Geographia Polonica (1968) vol. 15

Urban Growth and the Concept of Functional Region

D. Michael Ray

Geographia Polonica (1968) vol. 15, pp. 199-246 | Full text

Urban growth is dependent upon the number and types of goods and services provided for functional regions and is related to the size and population of the functional regions served. The usual cliche is that cities do not thrive where people merely take in one another's washing. "Cities do not grow up of themselves. Countrysides set them up to do tasks that must be performed in central place" 1. The tasks set reflect geogra-phic location. There is, therefore, a sequential relationship between geographic location, urban functions, functional regions and urban growth. The form of the sequential relationship is traced in this biblio-graphic essay by examining the nature and type of urban functions and functional regions, and by reviewing the contribution of location theories to understanding the size and spacing of urban functions and urban places. The relationship is then illustrated by focusing attention on one area, Eastern Ontario, where urban growth has been retarded by the slow expansion of manufacturing industry and is dependent largely upon the central-place functions performed.

D. Michael Ray, State University of New York, Buffalo