Cbd Geography Coursework

Zone 1 in the land use models is known as the Central Business District (CBD). The CBD is at the heart of a town or city and usually has great accessibility as it is often the place where most road and rail routes meet.

So what are the main characteristics of a CBD? Have a look at the following powerpoint - look at the photographs in the first 4 slides for clues and then continue to see what characteristics they are actually showing.



CBD Characteristics
You will need to be able to describe and where appropriate explain the main characteristics of the CBD. Where possible always try and give examples related to areas you know (e.g. Cambridge and St Ives)

- Old Core - often narrow streets / historical core (e.g. The Backs in Cambridge)
- Very Accessible - due to the convergence of major rail and road routes (often find public transport meets here - e.g. railway stations / bus stations)
- Traffic Restrictions are often in place to deal with the large numbers of traffic and ensure safety for the high numbers of pedestrians.
- Often has a central Market square area (e.g. Cambridge and St Ives)
- Very High Land Values - due to lack of space and competition for land
- Little/ No Residential Land Use - due to high land-values there is usually no residential land-use apart from the possibility of some flats above shops
- Multistorey buildings - due to high land values resulting in building up rather than out!
- Shops Offices and specialist buildings e.g. Banks, buildings societies etc. (need to be accessible and can afford the high land values)
- Mainly National Chain stores (have high threshold population and can afford the high land-values associated with the CBD - e.g. M&S; WHS; Next etc. in Cambridge)
- High numbers of pedestrians
- 2 daily rush hours (am and pm)
- Many now have undercover shopping centres (e.g. Lion Yard - Cambridge)
- Presence of public buildings / government buildings (e.g. Town Hall etc.)
- museums / castles / historical buildings (e.g. Cambridge - museums / University buildings)
- Entertainment - restaurants, clubs etc.

Follow up Links:
Central Business District (Wikipedia Entry)
BBC Bitesize (Central Business District)

Key Term Check:
Threshold Population:minimum number of people needed to justify the provision of a service or presence of a certain shop
CBD:Central Business District

Central business district (CBD)

The land in urban areas is used for many different purposes:

  • leisure and recreation - may include open land, eg parks or built facilities such as sports centres
  • residential - the building of houses and flats
  • transport - road and rail networks, stations and airports
  • business and commerce - the building of offices, shops and banks
  • industry - factories, warehouses and small production centres

The CBD in the city centre is where most business and commerce is located.

Features that identify the CBD

Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham

  • High/multi-storey buildings.
  • Expensive land values.
  • Department stores or specialist shops, like jewellers.
  • Shopping malls and pedestrian precincts.
  • Cultural/historical buildings, museums and castles.
  • Offices, finance, banks, administration, town hall (business sector).
  • Bus and railway stations (transport centres).
  • Multi-storey car parks.

The CBD is located in the centre because it is:

  • a central location for road/railways to converge
  • the most accessible location for workers
  • accessible to most people for shops and businesses

To help you remember how to identify a CBD, think of a city you know. In your exam give named examples for the features listed above.

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