The regional density function and the definition of regional boundaries

Parr, John B. and Holden, Darryl; Nijkamp, Peter and Rose, Adam and Kourtit, Karima, eds. (2014) The regional density function and the definition of regional boundaries. In: Regional Science Matters. Springer Publishing, pp. 71-86. ISBN 9783319073040 (

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The population density function is usually applied at the level of the urban or metropolitan area. In this chapter, however, it is examined at the scale of the region, namely, an economic region of a nodal (rather than homogenous) type. The regional density function to be employed has an inverse power form. This is shown to differ significantly from the negative exponential structure typically associated with urban areas. The primary purpose of the investigation is to explore the possibility of using the density function as a means of determining the boundary between adjacent economic regions. Initially, the boundary is examined in terms of a point and then, more conventionally, as a line. After discussing several possible extensions, the results are compared with findings of other theoretical models concerned with the specification of boundaries, but based on wholly different approaches.


Parr, John B. and Holden, Darryl ORCID logoORCID:; Nijkamp, Peter, Rose, Adam and Kourtit, Karima