The concept of Region is one of the most important themes in geography and also one of the most debated concepts.
Regional approach - Chorological sciences
Varenius defined the scope of geography as regional geography / special geography is the identity of geography. And this regional approach / the study of regions for a long time was considered the sole approach under geography as Chorological sciences. The regional approach was favored by Richthofen, Hettner, and Hartshorne.
Regions may be defined as the segment of space or one aerial unit from the earth's surface. Such regions are always defined by a boundary.
An essential attribute of a region is its boundary which helps differentiate one region from another. Boundaries may be natural such as mountain ranges, river valleys, coastlines, climatic boundaries. Boundaries can also be made man-made for the purpose as defined by the person who draws the boundary.
Apart from this, regions may be classified according to what the represent / depict.
- Generic regions - They can have mountain regions, coastal regions, vegetation regions which are natural and also thematic. Such regions are also called Generic regions.
- Manmade regions - We can have man-made cultural regions that are also generic like language regions, political regions, and cultural regions.
- Specific regions - In contrast, the specific regions are unique and cannot be replicated such as the Himalayan region, the Tamilnadu as a region, the regions of Tibet, etc.
- Concrete regions - If the region has a natural boundary, which is concrete and fixed and cannot be disputed they are called concrete regions.
According to the 1956 Whittlesey committee, there are two types of regions.
- Uniform regions / Homogenous regions / Formal regions
- Nodal region / Functional region / Informal region
Uniform regions / Homogenous regions / Formal regions
These regions are those regions that are defined on the basis of uniformity of criteria chosen. These are the most common reasons because the criteria easel are easy to qualify and thus d market the boundary such as rainfall regions language regions region based on any democratic regions crop regions wheat regions etc.
Nodal region / Functional region / Informal region
These regions are not identified on the basis of criteria of uniformity for the presence or absence of some property. They are defined on the basis of some interaction are some flow entity. Such reasons are held together on the basis of some nodal center where all interactions converge our interactions emanate from them.
Formal regions and Nodal regions are not mutually exclusive concepts. It depends on how the region is viewed and studied.
Programming or planning Region
Planning is a conscious and deliberate exercise in deciding the allocation of resources and controlling flow systems on the basis of some developmental objective. Planning is about regulating the interactions in terms of material capital goods labor information technology etc. Hans planning regions are essentially nodal regions.
Although planning regions are nodal regions for effective planning, there should be some commonalities for Identity and resource which can keep regions internally cohesive to counter the centrifugal forces. The administration is essentially a flow function where decision flow-through channels. But for good administration, there should be some commonality. ie. Culture for better compliance for decision making. Hence programming regions/ planning regions are both nodal and functional regions.
Previous years questions
- 2000: What is a region? Discuss the types of regions and methods of regionalization.
- 2005: What is a region? Discuss the methods of regionalization.
- 2006: What is the concept of the region? Discuss the types of regions.
- 2016: What is a 'region'? Describe the 'Thiessen' polygon method of regional delimitation.
- 2019: What are natural regions? How are they different from planning regions?