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Structure and process in the Christallerian system Mulligan, Gordon Fredrick


This dissertation deals with theoretical central place systems of the Christallerian type. By employing a form-function-process methodology the author attempts to embrace central place structure and process in a consistent and general manner. Attention is first given to systemic structure as depicted by the general hierarchial model of city size. Given this structural framework, interest is then turned to modelling within-systems adoptive processes (the issue of innovation is not considered). Finally, the effects of different types of parametric shifts - both continuous (instantaneous) and discrete (long run) - are examined within the context of the established models. By eliciting a number of law-like statements the author is intending to lay some of the foundations for a general theory of inter-urban growth and development. The scope and content of the more relevant assertions are presently outlined. It is demonstrated that certain attributes of individual central places are intimately related to overall systemic properties. For instance, the inverse of the basic/non-basic ratio of a system's largest city is shown to be identical to the urban/rural population balance for the entire system. In addition a novel type of input-output model is introduced so as to illustrate the economic base underpinnings of the hierarchial model. Special concern is given to the service multipliers in the structural argument: these are shown to reflect employment and demand ratios for the various hierarchial activities. Then the effects of shifts in these multipliers upon central place properties are examined within a comparative statics framework. The polarization of hierarchial and wave-like diffusionary patterns is established by showing the former (latter) to accompany: (i) systemic openness (closure), (ii) area! (linear) dimensionality, (iii) slow (rapid) decline in the service multipliers, and (iv) low (high) frictional constraints on spatial interaction. Finally, temporal (long run population changes) and spatial (allocation of nonnodal activities) variation are shown to induce characteristic changes in such diffusionary patterns.

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