Delineation of Formal regions
Regional delineation is the first step in the preparation of any regional development plan to ensure tentative operational area of planning. With in the planning region the frame of all regional studies could be undertaken and development envisaged.
Delineation of formal regions involves the grouping together of local units which have similar characteristics according to certain clearly defined criteria and which differ significantly from the units outside the region on the basis of certain chosen criteria.
- The criteria can be unemployment rates, activity rate, migration trends, per capita income etc.
- The characteristics should differ significantly from units outside the region.
- Two techniques for delineation of formal regions are detailed below.
The delineation depend on the development objectives.
Variables for delineation of formal region (homogeneous):
–Land use characteristics
–Social service and public utilities
Methods for Delineation of formal regions
- Weighted index number methods
- Factor analysis
A. The Weighted Index Number Method
- The study area is divided into several localities varying according to unemployment rates and per capita income levels.
- The aim is to isolate the main problem region; i.e. the area of economic malaise.
- Weights are assigned to each criteria and when taken together and weighted, one of the region can be isolated.
B. The Factor Analysis method
- Used for delineating economic health regions.
- Smith identified 14 industrial criteria on a local employment exchange area base and 14 socio-economic criteria on a local authority base.
- Many of these criteria are interdependent. The factor analysis method can be used to isolate these factors and to group areas on the basis of factor loadings.
- Smith identified ‘industrial change’ and industrial structure’ as major industrial factors, and ‘population change’ and ‘social structure’ as major socio-economic factors.
- These factors help in delineating economic health regions.
Two approaches of functional regionalization
- Gravitational analysis based on theoretical observations,
- Flow analysis based on actual observation of what people do