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Unformatted text preview: n examination o f tbe flows o f people, commodi­ ties a nd i nformation between them. Chapter 3 provides more details o f this particular sort ofeconomic geography. I t has often been observed that Christaller's central place theory 'fits' certain regions better than others. As his book's title clearly indicates, he worked o ut the specifics o f his theory by reference t o southern Germany and the book's appendix contains data, tables and maps o f the region (Figure 2.11). 1 07 ® ® 'Ideal' rank ;/' size rule 106 .~united . """ States ~."\ (states) 0 ~ ~ u ."".". • 0.2 '* E .9 1: CIJ c ,, , \ \ \ .~ c. ,, - - United States - ---- Sweden World ' • (72 countries) 0.1 \ !1J \ c ~1Q5 !lJ \ , ~-, ~ CIJ ,, ' ...... 7& <D .!::! ~ • IX \ Qi % '" '0 ",\5'& ,, ( f) 0 /..9 \ 104 ~~tstralja , ", ,, ,, \ates) \ \ 0.02 I 1 \ I". • 2 3 Rank 2.10 Rank size rule Source: based 011 Garner 1967: 327. 4 5 \ 103~--------~____~__-L__~L-__~~______~ 1U 102 Rank 1 03 10 4 29 28 TRADITIONAL ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHIES TRADITIONAL lOCATION THEORY B ox 2 .2 IKEAtS CENTRAL PLACE H IERARCHY ' lhe Swedish home-furnishings chain IKEA provides an interesting example o f a retailer that has expanded into a range o f i nternational markers. Founded in southern Sweden in 1943 IKEA now directly owns a nd operates over 250 stores in 2 4 different countries, with a further 30 stores in 16 countries run by franchises. lKEA is best known for selling its o wn b rand o f h ome furnishings such as beds, furniture a nd h ome accessories. I n C hrist aller' s terms IKEA retails high o rder goods, meaning those that are purchased infrequently and at some expense. Consequently the stores have thresholds such t hat we m ight expect lKEA's store locations to follow the classic pattern o f c oncentrating in t he largest central olaces within a national urban system. lKEAs operations i n C anada provide a useful way o f examining the extent to which retail location strategy accords with Christaller's central place model. Table 2.1 lists the location o f each ofIKEA's 11 C-anadian stores, Table 2. 1 IKEA's Canadian stores Year opened 1976 City Vancouver Population (and national rank) 2,116,581 1977 Toronto 5,113,149(1) 1978 Edmonton 1,034,945 (6) Calgary 1,079,310 (5) 1979 979 Ottawa 1,130,761 (4) Montreal 991 1,593,502 (2) Toronto 5 ,113,149(1) 2001 Toronto 5,113,149 (1) 2002 Vancouver 2,116,581 (3) 2003 Montreal 1,593,502 Toronlo 5 ,113,149(1) , 2003 I Source: IKEA 2010. the year i n which i t was established a nd t he population (and population national rank) according to the 2 006 Census, Table 2.1 is ranked according to t he year in which the store was established. I he pattern exhibits a n umber o f interesting features. First is the concentration o f stores in the country's largest urban centers, a pattern that conforms to the Christaller model. All 11 o f t he stores are concentrated in Canada's six largest metroareas, providing a good indication o f the sizeable threshold required to sustain an IKEA store. Indeed, none o f t he stores are found in what Christaller would term lower order central places. Second, the chrono­ logical pattern indicates that between 1976 a nd 1982 lKEA established a presence i n each o f the six central places, although t he o rder o f store openings from t hat which the population rank o f the six centers might suggest. Third, i t is clear that from 1991 onwards the very largest central places were seen to be o f sufficient size to sustain multiple outlets with the largest city, T oronto, c urrently hosting a total o f four lKEA stores. The presence o f four T oronto stores, along with two in Vancouver and two in Montreal, also raises some interesting questions about t he c oncept o f a 'central' rKEA, like many major retailers, demonstrate~ a preference for s uburban r ather t han d owntown locations, highlighting t he growth o f the automobile as t he d ominant m ode o f c onsumer transportation in the west, and in N orth America in particular. I n this sense the context is q uite d ifferent from t hat in which Christaller developed his model and i t suggests that the 'central place' should be seen as a n abstraction rather than a direct, descriptive reference to a town o r city center. ' I he comparison between lKEA's suburban loca­ tions a nd those o f the traditional downtown department storefronts provides a stark contrast. A nd yet despite the obvious differences ill appearance both serve as central places in the classic sense o f Christaller's model. u rban hierarchy. Christaller developed other central place hierarchies by considering the impacts o f t ransport o r traffic between central formulating a K-4 transport model and a K-7 model to represent the administrative functions o f central places. Central place theory thus represents a combination o f horizontal order (the hexagons) and vertical order o f central places) (Beavon 1977: 38; Garner 1967). I n the 19505 and 19605 especially, a growing cadre o f economic and urban geographers,...
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