AP Human Geography Chapter 13 Vocab

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Legally adding land area to a city in the United States.

Census Tract

An area delineated by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for which statistics are published; in urban areas, census tracks correspond roughly to neighborhoods.

Concentric Zone Model

A model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are spatially arranged in a series of rings.

Council of Government

A cooperative agency consisting of representatives of local governments in a metropolitan area in the United States.

Density Gradient

The change in density in an urban area from the center to the periphery.

Edge City

A large node of office and retail activities on the edge of an urban area.


A process of change in the use of a house, from single-family owner to abandonment.


A process of converting an urban neighborhood from a predominantly low-income renter-occupied area to a predominantly middle-class owner-occupied area.


A ring of land maintained as parks, agriculture, or other types of open space to limit the sprawl of an urban area.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

In the United States, a central city of at least 50000 population, the country within which the city is located, and adjacent countries meeting one of several tests indicating a functional connection to the central city.

Micropolitan Statistical Area

An urbanized area of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, the country in which it is found, and adjacent counties tied to the city.

Multiple Nuclei Model

A model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are arranged around a collection of nodes of activities.

Peripheral Model

A model of North American urban areas consisting of an inner city surrounded by large suburban residential and business areas tied together by a beltway or ring road.

Public Housing

Housing owned by the government; in the United States, it is rented to low-income residents, and the rents are set at 30 percent of the families’ incomes.


A process by which banks draw lines on a map and refuse to lend money to purchase or improve property within the boundaries.

Rush (or Peak) Hour

The four consecutive 15-minute periods in the morning and evening with the heaviest volumes of traffic.

Sector Model

A model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are arranged around a series of sectors, or wedges, radiating out from the central business district (CBD).

Smart Growth

Legislation and regulations to limit suburban sprawl and preserve farmland.


Development of new housing sites at relatively low density and at locations that are not contiguous to the existing built-up area.

Squatter Settlement

An area within a city in a less developed country in which people illegally establish residences on land they do not own or rent and erect homemade structures.


A group in society prevented from participating in the material benefits of a more developed society because of a variety of social and economic characteristics.


An increase in the percentage and in the number of people living in urban settlements.

Urban Renewal

Program in which cities identify blighted inner-city neighborhoods, acquire the properties from private owners, relocate the residents and businesses, clear the site, build new roads and utilities, and turn the land over to private developers.

Zoning Ordinance

A law that limits the permitted uses of land and maximum density of development in a community.

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