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In this job chris taller applied his central place

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Unformatted text preview: borate schemes for Poland in particular, As e conomic geographer Trevor Barnes has remarked, this makes reading Christaller's book somewhat 'disconcerting and (Barnes 2002: Christaller was interested in the spatial patterning associated with the distribution o f towns and cities and the causes o f those patterns. I f you have ever looked at a map and wondered why the towns and villages are where they are and how they relate to one another, or i f you have had the chance t o look o ut o f an airplane window and wonder about the pattern o f settlement you see below, you have probably asked yourselr the same sorts o f questions. Cbristaller asked, in the introduction to his book, 'how can we find a general explanation ror the sizes, number, and distribution o f towns? H ow can we discover the laws?' H e believed 'tbat there is some ordering principle heretofore unrecognized that governs their distribution' (1966; 2), H e sought, therefore, to identifY the 'special economic­ geographical laws' at work (1966: 3). Chris taller ad mired the methodological approach o fWeber , and like him, devel­ oped a theory based on simplification and abstraction which was tben carefully made more complex by the systematic incorporation o f factors from 'reality' ( I 966: Christaller postulated that centralization is a governing principle o f human settlement, a nd he refers to towns and cities as 'central places' emphasizing their functional t o t heir hinterland. Larger towns are order' central places a nd small villages are 'lowest order' central places, insofar as they are in relation to each other. like Th(inen a nd W eber, he started w ith t he assumptions o f the isotropic plain a nd individual rational economic actors. However, while both ThUnen a nd W eber were focused o n p roduction, Chris taller focused o n the consumption o f goods. Central places, for Christaller, are fundamentally understood as retail centers; places where 'central goods,' which could be either material things or intangible services, are sold. A~ h e p ut it: ' the c onsumption o f central is decisive in the development ofcentral places' Each good o r service has its own threshold or m inimum level o f d emand needed t o m aintain its provision and its o wn range, which he defined as the 'distance up to which the dispersed population will still be willing to purchase a good offered at a central place' (1966: 50). This decidedly b ut p owerful insight makes intuitive sense. Consider your own shopping behavior for example. H ow far do you travel to purchase a lower order good such as hread o r milk? H ow fur do you travel to shop for clothes? H ow a bout for higher order goods such as a c omputer or a car? T he threshold and range for each good can be mapped and compared, providing an indication o f the market area ror a particular item. W here the range is greater than the threshold there is an opportunity for sellers to generate a profit. the range will be Christaller recognized that i n affected by population density and, as in Thlinen's model, by transport roures such t hat the boundaries o f the range might be extended o r c ontracted around the central place a nd m ight n ot be organized exactly as a c oncentric ring around the central place. The range will also be affected by the presence o f o ther central places for, unlike in ThUnen's o r W eber's models, Christaller was concerned with soatial patterns in a region witb more than one central O f m arket. Also, unlike i n p revious IDeational theories, Christaller's central places are centers serving, e 0 rather than being served by, their rural hinterland a nd s urrounding lower order central places. I n considering central places along with their market areas Christaller developed a geometric model. Instead o f t he circles o f "IhUnen o r t he triangles o r Weber, Christaller's geometry was one o f polygons. Specifically, be modeled an orderly and exhaustive hierarchy o f central places with their complementary regions organized in hexagonal form. 'The e nthusiasm with which economic geographers o f the 19505 and 1960s embraced the clear, repetitive, hier­ archical order, represented by the bexagons o f central theolY Figure 2.9) was, arguably, the classic expression o f the aesthetics o f t he o rdering impulse o f e conomic geography (as w e examine further i n C hapter 3). I n 1 962 economic geographer William Bunge wrote that he found a 'growing beauty' in central place theory (1962: 129). The simplest variant o f central place theory was based o n a ' marketing principle' and is sometimes referred to as the K- 3 model (Box 2.2). K rders to tbe number o f central o f a certain order that are served by a central place a t t he n ext higher order. I n t his highly structured hierarchical urban system there is o ne central place arop the hierarcby, with three central places o f t he next order, followed by nine, 27, 81 a nd so on, down through the G-p/ace B-p/ace <:> K-p/ace 0 A-place ..... /' /' ..... M-p/ace Boundary of the G-region Boundary of the B-region Boundary o f the K-region Boundary o f the A-region Boundary of the M-...
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