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Multiple Nuclei Model - developed in 1945 by geographers C.D. Harris and E.L. Ullman .

-According to this model, a city includes more than one center that activities revolve. Examples of these nodes include: ports, neighborhood business center, university, airport, and parks.

-Some activities go with particular nodes while others do not. For example, a university node may attract well-educated residents, bookstores, and copy places. Or, the airport may attract hotels and warehouses. Likewise, incompatible land use activities will not be clustered together. For example, industries will not be placed near high-class housing.

(Rubenstein, 2000)

The multiple nuclei model is an ecological model put forth by Chauncy Harrisand Edward Ullman in the 1945 article "The Nature of Cities." The model describes the layout of a city. It notes that while a city may have started with acentral business district, similar industries with common land-use and financial requirements are established near each other. These groupings influence their immediate neighborhood. Hotels and restaurants spring up around airports, for example. The number and kinds of nuclei mark a city's growth.

The theory was formed based on the idea that people have greater movement due to increased car ownership. This increase of movement allows for the specialization of regional centers (e.g. heavy industry, business park). The model is suitable for the big and expanding cities.The number of nuclei around which the city expands,depends upon the situational as well as historical factors. Multiple nuclei develop because: 1). certain activities require specialized facilities eg. ports, railway stations etc. 2). Certain activities tend to stay apart e.g. heavy industry, airport etc. 3). Certain activities are found together to their mutual advantage e.g. University, bookstore,coffee shops, Dhabas, etc.
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Multiple Nuclei Model.png

("Multiple nuclei model," 2012)

Rubenstein, J. M. (2000, August). Three models of urban structure. Retrieved from
Multiple nuclei model. (2012, January 19). Retrieved from