Definition Of A Region
A region can be defined as any part of a country that is different from others in one or several ways. This difference is the result of varying topography that comes with the country’s geographical position on the globe. Certain administrative districts and divisions can also be defined as regions because of the broad geographic area that is distinguished by similar features. Regions, very often, are also a result of the political division of land. Newer regions are also formed after natural disasters such as severe storm damage, resulting in a disrupted borderline. Each region varies in its topographical features such as climate, temperature, altitude and rain.
Just like vast land can be defined as a region, a smaller area is named a sub region. A sub-region is a subdivision of a large region. A continent can be defined as a region and its subdivisions can be defined as sub-regions.
Land and water regions are also seen separately. A land region is identified by the presence of plants, grasslands, soil and other features. Moreover, a water region is divided into hydrospheric and atmospheric features. The differing characteristics in these two types of regions are caused by climatic variations.
All countries, cities and towns of the world can be defined in regions. This is done by their regional division into environmental, cultural, human, biological and political features. Regions undergo physical changes that are caused by environmental and topographical changes that occur over centuries. Despite these changes, a regions penetrated cultural context cannot be altered even after years.
Types Of Regions
- Historical Regions
Through the historical geography, the division of land into regions is seen as the result of how regions and vast areas have evolved over time. In the historical sense, regions have been rejected of their traditional demarcations. Instead they have evolved as populated areas free of the political reasons that initially lead to their development. These regions have known to be divided in accordance to policies introduced by leaders to make the ruling of regions easier. Several vast regions were divided into smaller ones by fascists and dictators like Mussolini and Hitler. Russia’s and Turkey’s regions were split and taken into custody by the leaders to declare victory in wars. These regions may not differ in their climatic conditions and topographical features. This why they are historical regions, as they were created with solely political intentions.
- Religious Regions
Like historical regions, Religious regions are not necessarily geographically closer to one another. These regions are given a united name because of the similar religion the locals of the area practice, such as “The Muslim World.” Because of the vast land these regions cover, the term “region” cannot be typically applied on them. Though there are various regions that have been vividly defined geographically based on their religious followings, such as parish, eparchy etc. Sometimes smaller areas following the same religion are defined as wards, whereas a collection of these wards is what forms a region. A religious region can be spread out to various areas; this kind of a region is determined by the percentage of individuals that follow a certain religion. The above example of the Muslim world can be discussed. This vast region includes Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, Lebanon and Syria. The reason why these countries fall under the category of a religious region are because these are the most populous Muslim communities.
- Political or Formal Regions
These are the regions that are based on political units and are divided into provinces, townships and territories. In the economic sense and under the concept of political regions, several countries that are economically less developed have been declared as the Third world. Similarly, more advanced and economically richer countries have been declared as the First world. These are vast regions like the Third world were defined very formally and have existed since 1952. The distinction of these areas into political regions was because they lack alignment with the Communist block or NATO. Similar regions also exist under the term Union. These regions are also known as formal regions as they have been defined by the government or similar authoritative groups.
- Tourism Regions
As the name suggests, a tourism region is one that has been demarcated by the government of that particular country as an area developed particularly to cater the need of tourists. This particular region gains fame for its traditional and cultural lifestyle that is either politically ensured or is naturally continued over the years to attract more tourists. Such regions are continually maintained by law to protect the historical monuments; this ensures that the region falls under the tourism region. Certain times, some naturally present regions are defined by governments as tourism areas, other times certain areas are constructed and altered in ways that they can become man made tourism regions. These regions are often one of a kind and have historical monuments or research to display that no other area seems to offer. Though the region may be present naturally, it plays an important role in providing the country with economic benefits. For this interest, the region is preserved and the monuments are taken care of.
An example of a man made tourism region is the Eiffel tower in Paris. Despite being an increase in the infrastructure and development of the area, it has become the most desirable tourist spot in the world. A similar example is of Dubai. It started as a barren land with no attractions for the world, however, overtime the country evolved very drastically. In the 21st century, Dubai is the most commercial area in the world. It is loaded with exotic restaurants, hotels and sight-seeing spots. The natural landscape of the country, the desert, has been used as an advantage by the government to gain more attraction. This was achieved by the safari park.
An example of natural tourism regions are the Niagara Falls in Canada, the Victoria Falls in Africa and the seventy four Whitsunday Islands in Australia. People have introduced several activities like yachting, boating, cliff diving and scuba diving to attract people locally and from all over the world. These are the features of tourist regions. A completely barren area can be turned into a tourism region and a natural landscape can also be converted to a tourist region with minor additions to the number of activities.
- Functional Regions
Functional regions are areas connected through different centers serving different functions and providing various facilities. In a way, these central areas act as nodes. These nodes are rich in providing services like transportation, communication etc. In these regions there is a rich central area that sustains other smaller areas that surround it. These connected areas in correspondence to the “node” form a functional region. The node is responsible for sustaining a lifestyle, culture and tradition throughout the smaller regions.
- Military Regions
This is also known as an Army region. This region is formed temporarily when army officers are relocated in certain areas. Several army regions existing closely in geographic terms can form an army theater. These regions are known as fronts in various countries. They cater to the training and development of army officers and are often composed of military headquarters. These regions hold significance because they are distinctly differentiated from the other parts of the country. This allows the military regiments to undergo training in a highly protected area without disrupting the peace of the locals. The landscape of these regions is also altered in accordance to the training requirements of the officers.
Philosophy And Regions
What Is Bioregionalism?
This is a cultural and natural set of views that have allowed the division of areas into set regions. These regions are either known as bioregions or as ecoregions since their development was the result of environmental and physical features. These features were not influenced by human interception of land. Despite that, these regions have gained importance as they signify a certain type of culture and soil based characteristics. This particular type of region division of an area, country or state is to allow harmonious survival and growth of natural factors within a country or state.
What is Regionalism?
The concept was initially introduced in various intellectual factions of human existence such as art and architecture. However, the term gained significance at a grander scale when it was imposed through politics. The concept of regionalism is defined as the administrative and political division of a country or a state based on its traditional, cultural and formal mode of existence.
Natural Factors Responsible For A Region’s Division
The most important factor that separates one region from another is its climate. A change in climate in one region is the result of varying atmospheric effects. These atmospheric effects within a region are determined by a thin blanket of air that encapsulates the globe. This phenomenon can be understood by the constant movement of air the earth on its orbit and the varying temperatures within the atmospheric layers.
The Earth’s potential to distribute heat over land is another factor that determines the climatic changes within a region. This distribution influences the rate at which land absorbs and looses heat. Ocean currents are responsible for the distribution of wind across regions, thus, controlling and distributing heat and moisture through winds. Therefore, the following are two main factors in defining regions;
- Distribution of heat on land and water
There is a major difference in the rate at which water and land absorb heat. Based on this difference the temperature of the two mediums also differs. More than forty percent of the suns total energy is absorbed by the earth and released into the air around it. For this very reason, the temperature of a place varies based on the material of the surface found beneath. There is a reason why the temperature is cooler in a forest as compared to the desert. There are certain materials that absorb heat and certain materials that reflect it back. The insulating materials include plants, grass and shrubs. The presence of these materials is the result of a forests reduced temperature. Barren areas have minimum to no plants, because of this the land absorbs heat increasing the surrounding temperature. Water on the other hand absorbs a lot of heat from the sun and release heat at a slower rate. Because of this reason, areas around water bodies are milder than barren land. It is this ability of the water bodies to absorb, store and release heat that helps in moderating the overall temperature on the earth.
- The movement of air are responsible for several topographical features
It is the change in the moisture content of air and its movement that is responsible for several condensation features on a land. Thunderstorms are caused when unstable and moist air rises and reaches the higher layer of the atmosphere. This change of temperature from the lower layers of the atmosphere to the higher layers, is what causes thunderstorms to occur. The moisture in the air turns to water droplets when it moves from a comparatively hot to cool atmospheric layer. This can result in the unequal warming of the Earth. It can even cause the destruction of air flow. Once these heavily moist clouds reach a certain point, the clouds begin to expand. If, the atmosphere at the given time is unstable, the simple process of rain takes the face of a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are often accompanied with hail, snow, strong winds, extreme rain and lightening.
- Changing Environment
Over many centuries, global warming has been on a constant rise. The thin layer of air around the globe is on a constant road to reduction. This has resulted in extreme climatic changes. The summers have become unbearably warm with harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun finding their way to earth. The winters have also resulted in increased number of storms in several regions of the world. This has led to the environmental destruction of regions. The numbers of trees have greatly reduced without any proactive afforestation plans. The amount of water in lakes, streams and oceans have also reduced because of extreme sunlight and increased rate of evaporation.
Man-Made Factors Responsible For A Region’s Division
There are several characteristics that are responsible for the physical division of areas into certain regions. These characteristics are as follows:
- Physical Features
These features are the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, pedosphere, biosphere, locales, clusters and similar features. These features are dependent on the landscape that varies from being rugged to rich in alluvial and otherwise. The landscape is also dependent on the amount of annual rainfall and the distribution of temperature across the land. This alternately influences the rate of evaporation, evapotranspiration and condensation. All of these markedly impact the Earth’s surface and result in its evolution over centuries. This particular characteristic simply includes the physical appearance and features of land that are either the result of globalization or the change of temperature and land within a region over many years.
- Human Activities
When human activities such as deforestation, afforestation, development and infrastructure, and similar ones are introduced within a region, its natural characteristics are altered. When a land undergoes extreme deforestation, the temperature changes because the number of trees providing oxygen to the atmosphere, balancing the moisture content in the atmosphere and preventing soil erosion, reduce. As mentioned above, it is the plants, leaves, shrubs and grass that possess the ability to reflect heat back into the atmosphere to maintain a mild temperature within a region. The absence of these or the removal of these plant bodies results in the land to be directly exposed to the sun. The barren land absorbs heat, thus, disrupting the “natural” climatic changes of thatregion.
This lack of plants also results in the soil to be exposed to hazards like wind and water making it unfit for further plantation because of erosion. Eroded soil is prone to absorbing heat at a faster rate increasing the temperature of the region, causing an imbalance in the water table and hindering the rate of evapotranspiration. This is also, automatically, influences the mean rainfall of the land.
Effect Of Latitude On Varying Temperatures In Different Regions
Temperature differences in regions located globally are dependent on the location of a region on the globe. The location is significantly affected by the angle of the sun because of the latitude the region is located on. When the sun’s rays strike the surface of the earth at a lower altitude, located near the equator; the radiations are not only concentrated but also focused on a smaller area resulting in higher temperatures. Regions located on higher altitudes are exposed to lesser radiations spreading the energy over vast land resulting in lower temperatures, despite the land being exposed to sunlight for longer.
The varying temperature automatically controls various elements of that region such as population density and agriculture. High population density automatically leads to better infrastructure and development of the region. These conditions and advances make that particular region favorable for other activities and can also act as a tourist spot. Several sub-regions within a larger region is converted into a tourist spot, given that the natural conditions are favorable in attracting individuals living in a colder or hotter climatic region.
Global Regions And Continental Regions
Global regions are divided by basic earthly environments; water and land. The land regions have been divided into continents and the water regions into oceans. However, certain regions do not fall under these two categories. Such regions are those that have been affected by a natural disaster and the after affects of that disaster are what define the regions present geology.
The Difference Between Coastal And Inland Regions
A coastal region is one located near a large water body bordering on a coast, as opposed to an inland region that is surrounded by land on all sides. There is a general difference in topographical features between a region located near water and one that is away from it. The reasons for these differences are:
- The rate at which land and water absorb heat,
- The rates at which land and water lose heat,
- The direction of the wind,
- The level of humidity
In winters the coastal regions are warmer. This is because the land is warmer in the winters and the water body cooler, vice versa in the summers. For this very reason the change in temperature of the coastal regions is less drastic because of the sea breezes. The flow of wind continues as warm air rises moving away from land; the cool air immediately takes its place creating a circular movement of breezes moving towards the land in the day and to the sea at night. This constant flow of air is what distinguishes a certain kind of temperature in the coastal regions.
In inland regions, the shift of seasons is more drastic because of the physical distance of land from a water body. Lack of a water body near a dry land reduces the rate at which the wind blows. The temperature drops at night and rises again in the morning causing the air to swirl from higher to lower pressure
Therefore, a coastal region has moderate temperature as compared to an inland region. Large water bodies cool and heat up at a rate much slower than that of land, the temperature of coastal regions and other related environmental factors differ greatly from inland regions.
What Is A Regional Municipality And Its Function?
A regional municipality is a kind of a government service that has been divided within sub-regions due to the vastness of population. In large states such as Canada and Columbia, the regions are divided into smaller parts with their own responsible regional municipality. These municipalities are responsible for ensuring a smooth flowing system for the local population by providing them with various services. These municipalities have responsibilities that vary within sub-regions and are dependent on the needs of residents and businesses. These municipalities are connected and form a complex cluster of urban centers that are responsible for the population and that particular sub-division.
The purpose of these municipalities is to provide communities and rural areas with several services. Only well-developed and urban areas are given the responsibility to act as municipalities that are often allotted by governments to ensure a smooth running region.