Location of cities
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Location of Cities. Where are cities located and why?. Rank-Size Rule: in a model urban hierarchy, the population of the city or town will be inversely proportional to its rank in the hierarchy. (sometimes referred to as the nth rule) N=largest city For example:

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Location of Cities

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Location of cities

Location of Cities

Where are cities located and why?


Location of cities

Rank-Size Rule:

in a model urban hierarchy, the population of the city or town will be inversely proportional to its rank in the hierarchy. (sometimes referred to as the nth rule)

N=largest city

For example:

largest city = 12 million = n/1

2nd largest = 6 million = n/2

3rd largest = 4 million =n/3

4th largest = 3 million =n/4


Primate city

Primate City

The leading city of a country. The city is disproportionately larger than the rest of the cities in the country.

For example: London, UK

Mexico City, Mexico

Paris, France

- the rank-size rule does not work for a

country with a primate city


Central place theory

Central Place Theory

Walter Christallerdeveloped a model to predict how and where central places in the urban hierarchy (hamlets, villages, towns, and cities) would be functionally and spatially distributed.

Assumed:1. surface is flat with no physical barriers

2. soil fertility is the same everywhere

3. population and purchasing power are evenly distributed

4. region has uniform transportation network

from any given place, a good or service could be sold in all directions out to a certain distance


4 main ideas of christaller s model

4 main ideas of Christaller’s Model

  • 1. Central places: Urban centers that provide services to their surrounding rural people (hinterland)

  • 2. Threshold: minimum number of peopleneeded to fuel a particular function’s existence in the central place.

    • The more unique and special an economic function the higher its threshold.

    • Example: the threshold of a doughnut shop is lower than the threshold of a neurosurgical center providing brain surgery services.


4 main ideas of christaller s model1

4 main ideas of Christaller’s Model

  • 3. Range of a good or service: the maximum distance a person is willing to travel to obtain that good or service.

    • The range of a doughnut shop is much smaller that the range of a neurological brain surgery center.

  • 4. Spatial competition: Implies that central places compete with each other for customers.


Functions of central place theory

Functions of Central Place theory

  • Christaller’s model predicted a hexagonal pattern of urban central places.

  • In this pattern

    • Smaller places will be located closer together.

      • Consumers will not be willing to travel as far for lower central place functions like gas stations.

    • Larger central places will be located farther away from each other.

      • Consumers are more likely and willing to ravel a longer distance to obtain higher central place functions, like brain surgery.


Hexagonal hinterlands

Hexagonal Hinterlands

C = city

T = town

V = village

H = hamlet


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