Geography Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 11 - Question 2

90 Days Geography Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 21-Jan-2019

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.

2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

21-Jan-2019 - Question 2

Discuss the applicability of Christaller’s Central Place Theory. 300 words (2017)

For Question 1 - Click Here

Model Answer

The Central Place theory (CPT) postulated by Christaller in 1933 is a theoretical account of the size and distribution of settlements within an urban system in which marketing (service sector) is the predominant urban function.

The theory is based on data obtained from Bavaria (South Germany)

It envisages a hierarchical structure of settlements with seven or more levels in a meso-region. This settlement system has a metropolitan city at the apex.

The fundamental concepts on which the central place theory is based are:

  1. Principle of centralization : The small settlements are organized around a larger settlement which serves as a focal point for all settlements around it.
  2. Principle of hierarchy : The settlements are arranged in a hierarchical fashion for e.g. the state, district and tehsil form an administrative territorial hierarchy.

The concept of a central place: A central place is a settlement which serves as a focal point for number of other settlements which are dependent on it. It has two concepts attached to it - range of goods and threshold. The range of goods refers to the maximum distance from the complementary area that a person is willing to travel for certain goods in the central place. The threshold refers to the minimum customers required for a service to be profitable at the central place.

Christaller suggested three ways in which the hierarchical spatial structure would be organized:

  1. Marketing principle (k=3)
  2. Transportation principle ( k = 4)

3. Administrative principle (k = 7)

The applicability of Christaller’s CPT can be seen as under:

  1. It is applicable in regions where primary activities are still predominant such as developing countries like India, Mexico and China.
  2. The administrative hierarchical system in India, especially at the local level, conforms to this theory. This is seen in the spacing of tehsil and district level centres. The differences are due to assumptions of CPT which are only possible in the theoretical world and not the real world.
  3. The theory is helpful in determining the location of educational institutions at various levels with the higher educational institutions located at the higher levels of hierarchy. Similar approach is also followed for location of medical centres (sub-health centre at the lowest level, followed by Primary health centre, community  health centre and the district hospital at the district level).
  4. It is also useful in planning the allocation of resources for development at various levels of the urban system.

The applicability is limited by the assumptions of isotropic surface and uniform population distribution among others. The advent and spread of technology has changed the nature of services and their range. However, the model is still useful in the planning process.

Note: There is no template for a correct UPSC answer, the model answer is only for your reference

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