High status residential areas in Christchurch : structure and structural change, 1878 to 1973.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The classical theories of urban residential structure were developed in the early decades of the present century in America, and many of the hypothesis - particularly the dynamic elements of the Burgess - Hoyt models, have not been adequately tested in New Zealand. High status groups in society have been assigned a dominant role in shaping the nature and character of the urban residential environment; this study therefore focuses on the high status areas of Christchurch - identified by the concentration of selected professional groups, on the basis of Wises Post Office Directories. Three time periods were selected; 1878, 1930 and 1973, thus covering a wide span of the city's development. Analysis included the use of general grouping and choropleth mapping of distributions, centrographic and analysis of variance techniques in an investigation of segregation patterns, and migration analysis in a study of the processes of change. The initial pattern of high status segregation was concentric and centrally located resembling the pre-industrial patterns identified by Schnore and contrary to classical theory, High status growth was slow and axial resulting in the present day sectoral pattern, but not in the form predicted by Hoyt. Outward growth of the dominant high status area in the northwest has been minimal in the last two or three decades, with the older areas accommodating many of the new elite, and being surrounded by lower status suburban growth. Thus the experience of Christchurch has demonstrated a number of time and culture-specific aspects of the Burgess - Hoyt hypothesis, Residential structure is related to ongoing social processes with contemporary structural change in large part reflecting the tremendous growth of an increasingly affluent property owning middle-class, aided by car ownership, governmental encouragement, and an egalitarian ethic.