Urban Landuse in LEDC's

  • How does the Urban Earth walk through of Mexico differ from the London example.

  • How does the landuse differ?

  • Why is there a difference?

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Based on cities of the developing world, using some of the ideas found in the MEDC models, but also incorporating the urban features only foundi n LEDC cities.

The CBD is still central to the urban area, and is the area of highest landprice. However around it is the most expensive residential areas. In someplaces, such as Sao Paulo, this means huge luxurious high-rise apartment blocks, whilst in others, such as Delhi, the former colonial areas are the most lucrative in which to own property.

Industrial development is along major transport routes, whilst there are also sectors of high-class housing.

The most striking difference between the LEDC model and the MEDC models is the remaining residential areas. They have been divided into three sections.The periferia are low class, poor quality houses. However they do have limited amenities and are permanent homes.

The favelas or shanty towns are illegal settlements, where the houses are built from what ever the people can find, and there are no basic amenities.In some cities, such as Sao Paulo, schemes have been introduced to help the residents of the favelas, and these people can be found in the sector of housing improvements schemes. (from S-cool)

LEDC Land Use Model: Comparison with Burgess and Hoyt.

The LEDC land use model has some similarities to Burgess and or Hoyt. The CBD is found in the centre of the urban area, just like Burgess and Hoyt. Factories are also built along major transport routes like Hoyt.

However, when it comes to housing, there are significant differences. The high quality housing tends to be located near the CBD and will be either apartments or old colonial houses. The richer people want to live near the centre because that is normally where the best entertainment is and the best jobs are. As well as the high quality apartments near the centre, richer neighbourhoods will also develop that have good quality housing and good entertainment. In El Salvador this might include areas like Escalon, Zona Rosa and Santa Elena.

Slightly further out you get poor, but permanent housing. On the edge though where in Burgess and also Hoyt you found a lot of nice housing you find poor informal settlements built on marginal land. The informal housing has been built by migrants moving from rural areas to urban areas.

Industry tends to be focused on the main transport routes (roads and railways). There will not be much high quality housing near industry because richer residents don't want to live near polluting factories. However, there will be more poorer housing and informal settlements because the people can't afford to live anywhere else and often work in the nearby factories.

Rural-Urban Migration

Rural-urban migration is the movement of people from the countryside towards the cities. Rural-urban migration is the many cause of urbanisation. It is caused by a combination of push and pull factors. Some of the main push and pull factors are listed below.



  • No jobs or poorly paid jobs
  • Mechanisation. Machines taking the jobs of people
  • Low prices for agricultural products
  • Poor schools and hospitals
  • Shortage of entertainment
  • Poor quality of housing
  • Drought and famine
  • Shortages of water, electricity and gas
  • Poor transport and communications
  • More jobs
  • Better education and medical care
  • Better transport and communications
  • More reliable supply of water, electricity and gas.
  • Better entertainment
  • More houses and better quality houses
In reality most people don't experience all the push factors they expect and most actually end up living in poverty in informal settlements on marginal land on the edge of the city.
(source Greenfield Geography)


Dharavi, is by no means the biggest slum in the world, in fact there are bigger ones around Mumbai. However it is still an excellent example of how a slum has developed and how the people who live there have made it their home.

Dharavi: Click on the image to go to the National Geographic Interactive Video and article

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The wrong side of the tracks. photo from http://www.beautifuldaze.org

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Dharavi is home to approximately 750,000 people who not only survive but have built a thriving community. photo from http://www.not-home.com

Industry is at the heat of Dharavi. Most employment comes from the Informal Sector

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Believe it or not, you can go on a tour of Dharavi and you have just got a job with the tour company. Your job is to use the photographs and other information on this page to produce a guide to Dharavi. Your guide should include the following information.

The location of Dharavi Some basic facts about Dharavi (size, population, approximate population density)A short history of the Dharavi areaWhat life is like in Dharavi? (Homes, sanitation and other services, industry, jobs, schools, way of life)Why the Indian Government want to redevelop Dharavi and how they plan to do thisWhy many of the residents of Dharavi are opposed to the redevelopmentWhat could be done to help the residents of Dharavi

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The Future of Dharavi: The plan to redevelop Dharavi

Listen to this radio programme from the BBC and make note of what the plan involves and the pro's and con's of the redvelopment plan. You may wish to do further research to find out more.

India - The Real Slumdog Story

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents on Dharavi was broadcast on Thursday, 14 August, 2008
This Note taking frame will help you to structure your note taking.

World’s most famous slum must be remodeled not redeveloped.

This is an excellent page of information on Dharavi. Make sure you read it!

Exam Question:

  • Suggest why many people living in rural areas in developing countries made the decision to migrate to urban settlements such as Mumbai. [5]

  • In many LEDCs squatter settlements have grown up.
    For a named example of an LEDC city, describe the main features of one of its squatter settlements. (7)

  • Describe what has been done to improve the quality of life in squatter settlements in developing countries. You may refer to examples which you have studied to illustrate your answer. (7)

Food for thought:

Are the squatter settlement that are now home to over 1 billion people something that we should encourage or try to prevent. Can squatter settlements offer a solution to the problems faced by developing countries or should we be doing everything we can to prevent the growth of squatter settlements.

It is worth reading the comments on each of these talks in order to fully understand the different opinions on this difficult subject.

Recap: Slums, Favela and Shanty Town.