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Regional Identity and Economic ChangeThe Upper Rhine 1450-1600$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.001.0001

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Central Places and Urban Networks

Central Places and Urban Networks

Chapter:
(p.72) (p.73) 3 Central Places and Urban Networks
Source:
Regional Identity and Economic Change
Author(s):

Tom Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.003.0004

In the 1930s, German economic geographer Walter Christaller systematized the links between market centres of different sizes into a rank-order based on a predictable dispersion of central places and recognized the possibility of urban networks stretching along perceived lines of communication. In order to discover how well these theoretical approaches explain the rank-order of communities on the Upper Rhine, this chapter looks at four variables to illustrate the range of central functions and the intensity of relations with the surrounding countryside. They are: population size; the principal economic activity within the town and its diffusion through exports and at fairs and markets; the range of economic activity beyond the town which was controlled entirely and in part by the town's businessfolk (the extent of outwork, and share-cropping); and the provision of merchant capital in credit and banking.

Keywords:   Upper Rhine, Walter Christaller, urban networks, central places, market centres, rank-order, population size, exports, economic activity, merchant capital

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