Central Place Theory

Discipline: Economics

Developed by the German economic geographer WALTER CHRISTALLER (1894-1975), central place theory studies how cities and towns develop hierarchies of economic activity from the population size and the distance inhabitants are prepared to travel for goods and services.

The central place is frequently located at the geographical periphery of a region, and its location is determined by applying the laws of marketing, distribution and traffic.

Also see: gravity model, least cost location theory, weber's theory of the location of the firm

W Christaller, The Central Places of Southern Germany (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1966)
A Losch, The Economics of Location (Newhaven, Connecticut, 1954)


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