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**The Central Place Theory**

Settlement Section

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**Learning outcomes To understand what a central place is**

To grasp Christaller’s Model of Central Places (very complicated!)

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A central place…. A central place is a settlement that provides goods and services This could be a village, conurbation or city. This forms a hierarchy

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**No. of services provided**

Capital High order Cities Large Towns Middle Order Small towns Village Hamlet Low order Settlement population size

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Assumptions The larger the settlement the fewer in number there will be The larger the settlement grows in size the further apart they will be As a settlement increases in size so to will the number of functions increase As a settlement increases in size the number of high order services will increase

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Range and threshold Central place functions are activities that market goods and services from central places for the benefit of local customers and clients drawn from a wider hinterland Range is the max distance people are prepared to travel to obtain a good Threshold minimum number of people needed to support it

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**Christaller’s model of Central Places**

Walter Christaller German 1933 published a book to demonstrate a sense of order in the spacing and function of settlements It was based on Southern Germany

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Central place theory Aims to explain the spatial organisation of settlements and their hinterlands. Theory based on assumption that there was some sort of order in the pattern and function of settlements

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Assumptions Flat land between settlements so that transport was easy and cheap in all directions Population was equal Resources were evenly distributed Goods and services were obtained from the nearest central place so as to minimise distance travelled All customers had the same income and made similar demands for goods

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Assumptions (cont) Some central places had only low order goods for which people were not prepared to travel far so had a small sphere of influence For high order goods people were prepared to travel for No excess profit would be made by 1 central place and each would locate a far as possible from a rival to max profit

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Shapes for the theory The ideal shape for a sphere of influence would be circular All the distances to the edge of the circle would be equal Central place Boundary of trade areas

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**When you start to introduce other central places**

Places in between are not served by any central place

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Circles with no gaps Problem now: areas served by more than one place- this goes against the basic principles of the model

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Best shape…hexagons

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