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Central Place Theory. Central Place Theory. Central Place: market center for the exchange of goods and services by people attracted from the surrounding area Theory explains how services are distributed and why a regular pattern of settlements exists

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Central place theory1
Central Place Theory

  • Central Place: market center for the exchange of goods and services by people attracted from the surrounding area

  • Theory explains how services are distributed and why a regular pattern of settlements exists

  • German geographer Walter Christaller (1930)


The Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania is a portion of the Great Valley of the Appalachians. Broad valley floor, agricultural, settled in the early-to-mid 1700s

Note the regularity of spacing between urban centers -- towns. Local lore has it that the distances between towns evolved because it was the distance someone could travel in a day.


General trends
General Trends Great Valley of the Appalachians. Broad valley floor, agricultural, settled in the early-to-mid 1700s

  • There will be a regular spatial order in the number of central places of different population sizes.

    • Few large places

    • Many small places

  • There will be a regular spatial order in the spacing of central places of different population sizes.

    • Large places relatively farther apart

    • Small places relatively closer together


Central place functions categories of like services found in a central place

Grocery Stores Great Valley of the Appalachians. Broad valley floor, agricultural, settled in the early-to-mid 1700s

Gas Stations

Jewelry Stores

Book Stores

Hair Stylists

Auto Dealerships

Houses of Worship

Schools

Doctors

Dentists

Museums

Concert Halls

Central Place FunctionsCategories of like services found in a central place


Would you travel farther to buy a new car or the week s groceries

Would you travel farther to buy a new car or the week’s groceries?

Would you travel farther to see your family physician or a heart specialist?

To see a heart specialist

To buy a new car

Would you travel farther to go to elementary school or to go to high school?

To go to high school


A hierarchy of educational services

City: groceries?

College

Town:

High School

A Hierarchy of Educational Services

Village:

Elementary

School

Hamlet:

No Schools


Stock Exchange groceries?

Sports Stadium

Regional Shopping Mall

Major Department Store

Income Tax Service

Convenience Store

Gas Station


Each central place function has a

Threshold: the minimum number of people needed to support a central place function

With fewer customers a store cannot afford to stay in business.

Range: the maximum distance beyond which a person will not travel to purchase a good or service

Beyond a certain distance people cannot afford the travel costs.

Each central place function has a:


Optimal location for pizza shop
Optimal Location central place function(for Pizza Shop)

Fig. 12-6: The optimal location for a pizza delivery shop with seven potential customers in a linear settlement (top) and with 99 families in apartment buildings (bottom).


Supermarket and convenience store market areas
Supermarket and Convenience Store Market Areas central place function

Fig. 12-8: Market area, range, and threshold for Kroger supermarkets (left) and UDF convenience stores in Dayton, Ohio. Supermarkets have much larger areas and ranges than convenience stores.


Rank size rule a country s nth largest settlement is 1 n the population of the largest settlement
Rank-Size Rule central place function: a country’s nth-largest settlement is 1/n the population of the largest settlement


Primate city rule
Primate City Rule central place function

  • The largest settlement has more than twice as many people as the second-ranking settlement.

  • Primate City=largest city

  • Denmark

    • Copenhagen 1 million

    • Arhus 200,000

  • United Kingdom

    • London 8 million

    • Birmingham 2 million

  • Thailand

    • Bangkok 1.5 million

    • Nonthaburi 250,000




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