A functional interaction approach to the definition of meso regions: The case of the Czech Republic

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The definition of functional meso regions for the territory of the Czech Republic is articulated in this article. Functional regions reflect horizontal interactions in space and are presented as a useful tool for various types of geographical analyses, and also for spatial planning, economic policy designs, etc. This paper attempts to add to the discussion on the need to delineate areal units at different hierarchical levels, and to understand the functional flows and spatial behaviours of the population in a given space. Three agglomerative methods are applied in the paper (the CURDS regionalisation algorithm, Intramax, and cluster analysis), and they have not been used previously in Czech geography for the delineation of functional meso regions. Existing functional regions at the micro-level, based on daily travel-to-work flows from the 2001 census, have served as the building blocks. The analyses have produced five regional systems at the meso level, based on daily labour commuting movements of the population. Basic statistics and a characterisation of these systems are provided in this paper.

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