Functional Zoning in Cities: Concept and Overview

Functional zoning or functional city zoning is a method used for dividing land use by its function. Typically, land use is divided in two ways, by its function and by its physical characteristics. An example of functional zoning would be an area that has designated zones based on a function such as an industrial zone, a recreational zone and a residential zone. An example of an area zoned by its physical characteristics is defined in terms of characteristics like development density, minimum lot size, and building coverage, placement and height.

Most cities contain several functional zones.The Zoning is based on dominant activity , not on exclusive activity.

  • CBD (Central Business District)
  • Shopping/Retail areas
  • Industrial areas
  • Residential areas
  • Recreational areas

Suburban shopping centers have come into existence, grown in size, and increased in number not because they offer new products or better stores than are to be found in central business districts, but because they are convenient. Metropolitan areas have grown rapidly in recent years, but the growth has taken place for the most part outside of the central city. Central business districts which were relatively adequate to handle the number (taking their income into account) of people in metropolitan areas a decade and a half ago, are now cramped, crowded and clogged with street traffic.

The development of large-scale retail outlets, such as shopping centers, and retail parks, along with suburbanization and new developments at city fringes, has altered urban form and development worldwide. The retail sector is essential because it: provides goods and services to urban residents and visitors; employs a substantial share of the workforce, generating income for the local economy and taxes for local governments; promotes local development and supports local property values; supports a sense of urban life vitality closely related to the flow of people in retail areas (Mazza & Rydin, 1997); and influences the growth of urban areas.

The phenomenon of ‘beautifying’ and ‘refining’ public spaces in cities (including recreational spaces) has become more and more common in recent years. Direct interpersonal contact, along with the exchange of ideas and values, are undoubtedly important functions of modern cities with recreational spaces that should be open and accessible to everyone, thanks to which they become valuable themselves. It is in these spaces that the everyday life of city inhabitants takes places; they provide the possibility for various forms of recreation. Recreational spaces, as public spaces, constitute a common good, a scene of everyday life of urban communities whose needs should be taken into account during their designing and planning.

People don’t like to feel alone, and that’s completely understandable. The sentiment of wanting to feel close to something or someone is wrapped up in our sense of belonging. Why do we feel like we have to belong somewhere? Well, it roots us in a place and time. It gives us a place to refer to back when people go looking for “who we really are”. But, a sense of belonging also helps us identify ourselves and locate ourselves in the larger context of society. 

Land values in cities

Generally, the closer to the CBD you get, the higher the land values will be. Also, the intensity of land use (Height of buildings) will also be at its greatest.

On the other hand, the further away from the city centre you go, the lower the land values and the lower the density of use.

A bungalow in Dublin city centre would look as much out of place as a high rise block of flats in Glenfin.

Link(s) ,Source(s) and Inspiration(s):

Geography@Finn Valley College




About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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