City Region

City regions are the products of relationship among various orders of cities and their surrounding areas. A city has its ‘dependents’ which are linked with it by virtue of their dwellers’ requirements fulfilled by the city’s various service-institutions. Dependent centres of a city are generally smaller in size and they do not possess those specialized services which are only available at the neighbouring city of higher order than the dependent centres.

Structure of City Region 
The city region is an area around the city over which the city exercises a dominant influence in relation to other neighbouring cities of equal importance. This simplified definition of the city region raises a number of conceptual problems which need further elaboration. Thus, the structure of a city region consists of a series of areas of influence and areas of dominance, apart from sets of smaller city regions which nest within it. It is pertinent at this stage to examine three basic notions in relation to the structure of the city region: (i) the concept of area of city influence, (ii) the concept of area of city dominance, and (iii) the concept of the city region.

i) Area of City Influence
No city is independent. An independent city cannot exist. A city may be administrative, industrial, agricultural, and cultural or of any type; it must have its connections with the outside world. Similarly, areas outside a city are also not independent. They too somehow have to give and take and are not independent. The fact is that there exists mutual relationship between a settlement and area surrounding it. Sometimes, the relationship is concomitantly not restricted locally or regionally but it has its far and wide spheres of influence.
The areas of city influence are contiguous areas around a city from where people commute to the city to obtain certain goods or services. A cinema hall in a city may attract patrons from several villages around the city. The continuous area encompassing all these villages is the area of influence of the city with respect to entertainment through the cinema. Likewise, various institutions in the city such hospitals, colleges, schools and so on have their corresponding areas of influence. The areas of influence for different services and goods may cover smaller or larger areas around the city and their shapes may also differ. Thus it is possible to visualize a large number of service areas around a city.

ii) Area of City Dominance 
In any landscape one would expect to find a number of cities of the same or similar importance, and the areas in between these cities are often served by more than one city. In other words, the areas of influence of neighbouring cities tend to overlap; thus generating a zone of competition in between .In the middle of the zone of competition one can define a boundary which separates the areas of dominance of the competing cities. Within this boundary, the city exercises a dominant influence - its influence there is greater than the influence of any other city. The area of dominance of a city is an exclusive area and is, therefore, of great significance in terms of territorial or regional divisions. Further, the dominant area in reality is dominant not only with respect to one or two services, but with respect to all services of equal importance. Thus, the area of dominance is a multifunctional area, while the area of influence is essentially a uni-functional area.
A city tends to exert a dominant influence over a small area in its immediate neighbourhood by virtue of the provision of specialized services. It must be borne in mind that there are several areas of dominance because a city possesses more than one service to provide around it. In case of India, majority of cities have no clear specialization in any one economic activity, but in reality they have diversification of several economic functions and services. This has resulted into several areas of dominance around a city. Each of the areas of dominance has its own hierarchical level. The largest of these areas of dominance forms the limit of influence of the city known as ‘city region’; while the smaller ones are known as areas of dominance
Each city generally forms the core of a larger area, and dominates the area by virtue of several service areas within it. The dominant area is actually the city’s spheres of influence. The area of dominance of ‘spheres of influence’ consists a number of single feature nodal regions within it. City’s area of dominance tends to wane gradually with the distance outwards from the city core. Finally, the dominance disappears at a point where the influence of some competing urban centre reaches.

Area of city influence and competition

iii) City Region 
The areas of city influence and dominance are further complicated by the existence of a hierarchy of cities and urban places which give rise to sets of areas of influence and dominance, one within the other. The city region may be defined as the area of dominance of a city corresponding to its hierarchical level. However, the same city also performs functions of a lower hierarchical order. As a result, each city may have more than one area of dominance.
In fact, several areas of dominance fall within the city region in a concentric form. Similarly, for each hierarchical level we have a set of areas of influence representing each service or function. City-regions are becoming increasingly central to modern life and all the more so because globalization has reactivated their significance as bases of all forms of productive activity, no matter whether in manufacturing or services, in high-technology or low technology sectors. 

City Regions in India
Major city regions 
  • Maharashtra – Gujarat sector
  • Delhi nucleus
  • Kolkata - Howrah node
  • Chennai - Bangalore sector
Minor level city regions 
  • Hyderabad - Vishakhapatnam
  • Kanpur - Lucknow
  • Jaipur
  • Nagpur
  • Patna
  • Kochi - Madurai sector
  • Coimbatore
  • Vijayawada
  • Ambala – Amritsar - Jullunder
  • Chandigarh
  • Agra



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