Region: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The article is about the geographic sense of the term. For other uses, including Regions and Regional, see Region (disambiguation)

Region is most commonly a geographical term that is used in various ways among the different branches of geography. In general,may be seen as a collection of smaller units (as in "the New England states") or as one part of a larger whole (as in "the New England region of the United States"). Regions can be defined by physical characteristics, human characteristics, and functional characteristics. As a way of describing spatial areas, the concept of regions is important and widely used among the many branches of geography, each of which can describe areas in regional terms. For example, ecoregion is a term used in environmental geography, cultural region in cultural geography, bioregion in biogeography, and so on. The field of geography that studies regions themselves is called regional geography.

In the fields of physical geography, ecology, biogeography, zoogeography, and environmental geography, regions tend to be based on natural features such as ecosystems or biotopes, biomes, drainage basins, mountain ranges, soil types.



Physiographic regions

Regions defined based on landform characteristics are called "physiographic" or "geomorphic" regions. Physiography involves the delineation and description of regions from the viewpoint of geomorphology. Geologist Nevin Fenneman defined a classic three-level hierarchical system of physiographic regions for the United States in 1946. The regions are called divisions, provinces, and sections. For example, there are 8 large physiographic divisions, such as the Canadian Shield and the Interior Plains. These are subdivioned into provinces and sectiones. The appalachiane Highlands division, for example, contains the Valley and Ridge province, which in turn contains three sections, the Tennessee section, Middle section, and Hudson section. The Valley and Ridge province approximately corresponds to the more general region known as the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians.

Palaeogeographic regions

Palaeogeography is the study of ancient geologic environments. Since the physical structures of the Earth's surface have changed over geologic time, palaeogeographers have coined various names for ancient regions that no longer exist, from very large regions such as the supercontinents Rodinia, Pangaea, and Pannotia, to relatively small regions like Beringia. Other examples include the Tethys Ocean and Ancylus Lake. Palaeogeographic continental regions that include Laurentia, Proto-Laurasia, Laurasia, Euramerica (the "Old Red Continent"), and Gondwana.The Paleogeographic region is also where paleontologist find answers in history.

Historical regions

The field of historical geography involves the study of human history as it relates to places and regions, or, inversely, the study of how places and regions have changed over time.

D. W. Meinig, a historical geographer of America, describes many historical regions in his book The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History. For example, in identifying European "source regions" in early American colonization efforts, he defines and describes the "Northwest European Atlantic Protestant Region", which includes sub-regions such as the "Western Channel Community", which itself is made of sub-regions such as the "English West Country" of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

In describing historic regions of America, Meinig writes of "The Great Fishery" off the coast of Newfoundland and New England, an oceanic region that includes the Grand Banks. He rejects regions traditionally used in describing American history, like New France, "West Indies", the Middle Colonies, and the individual colonies themselves (Province of Maryland, for example). Instead he writes of "discrete colonization areas", which may be named after colonies, but rarely adhere strictly to political boundaries. Historic regions of this type Meinig writes about include "Greater New England" and its major sub-regions of "Plymouth", "New Haven shores" (including parts of Long Island), "Rhode Island" (or "Narragansett Bay"), "the Piscataqua", "Massachusetts Bay", "Connecticut Valley", and to a lesser degree, regions in the sphere of influence of Greater New England, "Acadia" (Nova Scotia), "Newfoundland and The Fishery/The Banks".

Other examples of historical regions include Iroquoia, Ohio Country, Illinois Country, and Rupert's Land.

Tourism region

A tourism region is a geographical region that has been designated by a governmental organization or tourism bureau as having common cultural or environmental characteristics. These regions are often named after a geographical, former, or current administrative region or may have a name created for tourism purposes. The names often evoke certain positive qualities of the area and suggest a coherent tourism experience to visitors. Countries, states, provinces, and other administrative regions are often carved up into tourism regions which, in addition to drawing the attention of potential tourists, often provide tourists who are otherwise unfamiliar with an area with a manageable number of attractive options.

Some of the more famous tourism regions based on historical or current administrative regions include Tuscany[1] in Italy and Yucatán[2] in Mexico. Famous examples of regions created by a government or tourism bureau include the United Kingdom's Lake District[3] and California's Wine Country.[4] great plains region

Natural resource regions

Natural resources often occur in distinct regions. Natural resource regions can be a topic of physical geography or environmental geography, but also have a strong element of human geography and economic geography. A coal region, for example, is a physical or geomorphological region, but its development and exploitation can make it into an economic and a cultural region. Some examples of natural resource regions include the Rumaila Field, the oil field that lies along the border or Iraq and Kuwait and played a role in the Gulf War; the Coal Region of Pennsylvania, which is a historical region as well as a cultural, physical, and natural resource region; the South Wales Coalfield, which like Pennsylvania's coal region is a historical, cultural, and natural region; the Kuznetsk Basin, a similarly important coal mining region in Russia; Kryvbas, the economic and iron ore mining region of Ukraine; and the James Bay Project, a large region of Quebec where one of the largest hydroelectric systems in the world has been developed.

Religious regions

Sometimes a region associated with a religion is given a name, like Christendom, a term with medieval and renaissance connotations of Christianity as a sort of social and political polity. The term Muslim world is sometimes used to refer to the region of the world where Islam is dominant. These broad terms are very vague when used to describe regions.

Within some religions there are clearly defined regions. The Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and others, define ecclesiastical regions with names such as diocese, eparchy, ecclesiastical provinces, and parish.

For example, the United States is divided into 32 Roman Catholic ecclesiastical provinces. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is organized into 33 geographic "districts", which are subdivided into "circuits" (the Atlantic District (LCMS), for example). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses regions similar to dioceses and parishes, but uses terms like ward and stake.

Political regions

In the field of political geography regions tend to be based on political units such as sovereign states; subnational units such as provinces, counties, townships, territories, etc; and multinational groupings, including formally defined units such as the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and NATO, as well as informally defined regions such as the Third World, Western Europe, and the Middle East.

Local administrative regions

There are many relatively small regions based on local government agencies such as districts, agencies, or regions. In general, they are all regions in the general sense of being bounded spatial units. Examples include electoral districts such as Washington's 6th congressional district and Tennessee's 1st congressional district; school districts such as Granite School District and Los Angeles Unified School District; economic districts such as the Reedy Creek Improvement District; metropolitan areas such as the Seattle metropolitan area, and metropolitan districts such as the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, the Metropolitan Police Service of Greater London, as well as other local districts like the York Rural Sanitary District, the Delaware River Port Authority, the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District, and C-TRAN.

Regional Government in Connecticut

In the U.S. State of Connecticut the roles of county governments are now performed by regional governments not abiding to the present county borders. Ever since the dissolution of county government in Connecticut in 1960, the roles of regional services once provided by the county are now provided by regional agencies of towns. Counties still are used in Connecticut as geographical entities and in some counties they are still used to organize judicial districts, also counties are still used to organize the state marshal system in Connecticut. Counties were also used to organize the sheriff's department of each Connecticut county until 2000, when county sheriff's were eliminated due to mismanagement as was the reason for abolishing the county governments. An example of one former county sheriff's department is the Fairfield County Sheriff's Department which served Fairfield County in Connecticut. All sheriff's departments in Connecticut were not eliminated, only at the county level. Several towns and cities in Connecticut still maintain a sheriff's department such as Shelton with the Shelton Sheriff's Department.

Administrative regions

The word "region" is taken from the Latin regio, and a number of countries have borrowed the term as the formal name for a type of subnational entity (e.g., the región, used in Chile). In English, the word is also used as the conventional translation for equivalent terms in other languages (e.g., the область (oblast), used in Russia alongside with a broader term регион).

The following countries use the term "region" (or its cognate) as the name of a type of subnational administrative unit:

The Canadian province of Québec also uses the "administrative region" (région administrative).

Scotland had local government regions from 1975 to 1996.

In Spain the official name of the autonomous community of Murcia is Región de Murcia. Also, some single-province autonomous communities such as Madrid use the term región interchangeably with comunidad autónoma.

Two län (counties) in Sweden are officially called 'regions': Skåne and Västra Götaland, and there is currently a controversial proposal to divide the rest of Sweden into large regions, replacing the current counties.

The government of the Philippines uses the term "region" (in Filipino, rehiyon) when it's necessary to group provinces, the primary administrative subdivision of the country. This is also the case in Brazil which groups its primary administrative divisions (estados; "states") into grandes regiões (greater regions) for statistical purposes, while Russia uses экономические районы (economic regions) in a similar way, as does Romania and Venezuela.

The government of Singapore makes use of the term "region" for its own administrative purposes.

The following countries use an administrative subdivision conventionally referred to as a region in English:

  • Bulgaria, which uses the област (oblast)
  • Russia, which uses the область (oblast')
  • Ukraine, which uses the область (oblast')
  • Slovakia (kraj)

China has five 自治区 (zìzhìqū) and two 特別行政區 (or 特别行政区; tèbiéxíngzhèngqū) which are translated as "autonomous region" and "special administrative region", respectively.

Traditional or informal regions

The traditional territorial divisions of some countries are also commonly rendered in English as "regions". These informal divisions do not form the basis of the modern administrative divisions of these countries, but still define and delimit local regional identity and sense of belonging. Examples include:

Geographical regions

A region can also be used for a geographical area; with this usage, there is an implied distinctiveness about the area that defines it. Such a distinction is often made on the basis of a historical, political, or cultural cohesiveness that separates the region from its neighbours.

Geographical regions can be found within a country (e.g., the Midlands, in England), or transnationally (e.g., the Middle East).

Similarly, the United Nations Statistics Division has devised a scheme for classifying macrogeographic regions (continents), continental subregions, and selected socioeconomic groupings.

Examples of geographical regions

Functional region

A functional region or Nodal region, is a region that has a defined core that retains a specific characteristic that diminishes outwards. To be considered a Functional region, at least one form of spatial interaction must occur between the center and all other parts of the region. A functional region is organized around a node or focal point with the surrounding areas linked to that node by transportation systems, communication systems, or other economic association involving such activities as manufacturing and retail trading. A typical functional region is a metropolitan area (MA) as defined by the Bureau of Census. For example, the New York MA is a functional region that covers parts of several states. It is linked by commuting patterns, trade flows, television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, travel for recreation and entertainment. Other functional regions include shopping regions centered on malls or supermarkets, area served by branch banks, and ports and their hinterlands.[5]

Military regions

In military usage a region is shorthand for the name of a military formation larger than an Army Group and smaller than an Army Theater or simply Theater. The full name of the military formation is Army Region. An Army Region usually consists of between two and five Army Groups. The size of an Army Region can vary widely but is generally somewhere between about 1 million and 3 million soldiers. Two or more Army Regions could make up an Army Theater. An Army Region would typically be commanded by a full General (US four stars), a Field Marshal or General of the Army (US five stars), or Generalissimo (Soviet Union). Due to the large size of this formation, its use is rarely employed. Some of the very few examples of an Army Region would be each of the Eastern, Western, and southern (mostly in Italy) fronts in Europe during World War II. The military map symbol for this echelon of formation (see Military organization and APP-6A) consists in six Xs.

Air Training Corps

In the British Air Training Corps, a region is an administrative unit immediately above a wing and is commanded by a RAFR group captain. There are six regions in the UK, each consisting of six wings, commanded by an RAFVR(T) wing commander.

See also


  1. ^ Official Website. Retrieved 2009-11-25
  2. ^ Official Website. Retrieved 2009-11-25
  3. ^ Official Website. Retrieved 2009-11-25
  4. ^ Tourism Website. Retrieved 2009-11-25
  5. ^
  • Bailey, Robert G. (1996) Ecosystem Geography. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-94586-5
  • Meinig, D.W. (1986). The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Volume 1: Atlantic America, 1492-1800. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03548-9
  • Allen J Scott (2001) Global City-Regions, Oxford University Press.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Wikitravel:Region article template article)

From Wikitravel

NOTE: This is an informational template that describes the structure to use when creating articles about geographical regions. Editing this template will NOT create a new article; for information on how to create new articles see Wikitravel:How to start a new page.

Regions are somewhat nebulous organizational groupings we use on Wikitravel to organize all the many cities in a country into some kind of navigable and comprehensible hierarchy. They can be sub-national political territories, like Minnesota or New South Wales, or more nebulous "tourist" regions like Normandy, or the American Southwest. Region articles tend to be more "soft", discussing the people, culture, climate, and cuisine in the region, rather than the legalistic stuff that's in a country article, or the addresses-and-phone-numbers stuff that's in a city article.

To quickly insert a complete blank region template, copy-and-paste the quick version into the edit box on the page you are editing, or simply use {{subst:region}}, which will expand into the region template on save.

Stuff in italics below is editorial comment, with suggestions for what should go in each section. You should plan on ruthlessly eliminating if you copy this code to a new region article.]

The introduction to a region does not have a heading. This is where you should put facts about the region. Links to the surrounding region -- like New England in the Connecticut article -- are helpful, as well as a link to the country. Rough borders for the region are a good thing to put here, too.


Regions can have sub-regions, and those can have further sub-regions, and so on and so forth. If this region contains other regions, list them here with brief info about each. If not, leave this section out.

If the sub-regions have specific names ("county", "state", "province", etc.) feel free to change the name of this header to "Counties", "States", etc.

  • The South - warm and dry
  • The North - cool and wet
  • The Coast - beaches, great seafood
  • Inland - agriculture and friendly people


It's usually a good idea, if there are a few prominent cities in the region, to list them here, since that's often all that travelers are looking for. Regions without sub-regions, though, just have cities in them. List links to each city, with a brief description for each. If there are more than nine cities and the region could be sensibly divided into subregions, consider doing so. If there really aren't any cities to list, leave out this section.

Per Wikitravel:One-liner listings, cities should be listed in alphabetical order. If the region corresponds to a political entity (such as a state or a province), always list its capital city first.

Lastly, if calling the settlements in this region "cities" is a real stretch -- say, for remote or rural areas with only towns and/or villages -- it's OK to rename this section 'Towns' or 'Villages' or 'Settlements' or whatever. But if there are lots of different kinds and sizes of settlements, just leave it as "Cities".

  • City 1 - industrial port city but a good starting point
  • City 2 - fun and funky, great nightlife
  • City 3 - warm beaches and slow lifestyle
  • City 4 - ancient castles and inspiring museums

Other destinations

Sometimes a region has destinations that aren't really cities; for example, large national parks. List them separately here, with descriptions, if they exist. Otherwise, leave out this section. This section, too, can be renamed if all destination fall into a nice category, eg. "Islands" or "Beaches".

  • Park 1 - incredible mountainous park, great hiking
  • Park 2 - great rock formations and wildlife viewing
  • Island 3 - palm-frond huts on the beach and fantastic coral


This is a more subjective description of the region -- what it's like, why someone would want to go there, the culture and atmosphere, the history, the weather, what makes it different and distinct from other regions.


If there are any language issues with the region that are different from the country as a whole, or the surrounding region, point them out here. Regional dialects of the national language, for example, are worth listing, as well as large local minority languages. Even local slang or sayings can be helpful to a first-time visitor. Consider linking to the phrasebook for the local language, if it's different from the country's language. If there really aren't any language issues, just leave this section out.

Get in

This is where you would note the best arrival points to start exploring this region from. For example, it would be worth listing Phoenix and Albuquerque as good starting points for the American Southwest. You can also give driving directions from large nearby cities that readers might be coming from. Save the nitty-gritty details of how to get to the main entry points for a region for their city pages, though.

Get around

This is where you'd give general information about how to get around the region once there. What are ways to see this region: by train, by car, by bus? Are there other options? This is also a good place to list regional travel discount passes or other purchasing options. Save point-to-point details for the individual city articles, though.


This is for an overview of the types of attractions as well as the principal attractions in the region. Don't give full details about each attraction; you should have that in the article for the city where the attraction is.


This is where you can list any relevant itineraries, giving suggested courses of travel through the region with tips of things to see and do.

  • One week in Region Z - a tour of Z's best attractions by submersible yak-drawn cart


This is for a summary of activities in the region, that is, things that travellers will do themselves. More active participation is needed for Do things than for See things. For example, going to see a river goes under See; kayak trips down the river go under Do. Don't give full details about each activity; you should have that in the article for the city instead. Not every activity in the region needs to be mentioned -- just ones that are so important people expect them to be on the main page for the region.


This is a great place to describe the regional cuisine. Are there any specialties that travelers should try while they're in this region? Immigrant or minority populations with their own cuisine? Try to mention lots of types of food, and keep people on special diets -- like vegetarians or people eating kosher -- in mind. If one or a couple linked destinations have especially notable dining scenes, note that here, but don't mention individual restaurants or such in the region article -- save that for the individual city articles.


This (kind of badly named) section is for all kinds of nightlife, not just drinking. Are there regional specialties for alcohol, wine, beer, etc.? What about music and entertainment, like honky tonks for Texas or folk music in the Atlantic Provinces? What is there to do in this region that makes it different? If nightlife is concentrated in one or only some of the linked destination articles, note that here.

Stay safe

If there are any particular safety issues -- crime, weather, etc. -- for the region in general, describe them here. If one section of the region is much more dangerous than the rest, that is also a good thing to note.

Get out

Information about nearby destinations that would serve as a good "next stop." Provide a brief description of other nearby destination suggestions, neighboring cities or day-trip ideas. Don't duplicate information that's up in "Get in." For really large regions, if it makes no sense to suggest a day trip at such a high level, just leave the section out. But be careful - while California is a big region, it should still have a Get out because Las Vegas is indeed a popular weekend destination for all Californians.

At the end of the article, you may find various templates like {{outline}} and interwiki links like [[de:Vorgabe für Regionen]]. These have special functions, please do not change or delete them unless you understand what they mean.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also region, región, and région


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de


Region f. (genitive Region, plural Regionen)

  1. region

Related terms

Simple English

Region is a geographic term used in many ways in the different types of geography. In general, a region is a medium-scale area of land or water. It is smaller than the whole area of something (which could be, for example, the world, a nation, a mountain range, and so on). It is larger than a specific location. A region can be seen as a collection of smaller things (as in "the New England states") or as one part of a larger whole (as in "the New England region of the United States").


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