central place theory

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central place theory

in geography, an element of location theory (q.v.) concerning the size and distribution of central places (settlements) within a system. Central-place theory attempts to illustrate how settlements locate in relation to one another, the amount of market area a central place can control, and why some central places function as hamlets, villages, towns, or cities.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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