Region referred to in the geography of an area that is geographically, politically, economically and / or administrative forms a unit.

  • 2.1 Scientific defined regions 2.1.1 Spatially - geographical regions
  • 2.1.2 Geological Regions
  • 2.1.3 defined by natural and human sciences Regions
  • 2.2.1 administrative and planning regions
  • 2.2.2 Economically defined regions
  • 2.2.3 Zoning and developmentally defined regions
  • 2.2.4 Ecologically defined regions

Aspects and intentions

Delineation of regions

Accessible to delineate regions are two criteria, the homogeneity criterion and the functionality criterion.

  • In the former territorial units are grouped into homogeneous regions which are very similar in certain indicators. Examples of such indicators are the level of income, an equal geology, a similar climate.
  • Following the principle of functionality territorial units are grouped together according to certain indicators which are in particularly close contact and mutual dependence. Examples of the definition of such a region are links economic factors, ecological systems, or hydrography.

Both demarcation principles are in practice but partially to the limitations of general availability of appropriate data, such as official statistics or ecology. For this reason, the classification using the management principle another way dar. Here are the regions administrative units such as countries or communities which are characterized by specific socio- institutional structures, designated conservation areas, zones or validity of agreements. This can lead to the demarcation of results from plan goals, planning regions. The administrative or planning regions are often placed at the region boundaries for the homogeneity or functional principle, as administrative units to reason, since there are often reliable statistical data solely on this basis.

Functional can be any regional restrictions always associate with an intention that represents a certain aspect to the fore; natural spatial and geographical, cultural and historical, ecological, social and economic aspects are weighted and combined in different ways. For example, economic regions are defined primarily from a socio - economic perspective with the aim of making better use of value-added potential and create jobs.

Region, territory, region

Territories such as municipalities, counties, countries (National) States, etc. are generally with certain fixed - associated boundaries of administrative divisions - political. Administrative bodies are to each territory assigned authorities as legal entities of public law. Each smaller territory forms a subset of a larger territory, and only one, and there are clearly defined, legally binding limits between the territories. A region on the other hand is free ( and especially less sharply bounded ) definable. They can be used both as a region of average size within a political boundaries lie (sector - differentiating ) and this (transnational / local - integrating ) exceed or dissolve.

Clearly, the difference between a region and a territory in mind that double affiliations contradict the essence of a territory, but occur in the same region terms definition quite basic. On the other hand, the historical geography that is handled just as easy with cities, counties, countries and states like regions by planners, politicians and military they cancel, add larger units, rename, or change their boundaries. Considered social Geographically nations are blurred overlaid by the States - concept.

The situation is different in the natural sciences. Where Region classifications are created, will try to get an exclusive region affiliation ( classifications ). To emphasize the unique assignment, here is often resorted to politically -studded names ( like flore rich, climate ). Typical of natural spatial regions but is the blurring of the edges on a small scale, so an area of a watershed can fall into two hydrographic basins, or a Geotop of two spaced geological zones be marked.

Due to its flexibility, the term is now often chosen when it comes to the planning and design of new settlement and economic structures. This is in particular the concept of a Europe of regions ( euregios INTERREG), or it will, for example, spoke of model regions when it comes to the initiation of sustainable regional development.

In topographically highly articulated spaces to scenic, cultural and political regions cover most today (about valleys - valleys community areas), and especially the current political boundaries of the states follows orographic lines (rivers, watersheds ). In this sense, a modern region approach a preamble about structures in natural and anthropogenic, political and cultural geographies dar.

Confusion around the term there by the English word region, which is used much more specific on political entity during the German word nor the strong connotation to the term landscape, which represents only one type of region in terms of geography adheres, (where the word "landscape" itself originally occupied institutionally, and passes to the area term in the course of the modern era ). Italian regione corresponds at all a territorial organization over the term provincia (see Italy) - therefore, may arise through translation misunderstanding here.

Another linguistic confusion is related to the distinction between " a region " and "regional". " A region ", " region " (usually with name) is, as described above, a particular area with an absolute geographic location, "regional " means, in contrast, an area with relative geographic location, based on someone or something.

" Regional" therefore requires as opposed to " a region " is not the determination of an absolute geographic extent, defining an absolute limit but a relative limit, based on a particular point of view.

Complicating the linguistic distinction is " something in the region do " with the words it can have the same meaning as "regional".

The importance of distinguishing is also subject to an ongoing shift in meaning: "Regional entity" may both be "regional" in relation to a particular point of view, or even " institutions of a region ".

Examples of regions

The following subdivision wants to structure the variety of intentions for regional limitations based on these aspects manageable and make it traceable. The classification of the regions is done under the assumption that the relevant aspect for the respective intention plays the most significant role; eg economic regions under " Economically defined regions ". The other aspects can also be captured in their meaning and sometimes serve as an anchor for critical reflections. Thus, the primary economic intentions cause in an economic region from an ecological and social perspective criticism (destruction of landscapes, migration, population density, etc.).

Scientifically defined regions

Spatially - geographical regions

The natural areas are geomorphological, geological, hydrological and pedological criteria in the foreground to define partially cross-border territorial units based on certain characteristics ( Physical Geography with their subject areas ). They will also be studied in their cultural and historical importance, so their history of settlement in the settlement geography, their traffic-related aspects ( transport geography ) and in the assignment of conservation ( see Ecologically defined regions ) and tourism concepts ( tourism geography ) used.

Geological regions

In geology is found by Coffin and Eldholm (1992 ), a division into geological provinces, the shields, the continental plates and shields, orogens and highlands, basins and continental crust as well as Large Igneous Provinces (LIP ) includes.

In addition there are numerous other regionalization of the tectonic, geophysical and petrological structure of the earth's crust, such as physico- geological exploration of the subsoil or the investigation of fault zones or rock outcrops known union at the surface.

Defined by natural and human sciences Regions

In the natural and human sciences, there is a lovely historical continuity regional terms. They serve as a rough geographical marker for the reconstruction of significant stages in human history. So have some established concepts like Levant and Fertile Crescent to the study of the Neolithic Revolution.

Regions can be defined by socio-culturally grown bond such as languages, dialects or regional cuisine. ( Cultural Geography )

Ecological, economic and social perspectives lead to additional questions and offers the complete range of meanings of the region. Thus, from an ecological perspective of the long-term impact of our cultural creation processes on the landscape and natural area of interest in order to develop and maintain sustainable farming can ( tillage, water management, settlement, ...). Economy Historically the structure and scope of old currency and trade systems demand ( finance, trade routes, prosperity, ... ), and sociologists will seek evidence of political structures and social habits of old ethnic groups ( political order, language, clothing, living together, ...).

Further examples can be derived from the above natural spatial geographic regions.

Founded by political decisions Regions

Administrative and planning regions

Not only governments, but also political units such as administrative districts are created through political action. In intact democracies deciding on regional reforms through parliament or by the voting population in a referendum. The national administrative structure is the study area of political geography.

The EU has developed from the national definitions of territories, a system of statistical regions, the NUTS regions. Developing regions, such as the LEADER program, or Large associations such as the Alpine Convention are groups of municipalities or districts to a region without the features of a territory. Decidedly geared to take cross- municipal cooperation are the regions of the INTERREG concept.

Concentrations at the supranational level concepts such as the ASEAN ( Association of Southeast Asian Nations ) or NAFTA ( North American Free Trade Agreement), in which States organize a large region of the earth to a stakeholder alliance.

Economically defined regions

In the wake of the global economic challenges today certain economic regions are defined. Here we examine economic geography topics in the context of other geographical aspects.

From a regional economic perspective, it either goes to the promotion of structurally weak peripheral regions or economic problem areas, for example through structural funds.

In the latter often metropolitan areas form a nucleus around which an economically interesting hinterland is defined. The economic globalization intensifies the pressure on individual countries to restructure.

While the European regions are more likely to assign a higher-level economic policy, where the concept Europe of regions rather to independence. This is expected to more effective and efficient regional management with more expertise and proximity, to strengthen the competitiveness and the infrastructure of the regions and the realization of the principles of subsidiarity. In order to implement an independent regional development, the use of regional currencies will also be tested and discussed.

Other important economic region are the tourism regions that are aligned on a common infrastructure and marketing.

Zoning and developmentally defined regions

An increasingly important group are the planning regions in which diverse aspects - in addition to the economy, but quite to the same promotion - are considered. These include public transport associations to build common transport infrastructure or the EU LEADER program to support disadvantaged areas. Even in developing countries, parts of the country are combined to developing regions for developmental reasons

Ecologically defined regions

Prototype of the regions of the ecological intention, scientifically and politically, the protected areas in nature conservation and environmental protection are as follows: Here, legislators boundaries defined, in consequence, in nature - only by the different criteria within and outside the protected area - solidify. The concept of buffer zone, this drawback is trying to rebalance.

In connection with the amended ecology awareness there are efforts and initiatives for the design of ecoregions. Here, many aspects are side by side: Organic Farming, promotion of regional value chains and tourism, the creation of sufficient employment structure, use a gentle technique, and the maintenance of diversity and thus increase quality of life. These include the UNESCO biosphere reserves and the implementation of the EU's Local Agenda programs.

Another example is the call for GMO-free regions in order to bring the risks of using genetically modified seeds into the consciousness of the population. Here the stress field of social, environmental and economic aspects is particularly clear; nutritional issues and concern for biodiversity encounter economic and profit-oriented interests.

Conceptual field of regional designations

Other names for regions derived etymologically from different themes:

  • District to Latin distringere, " claim to arrest "
  • Enclave, enclave (from French to Latin en-/exclaver clavis "key", cf Klause ( bottleneck ) to Claudus " closed " )
  • Area of command
  • Area ( NHG, MHG earliest Lehnbildung to Contrata regio " the opposite field," cf Country )
  • Lant: landscape, historical to society, " the Written ", now limited primarily to natural areas
  • Mark ( germ ), " the Deferred " ( cf. brand "sign" marking): historical marchia, Mark, especially Grenzmark (medieval rule of the Border Count ); District ( parcels ); Mark Field (common Mark ) " common property from the country "
  • Provincia, the jurisdiction of a Office ', then specifically the territorial competence: Province
  • Regional Latin for " a regent under standing " ( to Latin rex "king" ): Region
  • Rihhi ( Germanic, OHG ): Rich, " which a ruler is entitled, under one ruler standing "
  • Area related to arid, earthen, dry
  • Field related to flat, plan, Plaster
  • Country: landscape, land
  • Latin terra " earth region ": territory (now occupied politically ), Terrain " section of the terrain " ( special)
  • Area ( Medieval- from the Roman /. , Cf Italian riviera, Spanish ribera, provenzal ribeira, French rivière to Latin riparia " embankment, Waterfront " )
  • Drift ( drift )
  • Stretch, stretch, rich: area
  • Speakers: parish
  • See: Diocese
  • Give access: Environment
  • District, sector (Latin for " the ( out ) Sliced ​​" )
  • Corner ( " corner " ), angle ( OHG winkil, MHG angle " the One " or " Popping ( area ) " to angle
  • Canton ( from the French canton ' corner, district ", this cantone from Italian equivalent of canto ' corner, angle", cf edge )
  • Circle ( OHG crei ჳ ( chrei ჳ ), MHG krei ჳ " the environment ( a midpoint ) " )
  • District (lat. vicious "circle" ) see also Latin orbis meaning in the same
  • Zone ( Greek " belt" )
  • Gau " land " ( already ahd ), also Gaeu