The Functional Region Alvin Simms Dept. of Geography The Functional Region • The functional region, is a region defined exclusively from human activity! Interactions and Functional Regions Identify how people , business and public services interact within rural or urban areas. How does this interaction affect travel patterns? Analysis of interactions provide insight to distribution of economic activities and social services! This type of analysis can reveal inequalities in the distribution of services, industries or resources. Interaction and Distance Relationships Help Define Functional Region Boundaries What Are Functional Regions? Analysis of interactions represents a functional approach to regional planning! Functional regions and interactions amongst communities ignore administrative boundaries A functional region is a complex structure of communities and linkages … where there may exist a dominant community (centre) through which a majority of interactions flow. Also interested in lower order centres! Economic Zones Paradigms of the Dominant Centre The Walter Christaller Model. • According to this model, a dominance relationship is established between several orders of the hierarchy. • This relationship implies that a centre of a lower order must rely on a centre of higher order for goods and services not being supplied. Paradigms of the Dominant Centre: The Alan Pred Model. • Adaptation of Christaller’s model by Pred provided more flexibility. • The hierarchical structure becomes less rigid, but more complex. • In this instance centres of the same order are not necessarily of the same hierarchical level. • This indicates that some centres offer more diversified goods and services than other centres, even if they are of the same size. Paradigms of the Dominant Centre: The Alan Pred Model Interdependency implies that central places can exchange similar goods and services. Complementarity enables several centres of a similar order to specialize in specific activities and supply themselves in goods and services they do not have from other centres. The Classic Centre-Periphery Interaction Model Is it appropriate for Newfoundland & Labrador? Demands for goods/services yields payments and interactions between centre and periphery Abundant Flow of people, materials Labour and products created by demand for services Abundant Periphery Capital Centre Scarce Capital flows to periphery Capital Scarce Shortage of labour in centre creates stimulus Labour for labour flows/migration from periphery Supply of labour from periphery will create labour shortage in periphery and raise wages and incomes Adequate Adequate Labour Capital Functional Regions Dominant centres tend to reflect the centralization of economies and public services Within a region dominant centres can shift due to changing economic circumstances. Communities that make up the functional region, other than the dominant centre, become residential rather than employment centres. The geographical extent of functional regions are both temporally and spatially dynamic! A methodology for identifying functional regions Set Factor (s) Investigated Network or Labour Interactions Between Health Communities Public/Private Services Economic Linkages Evaluate links and interaction according to factor classes  Decision support information! Extract patterns and identify functional regions and centres  Implications for policy and governance! Analyze characteristics and viability of functional regions Interregional flows stimulated by growth of a town Source: Adapted from Barkley, Henry and Bao (1996) Flow Type Positive effect on periphery Negative effect on periphery Spending Town growth provides Spending in rural markets declines due on goods expanding market for rural to increased competition from town & services producers producers Rural labour commutes to town for employment. Rural residents migrate to town for People Urban families relocate to better access to employment and rural residences because of urban lifestyle lower housing costs and perceived higher quality of life Firms in the innovative or growing Firms in mature stage of stage of product life cycle locate in Firms and/or product life cycle locate in town to benefit from agglomeration employment rural areas to take advantage economies, markets and specialized of low wages and land costs labour Interregional flows stimulated by growth of a town Source: Adapted from Barkley, Henry and Bao (1996) Flow Type Positive effect on periphery Negative effect on periphery Funds of town residents are Rural funds are invested in towns Investment invested in rural areas to take to take advantage of relatively funds advantage of relatively low labour rapidly growing goods and and land costs services markets Town centres are the generators and diffusers of information and Innovation for surrounding rural Rural to town migration is Knowledge areas. selective of the better educated and and more highly skilled rural technology Social attitudes in rural areas are residents transformed by the "demonstration effects" of expanding markets in the town Dynamics of changing functional regional boundaries: The role of integrating and mediating forces Integrating and Tendencies to spatial Tendencies to spatial dispersal mediating forces agglomeration Improvements in communication Changing Benefits arising from spatial infrastructures reduces friction of patterns of economic clustering and distance economic strong economic activities infrastructures. Drive for economic diversification in all areas. Dynamics of Strong spatial clustering of Spread of knowledge , culture innovation and innovation dynamics within and business networks across learning cities province Attraction of urban locations A new for younger time- Expanding "grey" spending demographic poor/money rich power attracted to rural areas by profile households to dominant high quality environments centres Dynamics of changing functional regional boundaries: The role of integrating and mediating forces Integrating and Tendencies to spatial Tendencies to spatial dispersal Mediating Forces agglomeration Urban values increasingly Social change and Attraction of urban lifestyles and widespread. differentiating socio-spatial concentration of lifestyles similar lifestyle groups Attraction of nature and rurality and avoidance of urban tensions New bases for Ability in urban areas to foster Search for locales which foster culture, identity and multiple identities the expression of identify citizenship Promotes the discovery of nature Environmental Encourages use of resources and the importance of preserving sustainability within existing agglomerations rural cultural inheritance Strategic planning with a spatial Government and Transformation of capacity easier focus easier in large policy making under smaller jurisdictions. agglomerations Functional Regions Study Generally functional regions are defined by a single interaction, such as labour flows! Current research examining multiple interactions (e.g. health, other government services, private services, etc.) Analysis will identify overlaps or gaps between different functional regions. Analysis will identify the role and function of communities within the regions as will as their relationship with dominant centres. Analysis of socio-economic and demographic characteristics will help determine both the viability of the functional region and the communities that make up the region.