LOSCH THEORY

SAFOORA KH K.V.ABHISHEK

An Introduction to Central Space Theory

The theory was originally published in 1933 by a German geographer Walter Christaller who studied the settlement patterns in southern Germany. Assumptions: Christaller made a number of assumptions such as: All areas have • an isotropic (all flat) surface • an evenly distributed population • evenly distributed resources • similar purchasing power of all consumers and consumers will patronize nearest market • transportation costs equal in all directions and proportional to distance • no excess profits (Perfect competition)

Details of the theory The theory consists of two basic concepts: • threshold -- the minimum population that is required to bring about the provision of certain good or services • range of good or services -- the average maximum distance people will travel to purchase goods and services.

Details of the theory
As transport is equally easy in all direction, each central place will

have a circular market area as shown in C in the following diagram: However, circular shape of the market areas results in either unserved areas or over-served areas. To solve this problem, Christaller suggested the hexagonal shape of the markets as shown in D in the above diagram.

Criticism: 1. Applicable only to service sector which is only a part of the total economy. 2. The hierarchy system would be distorted by the location of primary or manufacturing industry. 3. The assumption that the consumer will act rationally and patronize the nearest center is not correct. 4. Most criticized for its static and descriptive nature, as it deals with its relationship between centers and their hinterlands only at one point of time, but fails to take into account the evolutionary process of spatial structure i.e. how the structure has evolved and might change in future.
Modifications in the Central Place Theory: August Losch model postulated that there is one superior centre where all goods are produced. The size of the centers increases with distance form the central place and those small centers tend to be located about half way in between larger ones Losch considered that the size of the hexagon not only in relation to a geographical centre, but also, in relation to the goods produced. Thus a particular centre may have several hexagonal markets for its different products as transport cost is a function of distance

THREE BASIC STEPS IN LOSCH’S ANALYSIS WERE AS FOLLOWS

1.

TO FIND THE OPTIMAL DENSITY OF URBAN PLACES (OF ALL SIZES)IN A GIVEN AREA. TO SHOW THAT THIS SYSTEM OF SETTLEMENTS,REPRESENTED BY POINTS,FORMS A PLACE LATICE TO SHOW THAT DEMAND IS MAXIMIZED AT EACH PLACE IF THE SURROUNDING MARKET AREAS ARE HEXAGONAL.

2.

3.

To explain his theory August Losch made the following assumptions.

1) An isotropic plane – a homogeneous land surface with respect to population distribution, standard of living, demand and production.

2) In that plane, transportation costs are proportional to the distance.
3) In that situation, the shape and size of the market area will depend upon the price of the product and the rate of transportation costs.

The selection of hexagonal network of market based on a 60 degree (sixfold) Plana latice is essentialy the function of space filling requirements of the central place theory

• Each function form its own latice of market superimposed on latice of other function

Nesting of tributary areas

K=3 K=1+1/2(0)+1/3(6)=3

K=4 K=1+1/2(6)+1/3(0)=4

K=7 K=7+1/2(0)+1/3(0)=7

Distance relation in a christaller k=3 network
2 2 2

BD =AD +AB -2AD.Abcosine<DAB BD=√3.AB

D

B

C

A

Distance relations in loschian system AC=x AD=x √3 AB=3X

Distance relations in a loschian system

• In contrast to christaller who discussed mainly the network of degree 3 ,losch argue in more general terms.

• The above figure in which there is an urban place A serving an equivalent of 9 customers including itself
• If we considerd the basic distance of original settlement to be x again then AB= 3x • Which in terms represented as x √n where n is the total number of equivalent customers served by a place

Regional Level
1 2 3

K=3
x√31 x√32 x√33 x√34

K=4 x√41
x√42 x√43 x√44

K=7
x√71 x√72 x√73 x√74

4 5
6 7

x√35 x√36
x√37

x√45 x√46
x√47

x√75 x√76
x√77

The ten smallest economic areas Losch’s scheme.The sectors containing many towns are hatched. Alternative regional centers are in paranthesis.Simple points represent original settlements.Those enclosed in circles are centers of market areas of sizes indicated by figures.

Ref: A.Losch, The Economics of Location

He further argued that the best location would be that which would command, the largest market area, since this would bring in the highest sales revenue. Point of largest sales should be the correct location; place of greatest profit is the right place.

References:

1.Cities,Space & Behavior: The Elements of Urban Geography: Leslie J.King & Reginald G.Colledge
2.Location & Space Economy :Walter Isard 3.Internet

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