Christaller’s Central Place Theory

Central Place Theory attempts to predict various orders of central places, markets they serve, etc. It applies to those settlements that are predominately concerned with serving the need of the surrounding area. The significance of their service role can;t be measured simply by the population of the place. There are different orders to good and services. Some are costly, bought infrequently and need large populations to support them, others are everyday items that require small populations. Two concepts emerge from this observation. Thefirst is that of Threshold Population. That is the minimum population required for a good or service to be provided. The second is the Range of a Good. This is the maximum distance which people will travel to purchase a good or service.
Ideally each central place would have a circular trade area, however, if 3 or more tangent circles are placed in an area, unserved spaces will exist. In order to eliminate any unserved areas the circular market areas will overlap and, since people in these overlap zones will choose to visit their nearest center in keeping with the assumption of minimum movement, the final market areas must be hexagonal. The number at each level of settlement hierarchy follows a fixed ration (K Value) from the largest regional capital to the smallest hamlet. For every 6 hamlets there would be a larger, more specialized central place (township center) with a larger market area, which would be located equidistant from other township centers. Further up the hierarchy even more specialized settlements would have their own hinterlands and would be an equal distance from each other. The higher centers would have 3 time the population, 3 times the service area, and have 3 times the trade area. This i!
s called the K3 hierarchy. Lower ordered centers in order to be provided with higher ordered goods and services, rest within g the tributary areas of high ordered places according to a …

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