Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: d c onstant adaptations to time a nd place. (Thilnen 1966: 200) Thilnen's model was n ot principally a bout explaining change o r 'progress' yet, like Adam Smith, whose w ork T hilnen admired, he was concerned w ith progress in terms o f t he 'growth o f n ational prosperity' (1966: 201) a nd was quite aware o f how farmers i n a nyone place were affected by actions taken a nd decisions some distance from them. Thilnen lived d uring a p eriod o f e normous c hange i n t he geography o f agriculture a nd the decades after his death saw even more spectacular shifts as E uropean farmers were increasingly caught up in wider circuits o f trade. The trade i n a gricultural produce, m ost n otably grain, between countries in Europe was gradually freed-up i n t he late nineteenth century as p rotectionist policies, such as G reat Britain's C orn Laws which forbade the i mportation o f wheat, were repealed a nd G erman farmers, a mong others, suddenly h ad a n a dditional market for their wheat. Even m ore d ramatic w ere t he scalar shifts b rought o n b y European imperialism in the later p art o f the nineteenth century. As they built u p a nd c onsolidated their rival empires, E uropean c ountries r econfigured d omestic agricultural p roduction as crops (especially grains) were increasingly sourced from colonies a nd f ormer colonies such as those in N orth America. Thilnen's theory allowed for such shifts, a nd h e even n oted t hat t he rings c ould be observed emerging at a n i nternational scale i n s ome sectors; wool sheep farming was one example. However, it was n ot u ntil m uch later t hat geographers m ade m ore explicit reference to the Thilnen type rings emerging at t he w orld scale w ith the globalization o f c ommercial agriculture. The populated centers o f northwestern Europe appeared to some, such as P eter Hall, to constitute a ' World T hilnen T own' w hich s ourced its agricultural products from all over the world (Hall 1966: xlii). Thilnen's contributions to understanding agricultural l and use patterns have proven foundational. His insights were developed a nd refined by later analysts concerned w ith u nderstanding the changing geography o f farming. B ut as we n oted earlier, Thilnen's analysis is a bout m uch m ore t han t he rational selection o f crops a nd f arming methods. Rather, his broader concern is w ith t he rational allocation o f l and use. As e conomies have become m ore varied a nd complex his insights have been a dopted a nd a pplied beyond agriculture. Building o n T hilnen's work, particularly as i t h ad b een picked up by economist Alfred Marshall in his 1890 b ook Principles o fEconomics, scholars from R. M . H urd i n the first years o f t he t wentieth c entury ( Hurd 1 905) to William Alonso a nd o thers i n t he 1960s (for example, Alonso 1964) p roduced s ophisticated understandings o f the spatial differentiation o fland use in cities. A key idea t hat c an be traced back to Thilnen is t hat o f t he bid r ent o r b id price curve t hat c onnects l and price to l and use a nd has been applied to commercial, industrial a nd residential sectors in capitalist cities. Alonso, for example, postulated t hat i n a city different economic actors (such as i ndividual firms o r residents) will experience different bid rent curves for different land uses (factories, offices, homes). Some bid r ent curves such as for prestigious office o r retail space are steep, falling away rapidly from a central point, while others are shallower, such as for housing. J ust as i n t he Thilnen original these curves intersect such t hat u rban land use will tend to differentiate according to distance from t he city center. J ust as a c oncentric ring pattern o f different l and uses emerged i n T hilnen's model, the same pattern appeared in early models o f u rban land use (Figure 2.3). Thus, T hilnen's m odel, while originally developed for examining agricultural land use i n early nineteenth century G ermany c ontained a n umber o f f oundational insights t hat have influenced n ot j ust o ur u nderstanding o f t he geographies o f agriculture b ut o f l and use m ore broadly. 19 20 TRADITIONAL LOCATION THEORY TRADITIONAL ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHIES -::: s (0 ex: o D istance J '1! f:! CO~~ \ ~ 0. ..... " ~....q" ~<i:> ..... q" ' " 111 ~e '" " " ~ 0. 2.3 Urban land use Source: based on Garner 1967: 340. A LFRED WEBER Alfred Weber's 90-year life more or less s panned the last h alf o f t he nineteenth and first half o f t he twentieth century ( 1868-1958). W eber was a professor at the Universiry o f Heidelberg, Germany, although he was fired in 1933 for opposing aspects o f Nazi ideology. H e was reinstated in 1945 with the e nd o f hostilities in I n the years between the writings o f'Ihiinen a nd Weber, Germany and much o f Europe had changed dramatically. The Weber family his brother Max was the famous a time when whole districts were transformed into centers o f m...
View Full Document

This document was uploaded on 01/24/2014.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online