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The Magnetic Field Model Applied to Swedish Settlements

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To study the reason for changes in the population of urban settlements and sparsely populated districts we need an approach on a regional geographic level that will combine various theoretical elements and which, taken together, will provide an interdisciplinary platform. The identity of a place is created by specific local factors as well as by social and economic processes occurring both in the place itself and in the urban system. We can use indications showing how local and regional urban systems function in order to ascertain why one urban settlement grows while another stagnates, why a sparsely populated district in one region flourishes while other districts languish. Using the decision-making point of view adopted by households and businesses will help us to achieve our aim.

The starting point of the model employed—called the magnetic field model—is the fact that an attraction field of positive factors forms in and around places with a growing population. The aim of this paper is to show that a regional geographic analysis can be made from a number of indicators of significance for the development of populations in urban settlements and sparsely populated districts. Naturally these indicators can—and should—be queried, added to and assessed when other, similar investigations are carried out.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Stockholm University

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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