Factors Influencing the Size of Spheres

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Factors Influencing the Size of Spheres


In class and through my own research I have found out that there are

several things that control the sphere of influence of a settlement.

In my project I intend to see if these theories can been seen to

affect sphere of influence of real settlements in Essex and the Lake

District. The theories I am going to test are on range, accessibility,

size of settlement, and tourism function.

Background information

Sphere of influence

David Waugh text book tells us that sphere of influence is “the area

around each settlement which comes under its economic, social and

political influence.” This is also known as urban field or hinterland.

This means that each settlement from villages to cities control

(influence) the people that live around them. They control their

movements. For example people travel towards settlements to spend

money, work, to hang out with friends or to vote. How far people are

willing to travel to a settlement to do these things is said to be its

sphere of influence.

What affects the size of sphere of influence?

* Range of goods on offer.

People travel further to visit shops that sell higher order goods.

These are expensive goods that people compare prices and are will to

travel further to net a bargain! People don’t travel far to

settlements that sell only low order goods like milk or bread as these

can be found everywhere and people don’t compare prices.

* Accessibility.

People travel further to settlements that have good access. For

example many people visit London because you can get they’re easily

using the trains, motorways or airports like Heathrow or City airport.

* Size of settlement.

Settlements with a large population or a large urban size support

higher order shops. People travel further to visit these shops.

* Special functions of a settlement.

People travel further to settlements that have a special role.
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