Sector model

Sector model

The sector model also known as the Hoyt model was proposed in 1939 by economist Homer Hoyt. It is a model of urban land use and modified the concentric zone model of city development. The benefits of the application of this model include the fact it allows for an outward progression of growth however, like all models of urban form its validity is limited.

Explanation of the Model

While accepting the existence of a central business district, Hoyt suggested that zones expand outward from the city center along railroads, highways, and other transportation arteries. Using Chicago as a model, an upper class residential sector evolved outward along the desirable Lake Michigan shoreline north of the central business district, while industry extended southward in sectors that followed railroad lines.

In developing this model Hoyt observed that it was common for low-income households to be near railroad lines, and commercial establishments to be along business thoroughfares. Recognizing that the various transportation routes into an urban area, including railroads, sea ports, and tram lines, represented greater access, Hoyt theorized that cities tended to grow in wedge-shaped patterns -- or sectors -- emanating from the central business district and centered on major transportation routes. Higher levels of access meant higher land values, thus, many commercial functions would remain in the CBD but manufacturing functions would develop in a wedge surrounding transportation routes. Residential functions would grow in wedge-shaped patterns with a sector of low-income housing bordering manufacturing/industrial sectors (traffic, noise, and pollution makes these areas the least desirable) while sectors of middle- and high-income households were located furthest away from these functions. Hoyt's model attempts to broadly state a principle of urban organization.

The model applied

To a certain extent, this model can be applied to Calgary, Canada. The layout of Calgary indicates the majority of the city's high cost housing in a narrow wedge with growth along the Elbow Valley, part of a good transport route. Admittedly, the aesthetic values of the valley also make this area desirable. It can also be seen that most of the low cost housing is adjacent to industrial areas, Smith (1962) attributes this to the depreciation and deteriaton of the housing caused by industrial expansion. The author also points out, however, that there are also areas of new, middle cost adjoining the industrial sectors caused by a lack of low cost housing in the city. This is not a perfect application of the model as market forces have influenced expansion outside of the city, in out of town malls and around davidson the university with the new layout tending towards a Multiple nuclei model.

Limitations of the Model

The theory is based on early twentieth century transport and does not make allowances for private cars that enable commuting from cheaper land outside city boundaries. This occurred in Calgary in the 1930s when many near-slums were established outside the city but close to the termini of the street car lines. These are now incorporated into the city boundary but are pockets of low cost housing in medium cost areas.

  • Physical features - physical features may restrict or direct growth along certain wedges
  • The growth of a sector can be limited by leapfrog land use


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