Technology and Urban Form
People live in or near cities in order to secure advantages which would not be possible under non-urban conditions. Among these advantages are the satisfaction of many desires: social, religious, recreational, and economic, but most of them depend upon the individuals making a living. The economic base, therefore, constitutes the reason for development and growth of most cities. Three approaches to the study of the economic base of cities have been extensively used by geographers. These approaches may be termed: the basic-nonbasic approach, the input-output approach, and the minimum or average requirements approach. The basic-nonbasic approach has particular appeal for geographic study because it provides tool by which may be determined the extent of specialization within a city or region, as contrasted with larger regions of which it is a part, or of other cities and regions. This chapter classifies cities and regions by their economic functions, or by any other sets of variables for which statistics may be obtained.