City region is a metropolitan area and its hinterland, often having a shared administration. It denotes a city, conurbation or urban zone with multiple administrative districts, but sharing resources like a central business district, labour market and transport network such that it functions as a single unit.
City regions are result of interrelationship among various orders of cities and their surroundings. A city has its ‘dependents’ which are linked with it by virtue of their dwellers’ requirements catered by the city’s various service-institutions and sometimes administrative functions. Dependent centres of a city are generally smaller in size and they do not possess those specialized services which are only available at the neighbouring city of higher order than the dependent centres.
There are two types of relationship, and these two types produce two different natures of regions around a city:
(i) City region comprising towns of lower order of services, and institutions, and
(ii) City region and surrounding countryside.
No city is independent. In fact, an independent city cannot exist. A city may be administrative, industrial, agricultural, and cultural or of any type; it must have its connections with the outside world. Areas outside a city are also not independent. They too somehow have to give and take with the surroundings and are not independent.
There exists mutual relationship between a settlement and area surrounding it. Sometimes, the relationship is concomitantly not restricted locally or regionally but it has its far and wide spheres of influence.
In studying human geography, urban and regional planning or the regional dynamics of business it is often worthwhile to have closer regard to dominant travel patterns during the working day (to the extent that these can be estimated and recorded) than to the rather arbitrary boundaries assigned to administrative bodies such as councils, prefectures, or localities defined merely to optimise postal services. Inevitably, city regions change their shapes over time and quite reasonably, politicians seek to redraw administrative boundaries by perceived geographic reality. The extent of a city region is usually proportional to the intensity of activity in and around its central business district, but the spacing of competing centres of population can also be highly influential. It will be appreciated that a city region need not have a symmetrical shape, and that is especially true in coastal or lakeside situations such as Oslo, Southampton or Chicago.
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