conditions of topography and of historical development. The character and arrangement of these functional regions, while differing in detail from one city to another, have certain general features, which have been noted already with reference to representative American cities (p. 116). Before proceeding to discuss particular aspects of the functional regions of the city, let us briefly examine the structure of one city, ignoring as far as possible the detail that is dependent on its special topography.


I. FUNCTIONAL DIFFERENTIATION IN A LARGE CITY: STOCKHOLM

Stockholm has been thoroughly studied and reveals admirably the process of urban growth and the tendency to the segregation of functions in separate districts, and the succession of functions in them.1 The inner town area covered by this detailed survey covers the site of the medieval town (Staden Mellan Broarna) on an isthmus between two east-west stretches of water (Mälaren lake and the Saltsjön) and the compact built-up area to the north and the large island of Södermalm to the south. This is a densely and

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1
W. William-Olsson, Stockholm: Its Structure and Development, Geographical Review, Vol. XXX, 1940, pp. 420-38. Also Stockholms Inre Differentiering by H. W. Ahlmann and associates , Meddelande från Geografiska Institutet vid Stockholms Högskola, No. 20, 1934, and Sten de Geer, "Greater Stockholm", Geographical Review, Vol. XIII, 1923, pp. 487-500.

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