This article has an unclear citation style. The references used may be made clearer with a different or consistent style of citation and footnoting. Central place theory is a geographical theory that seeks to explain the number, size and von thunen theory of agricultural location pdf of human settlements in a residential system. Consumers visit the nearest central places that provide the function which they demand.
The theory then relied on two concepts: threshold and range. Range is the maximum distance consumers are prepared to travel to acquire goods – at some point the cost or inconvenience will outweigh the need for the good. The result of these consumer preferences is that a system of centers of various sizes will emerge. Each center will supply particular types of goods forming levels of hierarchy. In the functional hierarchies, generalizations can be made regarding the spacing, size and function of settlements. The larger the settlements are in size, the fewer in number they will be, i.
The larger the settlements grow in size, the greater the distance between them, i. As a settlement increases in size, the range and number of its functions will increase . As a settlement increases in size, the number of higher-order services will also increase, i. At the base of the hierarchy pyramid are shopping centres, newsagents etc.
At the top of the pyramid are centres selling high order goods. Examples for low order goods and services are: newspaper stalls, groceries, bakeries and post offices. Examples for high order goods and services include jewelry, large shopping malls and arcades. They are supported by a much larger threshold population and demand. In the orderly arrangement of an urban hierarchy, seven different principal orders of settlement have been identified by Christaller, providing different groups of goods and services.
Settlement are regularly spaced – equidistant spacing between same order centers, with larger centers farther apart than smaller centers. Settlements have hexagonal market areas, and are most efficient in number and functions. 4 transport principle, the market area of a higher-order place includes a half of the market area of each of the six neighbouring lower-order places, as they are located on the edges of hexagons around the high-order settlements. This generates a hierarchy of central places which results in the most efficient transport network. There are maximum central places possible located on the main transport routes connecting the higher order center. The market areas of the smaller settlements are completely enclosed within the market area of the larger settlement. Since tributary areas cannot be split administratively, they must be allocated exclusively to a single higher-order place.
Efficient administration is the control principle in this hierarchy. The validity of the place theory may vary with local factors, such as climate, topography, history of development, technological improvement and personal preference of consumers and suppliers. Economic status of consumers in an area is also important. Consumers of higher economic status tend to be more mobile and therefore bypass centers providing only lower order goods. The application of central place theory must be tempered by an awareness of such factors when planning shopping center space location.
Purchasing power and density affect the spacing of centers and hierarchical arrangements. Sufficient densities will allow, for example, a grocery store, a lower order function, to survive in an isolated location. Market area studies provide another technique for using central place theory as a retail location planning tool. The hierarchy of shopping centers has been widely used within the planning of “new towns”.