Catchment area


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As a catchment area or catchment area a is a geographical area designated one infrastructure is mostly influence of a central object, a device or structure. This requires suitable connection routes and their natural conditions. Examples are the catchment area of ​​a city , school or company .

The term is mainly used in economic geography , social geography , transport geography and related disciplines as well as in spatial planning .

The catchment area of ​​a city and its public facilities was also described by Walter Christaller in his theory of central places (1930s) as a supplementary area. The consumers of the goods (especially services ) that are offered in the central location live in the supplementary area . The customers in the supplementary area are oriented towards the central location in their customer behavior or are supplied by it. Strictly speaking, in this theory, a central location is understood to mean any form of supply location , but in practice this is usually understood to be a regional authority . This applies in particular to the system of central locations in spatial planning . Further names of such areas of settlements in their functional diversity are interdependence area , market area and (in relation to the infrastructure ) supply area . In isolated cases, institutions such as resident doctors, pharmacies or chimney sweeps and other infrastructure of public interest have or had legally guaranteed territorial protection .

In a similar sense, the catchment areas of, for example, are schools and companies (particularly retail household-oriented companies and other providers Services ) to understand, but you can be more relaxed geographical linkage. Because although training or production companies usually have their regional market, they also address customers further away. The planning of the catchment areas of schools results in the school districts in which there is an obligation to attend a certain public school. The more specific a school or company is, the larger its catchment area as a rule. The same applies to hospitals , cultural activities (theaters, museums, etc.), but also leisure facilities (amusement parks, tourist regions, etc.).

Catchment areas are constructs; they are subject to great spatio-temporal variations and can only be precisely delimited and segmented on the basis of theoretical considerations (e.g. with the Huff model ), or they can be deliberately made to regulate political interventions (drawing boundaries).

The planning of such supply areas and areas of interest in the public sector - for example for schools, offices and pharmacies - is the responsibility of regional planning . In the private sector , planning is a matter of market research and corporate strategy .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Günter Heinritz, Kurt Klein, Monika Popp: Geographische Handelsforschung . Borntraeger, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-443-07137-6 .