chapter  3
8 Pages

Historical and Comparative Urban Studies

ByRhoads Murphey

The form and structure of the modern American city is the result of numerous economic, social, and cultural factors operating through the many decades since the evolution of the simple forms like Williamsburg. The forces contributing to the contemporary urban structure are many, some are obvious and strong, others are more subtle, but all add an important dynamic quality to urban development. Some of the most significant of these factors include rapid and massive growth, a heterogeneous population, the persistent desire of Americans for a single family detached house, and the changing forms of urban transportation. The amazing affluence of Americans in recent years has accelerated change. American cities are the product of rapid and almost continuous growth. The most obvious and easy to recognize of the components in the spatial structure of American cities described by the classic models is the Central Business District (CBD). Hotels and office buildings are usually found several blocks from center of the CBD.