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1.3: Core and Periphery

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    One way of considering the location of places relative to one another is by examining their spatial interaction. In a given region, there is generally a core area, sometimes known as the central business district (CBD) and a hinterland, a German term literally meaning “the land behind” (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)). The hinterland is more sparsely populated than the core and is often where goods sold in the core are manufactured. For example, it might include rural farmland.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): The Core and the Hinterland (Figure by author, Images courtesy of Espresso Addict, Wikimedia Commons; Mike – Flickr; Pam Brophy – Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA)

    The core, on the other hand, is the commercial focus for the area where most goods and services are exchanged. The hinterland relies on the central city to sell its goods, but similarly the city relies on the hinterland to produce raw materials. Consider where the hinterland is located around your closest city; the hinterland is characteristically rural, while the core is urban. All countries contain core areas and hinterlands.

    Globally, we can apply the hinterland-city model to an understanding of a global core and a global periphery (Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\)). The core areas are places of dominance, and these areas exert control over the surrounding periphery. Unlike the interactions between the city and the hinterland, economic exchange between the core and periphery is characteristically one-sided, creating wealth for the core and patterns of uneven development. However, these interactions do contribute to economic stability in the periphery. Some argue that it benefits the core countries to keep the periphery peripheral. In other words, if the periphery can remain underdeveloped, they are more likely to sell cheap goods to the core. This action generates more wealth for core areas and contributes to their continued influence and economic strength.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): The Global and Periphery (Map by Lou Coban, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

    1.3: Core and Periphery is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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