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The hierarchy of central places in Northern Ceylon

Balasundarampillai, P. (1972) The hierarchy of central places in Northern Ceylon. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



There are over one thousand settlements in Northern Ceylon ranging in size from less than ten to over one hundred thousand people. Though most of them are rural, they have developed in a variety of ways and been affected by both economic and physical conditions. The functional character of these settlements varies greatly; 446 are without any recognized central functions and the number of functions range from one to one hundred and eight. The study is primarily concerned with the central place system and the related phenomena of central place theory. The role of commercial and service organizations and markets and fairs in the distributive system of goods is analysed. The population and functional relations of settlements and threshold entry for different functions are determined. One hundred and twelve functions were recorded to) assess the functional level of settlements. The concepts of aggregate and relative importance (nodality and centrality) were explored and techniques to measure these criteria were developed. Seven grades of central places were identified based on hierarchical principles and these are city, major town, town, township, large village, village and hamlet. Functional characteristics of the central place system are analysed on a regional and intra-urban basis. Service areas of functions and places were determined from the public transport pattern and other related data. Finally, an analysis was made of the future regional economic and settlement pattern and the application of central place theory in the creation of new settlements and to improve urban/rural relations.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1972
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:58

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