Central place theory thus represents a combination o

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Unformatted text preview: as well as regional scientists and planners, refined Christaller's ideas about urban hierarchies. O ne o f the most well known results o f their efforts is the 'rank size rule' derived from arranging urban centers, o r central places in Christaller's terms, into a rank order based o n size. The rank size rule hold~ that i f cities in a region o r c ountry are ranked in descending order size o f total DODulation, t he size o f the populations o f 1.0 the lower ranked cities a nd towns will be proportional to that o f the largest or top ranked city. Furtllermore, the rank size rule indicates that the largest city will be twice the size o f t he second largest; t hat t he second largest city will be three times the size o f the third and so on, generating a linear pattern, as s hown in Figure 2.10. The rank size rule, while i t is clearly more descriptive than explanatoty, spurred a series o f investigations in postwar decades (e.g., Z ipf 1949) into the functioning o f u rban hierarchies through an 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 TRADITIONAL LOCATION THEORY ~ ." QJ I .. +-' +-' QJ C QJ u C QJ I Y -..I - ..I l .!­ I.!- 0 o ." ~ 0 t o: 't­ : u.) Q c C ' ';::; Q.) t: 0 t § ~ ..... !:! .S .- ... >... t: -o 0 ~ c u .g- § ~~ II II ~ -.0 M ....-- .g E QJ ~ W ." ~ E ~~ ~ QJ -£ : ; ~ b.o ~ I .~ IS.. ~ I :::.:::: E ~ N cxl 0 I .!-!::! 0 Q.) ~"E ex: ciS 6 a' . ... c) . c: "i' .... "<1< .] ~ :l .. 55;:g c. ....,: 0­\ '" <U 0 .. .~ c \j ...c: .- ... J jU ~~~~ ~~~IS.. 0 .. I @ - ..I I a... I~ " -J Q.. cxl <:(:::lE @@G@ cU c: :0 < U ' "!j ...... i';l ~..8 '~ AUGUST LOSCH . .. <U u=:: .2! ~ QJ Even before Central Places i n Southern Germany was translated into English i n 1966, n umerous economic geographers were testing central place theory in a variety o f places, including the US a nd notably in the flat landscape o f southwestern Iowa, b ut also in Asia - including northern India a nd s outhern Sri Lanka, a mong others as well as in Australia a nd N ew Zealand, Mrica a nd Europe. As i n t he case o f t he rank size rule, the predicted perfectly ordered landscape o f theory was never realized in t he 'real w orld' a nd, in t he l anguage o f s ubsequent modeling, real places always 'deviations' from the predicted o r idealized patterns a nd m uch energy was expended trying to account for the deviations in order t o further refine the models. T he language o f deviation also alerts us t o t he more normative quality o f these models. Are linear rank size distributions o f cities a nd regular a nd orderly hierarchical landscapes o f cities and towns a nd their hinterlands more 'ideal' t han the so-called deviations? Is it better o r more proper t o have economic spaces organized in these regular a nd orderly ways? S hould urban a nd regional planning strive to counteract tendencies towards deviation from such order by enacting policies designed to economic landscapes more perfectly along the lines o f t hese models? I n m any c ountries, t he p attern o f urbanization has been such that an urban hierarchy based o n a p rimate city has emerged, w ith o ne d ominant metropolis a nd very few medium sized cities a nd towns. Urban primacy, especially in poorer countries, has been viewed as s omehow undesirable o r sub-optimal, for b oth e conomic a nd p olitical reasons, a nd t he m any attempts to plan for the development o f so-called secondary cities in developing countries can be understood in this context (see Rondinelli 1983 as o ne example). .. ~ ~ ::I Six years after Walter Christaller's book was published in Germany, a nd w ith W orld W ar T wo beginning, August Losch's (1906-45) The Economics o fLocation appeared in 1939. This weighty volume was 'written a mid privations a nd w ar' and, according to his biographers, Losch was a 'declared o pponent' o f t he Nazi regime who, sadly, died just as t he w ar e nded (Losch 1954: vii; F unck a nd P arr 1978: 1). Losch's book was translated into...
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