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Central Place Theory by Christaller, Geography, Settlement Hierarchy,

Central Place Theory by Christaller, Geography, Settlement Hierarchy,

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  • 1. Walter Christaller’s Central Place Theory Bikash Das 4th Semester Dept. of Geography & Disaster Management Tripura University bikash.shubho@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/shubho.bikash
  • 2. Introduction  Central Place Theory is an attempt to explain the spatial arrangement, size, and number of settlements.  Focuses on the role of distance in the location of urban centers  Attempts to explain the relationship between cities and their hinterlands  The theory was originally published in 1933 by a German geographer Walter Christaller who studied the settlement patterns in Southern Germany.  Translated into English 1966  Influenced by von Thünen and Weber
  • 3.  Christaller’s hypothesis on the degree of ‘Centrality’ of a place based on the number of Telephone Connections at a place as the prime criteria for determining the hierarchy.  By examining and defining the functions of the settlement structure and the size of the hinterland he found it possible to model the pattern of settlement locations using geometric shapes.  The human settlements like larger villages, towns, cities and metropolis level centres come under the central place hierarchy. Introduction
  • 4. Assumptions: Christaller made a number of assumptions that all areas will have  The surface of the ideal region would be flat and have no physical barriers  An evenly distributed population  Evenly distributed resources  Similar purchasing power of all consumers and consumers will patronize nearest market  Central goods and services must be purchased from nearest central place.  Large number of complementary settlements surrounds the central place  Transportation costs equal in all directions and proportional to distance  No excess profits may be earned or gained from any central place (perfect competition)
  • 5. Central Place Theory  Urban hierarchy is based on the functions available in a city.  Is also related to population as well as functions and services  Functions and services attract people from the urban areas as well as the hinterlands  Every urban center has an economic reach  Central places compete with each other to provide goods and services
  • 6. Explanation of Some Terms:  Central Place is a settlement which provides one or more services for the population living around it.  Simple basic services (e.g. grocery stores) are said to be of Low Order while specialized services (e.g. universities) are said to be of High Order.  Having a high order service implies there are low order services around it, but not vice versa.  Settlements which provide low order services are said to be Low Order Settlements. Settlements that provide high order services are said to Be High Order Settlements.  The sphere of influence is the area under influence of the Central Place.
  • 7. Examples of Low Order Goods/Services  Newspaper Stalls  Groceries  Bakeries  Post Offices  Drug Stores  Fast Food  Motels  Supported by smaller threshold populations
  • 8. Examples of High Order Goods/Services  Jewellery  Large Shopping Malls  Multiplex  Professional Sports  Universities/Higher Educational Institutes  Museums  5 Star Restaurants & Hotels  Supported by larger threshold population
  • 9. The theory consists of two basic concepts:  Threshold: the minimum population that is required to bring about the provision of certain good or services.  Range of Good or Services: the average maximum distance people will travel to purchase goods and services.  From these two concepts the lower and upper limits of goods or services can be found. With the upper and the lower limits, it is possible to see how the central places are arranged in an imaginary area. Central Place Theory
  • 10. Arrangement of the Central Places/ Settlements:  As transport is equally easy in all direction, each central place will have a circular market area as shown in C in the diagram:  However, circular shape of the market areas results in either un-served areas or over-served areas.  To solve this problem, Christaller suggested the hexagonal shape of the markets as shown in D in the above diagram.  Within a given area there will be fewer high order cities and towns in relation to the lower order villages and hamlets.  For any given order, theoretically the settlements will be equidistance from each other. The higher order settlements will be further apart than the lower order ones.
  • 11. The Three Principles in the Arrangement of the Central Places:  Christaller noted three different arrangements of central places according to the following principles:  1. The Marketing Principle (K=3 system);  2. The Transportation Principle (K=4 system);  3. The administrative principle (K=7 system).
  • 12.  K=3 Marketing Principal favours the development of symmetrical nested hierarchy of central places. According to this principal rural produce comes to the higher order centres through lower order centres, and the goods or services produced in urban areas move through higher order centres to the lower order centres. 1. The Marketing Principle (K=3 System):
  • 13. 1. The Marketing Principle (K=3 System):  The number of centres increases as 1; 1x3=3; 3x3=9; 9x3=27; 27x3=81 and so on.. (Geometrical Progression)  1 will be the growth pole at the first order;  3 will be the second order centres;  9 will be the third order centres:  27 will be the fourth order centres;  81 will be the fifth order centre..  And So On………
  • 14. Basic Theme  Christeller proposed that settlement with low order of specialization would be equally spaced and surrounded by hexagonal shaped service areas or hinterlands.  For every six of these lowest order settlements he suggest that there would be a larger and more specialized settlement which in true would be situated at an equal distance from other settlements of the same order and also surrounded by a hexagonal service area.  Progressively more specialised towns with even larger hexagonal shaped hinterlands would be similarly located at an equal distance from each other.
  • 15.  According to Christaller.... The smallest centre would lie approx 7 km apart from each other and it will take a time about 2 hours to reach by walking and this hamlets will have a hinterland of 3.5 km radius.  Centres of the next order will serve three times of the area and three times of the population. Thus they would be located Km or 12 Km apart.  Similarly the next series of hinterlands would be three times larger than those of the preceding order. Such an arrangements of settlements as proposed by Christaller would appear to the table: Basic Theme
  • 16. Settlement Hierarchy Settlement Hierarchy in Southern Germany Distance (KM) Population Served Area (Sq KM) Population Hamlet 7 800 45 2700 Village 12 1500 135 8100 Small Town 21 3500 400 24000 District Town 36 9000 1200 75000 Regional Capital 62 2700 3600 225000 State Capital 108 90000 1800 675000 National Capital 186 300000 32400 2025000 Source: Knowles, R. and Wareing, J. (1976): Basic Theme
  • 17.  In this principle there are three hierarchical tiers. A. Villages at fourth order which serve towns and vice versa. B. Towns at the third order which serve city level centres and vice versa. C. Cities at the second order which serve primate city and vice versa. D. Primate city at the first order which serve national capital at the higher level and cities at the lower level. E. In transport principal the number of centres followed the geometrical progression as 1,4,16,64...................  Shoppers in smaller settlements divide into two equal groups when shopping in the two nearest larger settlements. 2. The Transportation Principle (K=4 System):
  • 18. 3. The Administrative Principle (K=7 System).  At this level one bigger central places serves the seven second order centres and so on as 1, 7, 49, 343, 2401..... In areas of perfect transport development the K=7 progression of central place comes true.  For determining the fixed K hierarchy of central place the following formula has been used: Nt=Kt, where N is the number of dependent places, and t is the hierarchy tier.  All shoppers in the smaller settlements shop in the nearest large settlement.
  • 19. 1. It guides the planner in identifying the existing hinterlands of localized or mobile services. 2. It helps in identifying the planner which areas and which people are out of reach of individual service centre. 3. it shows the planner which centres are stranger in terms of available services and so they could cater the needs of an increased local demand or for a demand in a larger hinterland. 4. It helps to recognise the central place in such a way that a combined hinterlands over all the people in an area. 5. It enables a comparative analysis of regional to be made. Application of Central Place Theory in Regional Planning
  • 20. 6. A hierarchy of functions and settlements is devised. 7. It shows the inter dependence of towns and regions. 8. The idea of competition between centres may be stressed. 9. The intensity of spacing of centres suggests further investigation as to how these service centres have evolved and changing their character at present time. And 10. On the basis of a theoretical structure it is possible to make a number of predictions about the pattern of future settlement location. Application of Central Place Theory in Regional Planning
  • 21.  Evaluation: There can be no question of denying the fundamental importance of Christeller’s work. For the first time this theory has got lots of clapping because it was the ideal blue print to arrange and rearrange the settlements but letter on this theory faced some criticisms:  The pattern of cities predicted by central place theory may not hold because of the failure to meet initial assumptions. 1. Hexagonal arrangement of settlement is theoretically justified but practically it is not approved. 2. Isotropic surface over an extensive area as assumed is quiet abstract. 3. According to Christaller people purchased the goods and services to the nearby market but today peoples have high economic and social status so they are much interested to for developed cities to enjoy better services. The concept of E-Marketing.... 4. Concept of the threshold population is quite impractical because the surplus production of any centre to day is not only dependent on local market. It is now very much easy to export the surplus to the regional or international market. Critical Assessment of Central Place Theory
  • 22. Critical Assessment of Central Place Theory 5. Equal taste, same kind of purchasing power parity are also not uniform for all the peoples of all the centres. So, same category of demands for goods and services is also not realistic. 6. Production costs may vary not only because of economies of scale but also by natural resource endowments (i.e. not a homogeneous plain) 7. Transportation costs are not equal in all directions. 8. Rural markets (initially households) are not evenly distributed. 9. Non economic factors (culture, politics, leadership) may be important but not evenly distributed 10. Competitive practices may lead to freight absorption and phantom freight (other forms of imperfect competition) 11. Range of distance to day is not very much justified concept when a production centre may able to reduce down its cost of product using technologies. So zonal overlapping, market occupancy may be happened which in turn create turbulence in the general pattern of Hexagonal settlement geometry.
  • 23. Modification of Christaller’s Theory: In 1954 the Economist August Losch presented an important modification of Christaller’s theory, he again used hexagonal service areas, but allowed various hexagonal systems to co-exist. In Losch Model the various hexagonal systems, K=3, K=4, K=7 and others, operate at different levels and are superimposed on each other. The application of a variable K value produces a continuum of settlements sizes more closely in line with the theoretical result of the Rank-Size Rule.
  • 24. Reference  Husain, M. (2003): Urban Geography, Anmol Publications, New Delhi  Hussain, M. (2005): Human Geography, Rawat Publications, New Delhi  Knowles, R. And Wareing, J. (1976): Economic and Social Geography, Rupa, New Delhi  Mandal, R.B. (2000): Urban Geography: A Textbook, Concept Publishing Co., New Delhi  Ramachandran, R. (1989): Urbanisation and Urban Systems of India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi  Sen, J, (2001), Pouro Bhugoler Ruprekha, Kalyani Publishers, Kolkata  Verma, L.N (2008):Urban Geography, Rawat Publishers, Jaipur http://www.yck2.edu.hk/onlinestudy/form6/ychui02.pdf http://www.uwec.edu/geography/Ivogeler/w111/urban.htm