Human Geography Unit 6 Standards - Cities and Urban Land-Use

Disclaimer: This curriculum outline is sourced directly from the AP Human Geography Course Framework released by the College Board. This is a lightweight, web-friendly format for easy reference. Omninox does not take credit for this outline and is not affiliated with the College Board. AP is a reserved trademark of the College Board.

Table of Contents

Unit 1 - Thinking Geographically
Unit 2 - Population and Migration
Unit 3 - Cultural Patterns
Unit 4 - Political Patterns
Unit 5 - Agriculture and Rural Land-Use
Unit 6 - Cities and Urban Land-Use (you are here)
Unit 7 - Economic Development

TOPIC 6.1 - The Origin and Influences of Urbanization

PSO-6.A: Explain the processes that initiate and drive urbanization and suburbanization.

  • PSO-6.A.1:  Site and situation influence the origin, function, and growth of cities.
  • PSO-6.A.2:  Changes in transportation and communication, population growth, migration, economic development, and government policies influence urbanization.

TOPIC 6.2 - Cities Across the World

PSO-6.A:  Explain the processes that initiate and drive urbanization and suburbanization.

  • PSO-6.A.3:  Megacities and metacities are distinct spatial outcomes of urbanization increasingly located in countries of the periphery
    and semiperiphery.
  • PSO-6.A.4:  Processes of suburbanization, sprawl, and decentralization have created new land-use forms—including edge cities, exurbs, and boomburbs—and new challenges.

TOPIC 6.3 - Cities and Globalization

PSO-6.B:  Explain how cities embody processes of globalization.

  • PSO-6.B.1:  World cities function at the top of the world’s urban hierarchy and drive globalization.
  • PSO-6.B.2:  Cities are connected globally by networks and linkages and mediate global processes.

TOPIC 6.4 - The Size and Distribution of Cities

PSO-6.C:  Identify the different urban concepts such as hierarchy, interdependence, relative size, and spacing that are useful for explaining the distribution, size, and interaction of cities.

  • PSO-6.C.1:  Principles that are useful for explaining the distribution and size of cities include rank-size rule, the primate city, gravity, and Christaller’s central place theory.

TOPIC 6.5 - The Internal Structure of Cities

PSO-6.D:  Explain the internal structure of cities using various models and theories.

  • PSO-6.D.1:  Models and theories that are useful for explaining internal structures of cities include the Burgess concentric-zone model, the Hoyt sector model, the Harris and Ullman multiple- nuclei model, the galactic city model, bid-rent theory, and urban models drawn from Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

TOPIC 6.6 - Density and Land Use

IMP-6.A:  Explain how low-, medium-, and high-density housing characteristics represent different patterns of residential land use.

  • IMP-6.A.1:  Residential buildings and patterns of land use reflect and shape the city’s culture, technological capabilities, cycles of development, and infilling.

TOPIC 6.7 - Infrastructure

IMP-6.B:  Explain how a city’s infrastructure relates to local politics, society, and the environment.

  • IMP-6.B.1:  The location and quality of a city’s infrastructure directly affects its spatial patterns of economic and social development.

TOPIC 6.8 - Urban Sustainability

IMP-6.C:  Identify the different urban design initiatives and practices.

  • IMP-6.C.1:  Sustainable design initiatives and zoning practices include mixed land use, walkability, transportation-oriented development,
    and smart-growth policies, including New Urbanism, greenbelts, and slow-growth cities.

IMP-6.D:  Explain the effects of different urban design initiatives and practices.

  • IMP-6.D.1:  Praise for urban design initiatives includes the reduction of sprawl, improved walkability and transportation, improved and diverse housing options, improved livability and promotion of sustainable options. Criticisms include increased housing costs, possible de facto segregation, and the potential loss of historical or place character.

TOPIC 6.9 - Urban Data

IMP-6.E:  Explain how qualitative and quantitative data are used to show the causes and effects of geographic change within urban areas.

  • IMP-6.E.1:  Quantitative data from census and survey data provide information about changes in population composition and size in urban areas.
  • IMP-6.E.2:  Qualitative data from field studies and narratives provide information about individual attitudes toward urban change.

TOPIC 6.10 - Challenges of Urban Changes

SPS-6.A:  Explain causes and effects of geographic change within urban areas.

  • SPS-6.A.1:  As urban populations move within a city, economic and social challenges result, including: issues related to housing and housing discrimination such as redlining, blockbusting, and affordability; access to services; rising crime; environmental injustice; and the growth of disamenity zones or zones of abandonment.
  • SPS-6.A.2:  Squatter settlements and conflicts over land tenure within large cities have increased.
  • SPS-6.A.3:  Responses to economic and social challenges in urban areas can include inclusionary zoning and local food movements.
  • SPS-6.A.4:  Urban renewal and gentrification have both positive and negative consequences.
  • SPS-6.A.5:  Functional and geographic fragmentation of governments—the way government agencies and institutions are dispersed between state, county, city, and neighborhood levels—presents challenges in addressing urban issues.

TOPIC 6.11 - Challenges of Urban Sustainability

SPS-6.B:  Describe the effectiveness of different attempts to address urban sustainability challenges.

  • SPS-6.B.1:  Challenges to urban sustainability include suburban sprawl, sanitation, climate change, air and water quality, the large ecological footprint of cities, and energy use.
  • SPS-6.B.2:  Responses to urban sustainability challenges can include regional planning efforts, remediation and redevelopment of brownfields, establishment of urban growth boundaries, and farmland protection policies.