Central Place Theory

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The Normative Theory is explained in detail and related considerably to the Case Study of Austraila..

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Central Place Theory

  1. 1. Central Place Theory GROUP MEMBERS Prafull Ninale - 111214030 Ajinkya Rodge- 111214039 Hardik Sankhe- 111214041
  2. 2.  Central-place theory, in geography, an element of location theory concerning the size and distribution of central places (settlements) within a system.  Central-place theory attempts to illustrate how settlements locate in relation to one another, the amount of market area a central place can control, and why some central places function as hamlets, villages, towns, or cities.  Central place theory is a spatial theory in urban geography that attempts to explain the reasons behind the distribution patterns, size, and number of cities and towns around the world.  It also attempts to provide a framework by which those areas can be studied both for historic reasons and for the locational patterns of areas today.
  3. 3.  The German geographer Walter Christaller introduced central-place theory in his book entitled Central Places in Southern Germany (1933). The primary purpose of a settlement or market town, according to central-place theory, is the provision of goods and services for the surrounding market area. Such towns are centrally located and may be called Central Places.  Settlements that provide more goods and services than do other places are called higher-order central places.  Lower-order central places have small market areas and provide goods and services that are purchased more frequently than higher-order goods and services.  Higher-order places are more widely distributed and fewer in number than lower-order places  Before testing his theory however, Christaller had to first define the central place. In keeping with his economic focus, he came to the conclusion that the central place exists primarily to provide goods and services to its surrounding population.
  4. 4.  Central place is a market center for the exchange of goods and services by people attracted from the surrounding area.  Centrality is crucial to the development of urban places and their service areas.  Hinterland refers to the area surrounding a central place from which consumers are drawn.  The urban hierarchy of settlements is based on the functions available in a given settlement.  Functions and services attract people from the urban areas as well as the hinterlands.  Every urban center has an economic reach.
  5. 5.  In theory low order goods have a low range and low threshold. less people needed to support it, smaller the distance people are willing to travel.  Low range and threshold goods are sold in small towns, villages etc.  Higher ranges and threshold are sold in large towns.  Range is the maximum distance people are willing to travel to use a service.  Threshold is the minimum number of people required to support the service.
  6. 6.  Hamlet: fewest goods and services available.  Village: includes the region of the hamlet and some additional goods and services.  Town: includes the region of the village and hamlet and provides some additional goods and services.  City: includes the region of the village, hamlet and town and provides additional goods and services.
  7. 7.  Because transport in equally reachable from all distance, market areas are circular.  However circular shape results in unserved area. So Christaller suggested a hexagon shape.  This suggests that within a given area there will be fewer high order settlements in relation to lower order settlements.  It also suggests that theoretically settlements are equidistance from each other, higher order settlements are further away from each other.
  8. 8.  The theory was originally published in 1933 by a German geographer Walter Christaller who studied the settlement patterns in southern Germany.  Walter Christaller attempted to design a model that would show how and where central places in the urban hierarchy would be functionally and spatially distributed.  In the flat landscape of southern Germany Christaller noticed that towns of a certain size were roughly equidistant. 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.
  9. 9.  The surface of the ideal region would be flat and have no physical barriers.  Soil fertility would be universal.  Population, purchasing power evenly distributed.  Uniform transport network that permitted direct travel from each settlement to the other.  Constant maximum distance or range for the sale of any good or service produced in a town prevailed in all directions from the town center.
  10. 10.    The larger the settlement, the less number of settlements and farther apart they are. The less there are of a settlement, the larger the hinterland, or sphere of influence, of its goods and services Places of the same size will be spaced the same distance apart
  11. 11. 1. The marketing principle (K=3 system) 2. The transportation principle (K=4 system) 3. The administrative principle (K=7 system)
  12. 12.  According to the marketing principle K = 3,  The market area of a higher-order place(node) occupies 1/3rd of the market area of each of the consecutive lower size place(node) which lies on its neighbour.  The lower size nodes (6 in numbers and 2nd larger circles) are located at the corner of a largest hexagon around the high-order settlement.  Each high-order settlement gets 1/3rd of each satellite settlement (which are 6 in total)  However, although in this K = 3 marketing network, the distance travelled is minimized.
  13. 13.  Christaller pointed out that the marketing principle is an awkward arrangement in terms of connecting different levels of the hierarchy.  As an alternate arrangement, Christaller suggested that central places could be organized according to what he called the transport principle
  14. 14.  The traffic principles states that the distribution of central places is most favourable when as many important places as possible lie on one traffic route between two important towns, the route being established as straightly and as cheap as possible. The more unimportant places may be left aside.  According to the transport principle, the central places would thus be lined up on straight traffic routes which fan out from the central point.  When Central places are arranged according to the traffic principle, the lower order centres are located at the midpoint of each side of the hexagon rather than at the corner.  Thus the transport principle produces a hierarchy organized in a k=4  arrangement in which central places are nested according to the rule of four.
  15. 15.  Christaller’s other suggested organizing principle was based upon the realization that from a political or administrative viewpoint centres it was unrealistic for centres to be ‘shared’.  Any pattern of control which cuts through functional units is potentially problematical.  Christaller suggested that an arrangement whereby lower order centres were entirely with the hexagon of the higher order centres would obviate such problems. Such a pattern is shown in the following diagram.  All the six lower order centres are fully subordinate to the higher order centre which, therefore, dominates the equivalent of seven market areas at the next lowest level.
  16. 16. The pattern of cities predicted by central place theory may not hold because of the failure to meet initial assumptions. 1.Production costs may vary not only because of economies of scale but also by natural resource endowments. (i.e. not a homogeneous plain) 2.Transportation costs are not equal in all directions. 3.Rural markets (initially households) are not evenly distributed. 4.Non economic factors (culture, politics, leadership) may be important but not evenly distributed. 5.Competitive practices may lead to freight absorption and phantom freight. (other forms of imperfect competition)
  17. 17.  The theory does a reasonably good job of describing the spatial pattern of urbanization. No other economic theory explains why there is a hierarchy of urban centres.  Central place theory does a good job of describing the location of trade and service activity.  It also does a good job of describing consumer market oriented manufacturing.  Trade and service activity has an increasing relevance as the U.S. economy shifts from manufacturing to services over time.  Small-town community economic developers can secure quite specific, relevant information about what kind of trade or service enterprise will likely work, and what kind of enterprise will not likely work in a given small community.
  18. 18.  Large areas of flat land rarely exist-transport is uneven.  There are many forms of transportation- cost cannot be proportional to distance.  People and wealth are not evenly distributed.  People do not always to the nearest place.  Purchasing power of people differs.  Perfect competition is unreal-some make more money than others.  Shopping habits have changed.  Theory sees the central place as having a particular function-in reality, places have several which changes over time.
  19. 19.  Walter Christaller Central Place Theory" states that the central place (Melbourne) provides the hinterland with goods and services that are of high cost where as low cost necessities would be supplied by local markets in the hinterland.  High cost goods would be sold in larger cities because the thresholds for these goods would be high enough to sustain a store.  Low cost necessity goods like bread and milk would be sold at small markets in the small towns surrounding the central place.  In light of this theory we can see that population distribution would decrease as you made your way out of the central place and then begin the rise again as one became closer to the next central city.
  20. 20.  At the midway point between the two central cities you would find the least expensive land. This land was often used for purposes such as farming and grazing.  Christaller’s theory, however, does not hold in Victoria for several reasons. To begin, there were only few supporting cities located around Melbourne like Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong (all to the west).  There were no other central cities either, the nearest would be Sydney which is over 900 kilometres from Melbourne. There were however, a multitude of small cities caused by the gold rushes of the mid and late 1800s. This caused Melbourne’s hinterland population to fall dramatically as it reached the outback.  This would lead us to believe that Melbourne could be sketched as a central city with several concentric circles, each one holding less and less population.  This concentric circle concept is altered by the fact that Melbourne is sitting on the rather large Port Phillip Bay.
  21. 21. THORNBUR Y FLEMINGTON BLACKBURN MELBOURN E MALVERN EAST Map which shows supporting small towns near Perth Diagram showing supporting small towns near Melbourne.
  22. 22.  The largest factor contributing to the non-conformation with the Central Place Theory is the actions of government officials in Melbourne.  After the initial railroad entrepreneurs fell into bankruptcy the government was forced to buy them out and make a go of it themselves.  However, these government officials found they could use the railroad to line their own pockets. The scheme went as follows:  First, the officials would trek out into the bush land and purchase cheep grazing land. Then, they would build a railroad line out to their once inexpensive land.  This caused land prices to soar. The more wealthy middle and upper-class citizens would purchase the new subdivided land and build their own houses.  Public transportation made it possible for these citizens to reach the outer suburbs.
  23. 23.  Reasons for this were threefold: transport time in and out of the city was now very small. Train transport was much faster than omnibuses and trams.  They provided exact schedules which made it possible for passengers to rely on them for everyday transport; the price of a ticket was within the budget of its upper and middle-class passengers.  This caused a ring of unused land between the central station (Flinders Station) in Melbourne and the final termini of the railroads.  The unused land stayed unused because the lower-class workers still had to be within walking distance of their work and the mid and upper-class preferred to either be in close, upper-class, suburbs like St. Kilda, Windsor, Brighton and Kew or in the far out suburbs of Frankston, Pakenham and Whittle sea.
  24. 24.  This situation, however, fixed itself over time. Lower-class workers became more wealthy due to government intervention in the case of workers rights and to the rise of unions.  This new found wealth allowed them move out of walking distance and into the previously uninhabited band of land between the outer and inner suburbs.  Another factor leading to the settlement of the inner area was that the railroad made an allowance for special worker trains that cost less and where directed right to the factory areas.
  25. 25.  This is a model, not reality  Use of hexagons explain hierarchy and interconnectedness of places  Originally applied to Germany  Found to be applicable in China and the Midwestern US The Model Is Completely Unrealistic In Todays World..
  26. 26.  Large areas of flat land are rare, with the presence of relief barriers channelling transport in certain directions  Government intervention can dictate the location of industry  Perfect competition is unreal with some firms making more money than others.  People vary their shopping trends, not always going to the nearest centre People or resources are never perfectly distributed Christaller envisaged each centre with a particular function whereas they have many which change over time
  27. 27. “MODELS ARE NOT REAL, BUT THEY HELP US UNDERSTAND REALITY.” Thank You..

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