Concept of Region Planning


Region planning is a planning approach that focuses on the comprehensive and integrated development of a geographical region or area. It involves the coordination of physical, economic, and social planning activities to promote balanced and sustainable regional growth. The goal of region planning is to enhance the quality of life for all residents within a region by ensuring that the distribution of resources, services, and opportunities is equitable and meets the needs of the community. This approach considers regional interdependence, environmental constraints, and cultural and historic values when making planning decisions.

Concept of Region

A region is a geographic area that is defined by certain physical, cultural, or economic characteristics. It can be as small as a neighborhood or as large as a country. Regions are often used as a way of organizing and grouping areas for the purpose of analysis and study. The concept of region is used in various fields such as geography, sociology, economics, and urban planning. Regions can be defined by natural features such as climate, rivers, and topography or by man-made characteristics such as political borders, transportation networks, and cultural patterns. The definition and boundaries of a region can vary depending on the purpose and context of its use.

A region is an area on the earth’s surface marked by certain properties that are homogeneous inside and distinct from outside it. A Region is defined as a part of the Earth’s surface with one or many similar characteristics that make it unique from other areas. Regional geography studies the specific unique characteristics of places related to their culture, economy, topography, climate, politics, and environmental factors such as their different species of flora and fauna. The concept of Region is generally linked with Space and has Spatial dimensions.

A region is an area of land that is defined by certain characteristics, such as geography, culture, economy, or political boundaries. Regions can be small, such as a neighborhood, or large, such as a country or a continent. They can also be natural or man-made, and they can be defined by physical features, such as rivers or mountains, or by human factors, such as economic activities or political divisions.

Regions are an important concept in geography and social sciences, as they provide a framework for understanding the interactions between different parts of the world. By studying regions, we can learn about the similarities and differences between places, and we can see how events in one part of a region can impact the rest of the region. Understanding the concept of regions is essential for regional planning, as it provides a basis for analyzing the challenges and opportunities facing a particular region, and for developing strategies to address those challenges and opportunities.

Definition of Region

The concept of “region” has been studied and defined by many authors in various fields. Here are a few definitions from prominent scholars:

According to T. J. Woofer

An area within which the combination of environmental and demographic factor have created homogeneity of economic and social structure.

According to Richard L. Morrill

“A region is a substantial area of the earth’s surface possessing, as a result of either physical or human phenomena, a set of homogeneous characteristics that distinguish it from neighboring areas.”

According to Wilbur Zelinsky

“A region is a portion of the earth’s surface that is distinguishable from neighboring areas on the basis of a set of physical, cultural, or historical characteristics.”

According to Brian J.L. Berry

“A region is an area distinguished by a set of common characteristics that distinguish it from other areas.”

According to Peter Hall

“A region is a territorial unit that is defined by its shared characteristics, be they physical, economic, cultural, or political.”

These definitions emphasize that a region is a specific area of the earth’s surface that is distinguishable from other areas due to its unique set of physical, cultural, economic, or political characteristics. The concept of region is widely used in geography, sociology, economics, and other fields to understand and analyze complex spatial patterns and relationships.

Attributes of Region

Regions Have Location

Regions have a location within a larger spatial context. Regions can be located within a city, a state, a country, or even on a global scale. The location of a region influences its accessibility, connectivity, and relationships with surrounding areas. It can also impact the natural resources and physical geography of the region, as well as its cultural, economic, and political characteristics.

The location of a region can also affect its economic competitiveness and development opportunities, as well as its access to resources, services, and markets. Understanding the location of a region is an important factor in regional planning, as it can influence the strategies and decisions made to promote sustainable and equitable development in the region.

All regions, physical or cultural are often expressed in the regional name such as the Middle East, the South-East Asia, the North-West Europe, the Far East, etc.

Regions Have Spatial Extent

The spatial extent of a region can vary in size and shape, from small, compact areas to large, sprawling regions. The spatial extent of a region can impact its accessibility and connectivity to surrounding areas, as well as its ability to coordinate land use, transportation, and other infrastructure investments.

The homogeneous physical and cultural attributes of the earth surface have spatial (areal) extent. For example, the Thar Desert, the Sahara Desert, the Latin America and Anglo-America cover certain areas of the earth surface.

Regions Have Boundaries

Regions have boundaries that define the extent of the region and separate it from surrounding areas. The boundaries of a region can be physical, such as rivers or mountain ranges, or they can be man-made, such as political or administrative borders.

Boundaries are an important aspect of regions, as they provide a framework for understanding the relationships between different parts of a region and between a region and its surrounding areas. The boundaries of a region can impact its accessibility, connectivity, and economic competitiveness, as well as its ability to coordinate land use, transportation, and other infrastructure investments.

For example, where the Himalayas and the Siwaliks end, the Indo-Gangetic plains begin, and where the Gangetic plains end, the Deccan plateau begins. Similar may be the case of the language regions in India. There is a line of demarcation between the Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam regions in India.

Regions May Be Either Formal or Functional

Formal regions are defined by political or administrative boundaries, such as countries, states, or provinces. Functional regions, on the other hand, are defined by the relationship between the center and its surrounding areas, based on a common characteristic, such as economic activity, transportation systems, or cultural features.

Formal regions are areas of essentially uniformity throughout in one or limited combination of physical or cultural features. The equatorial region, the monsoon region, the Sahel region (Africa), the Tundra region, the mountainous region are the examples of formal physical regions. Similarly, we may observe the homogeneity of language, religion, ethnicity and lifestyle in certain areas. Such regions are known as the formal cultural regions.

Functional regions is important in geography and regional planning, as it helps to understand the interconnectedness of different parts of a region and the ways in which they are dependent upon one another. Examples of functional regions include metropolitan areas, transportation corridors, and trade blocks.

‘City region’ may be cited as a good example of functional region. The city region is “an area of interrelated activities, kindered interests and common organizations, brought into being through the medium of the routes which bind it to the urban centres”. We can delineate the commuting regions of Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta or any one of the metropolitan and mega cities. Similarly, functional regions of the national capital of India may be demarcated by taking the supply of milk, fruits, vegetables and newspapers. The functional region is, however, a dynamic concept which changes in space and time.

Regions Are Hierarchically Arranged

Although regions vary in scale, type and degree of generalization, none stands alone as the ultimate key to areal understanding. Each defines only a part of the spatial (regional) reality. Each defines only a part of the spatial (regional) reality. On a formal regional scale of size progression the Ganga-Yamuna Doab may be seen as part of the Upper Gangetic Plain, which in turn is a portion of the Sutlej- Ganga Plain.

This hierarchy of regions can be seen at the global, national, and local levels, with each level encompassing a larger geographical area and a greater number of people. For example, at the global level, regions can be divided into continents; at the national level, regions can be divided into states or provinces; and at the local level, regions can be divided into cities or neighborhoods. This hierarchy of regions helps to understand the relationships between different parts of the world and to make regional comparisons.

Regions Have Transitional Boundaries

Transitional boundaries reflect the gradual change in the physical, cultural, or economic characteristics of an area, rather than a sharp divide. For example, the boundary between a city and its suburbs is often gradual and may be determined by the patterns of development, land use, and population density. Similarly, the boundary between two cultural regions may be marked by a gradual shift in language, customs, or traditions, rather than a clear dividing line. The concept of transitional boundaries is important in geography and regional planning, as it helps to understand the complex and dynamic relationships between different regions and the ways in which they overlap and interconnect.

Generally, regions do not have sharp boundaries. In most of the cases their boundaries are transitional. It means there is some overlapping of one phenomenon over the other.

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