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Durham e-Theses
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The central place system of the Thessaly region of Greece

Bennison, David J. (1977) The central place system of the Thessaly region of Greece. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The settlement system of Thessaly is examined within the framework provided by central place theory. The adoption of a systems approach to the research determines the organization of the work. Firstly, there is an analysis of the sectoral structure of the Greek economy with particular reference to retail trade. The importance of tertiary activity in the economy is indicated and the traditional nature of most Greek retailing is considered. Next, the physical, historical, economic and demographic background of Thessaly is described. The region consists of a fertile plain surrounded on all sides by mountains. The economy is dominated by agriculture and the secondary and tertiary sectors are strongly oriented to it. In the post-war period the population of the area has stagnated because of heavy rural emigration focussed primarily on Athens, The analysis of the settlement system then falls into three parts. The functional regions of Thessaly are identified by subjecting an interaction matrix of bus traffic flows to factor analysis. These describe the general structure of the settlement system and allow the subsequent detailed analysis of the settlement system of West Thessaly to be placed within a wider context. This detailed analysis is based primarily on data collected in the field. It consists of a study of the hierarchical and spatial structure of the system and the aggregate relationships between its components. A well developed hierarchical structure is found, and its historical evolution is examined. Following this, a study of consumer movements in West Thessaly is made which is based on data collected from questionnaires circulated in the region. The behaviour of the settlement system as revealed by this analysis accords closely with the structure of the system. A composite assessment of the settlement system is then made which relates its structure and behaviour to the theoretical framework of the research, and comparisons are made with other studies of settlement systems in-Greece. Finally, the Greek regional problem is examined, one element in which is the nature and role of the provincial settlement system, and the implications of this research for future planning strategies are outlined.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1977
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:30

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