chapter
101 Pages

Decentralisation and Dispersal

Decentralisation and dispersal are interdependent. They affect town and country alike. Decentralisation should be understood not in the narrower sense of decentralisation of industry but in its broader meaning of decentralisation of settlement-the loosening up of too densely populated urban districts by the development of new, or by the further development of existing, places within the direct sphere of influence of the urban centre which is to be redeveloped. Dispersal, on the other hand, can be defined as the same process but spreading beyond the confines of the area from which the overflow is to be drained. Thus decentralisation proceeds within a narrower space than dispersal ; and dispersal begins only where decentralisation ends. Decentralisation is focused on a centre within the compass of which a redistribution of population takes place ; it is a decentralising procedure not diminishing the importance of the centre as such, but changing the spatial and actual functions radiating from it. Dispersal, though originating from similar conditions, affects more or less widely separated places ; it is a segregating procedure which separates a portion of the population from its old place and creates new mental and material relations to a new environment. Dispersal does not mean that these new or changed existing settlements are dispersed, i.e. in this sense scattered in themselves ; only their location in relation to the place from which these new inhabitants come is dispersed. A clear distinction is essential between both these methods of town and country planning if the domain of national, regional and local planning is not to be confused.