Nodal Structure Analysis for Desert Villages. Case study: Desert Villages of Mafraq Region in Jordan
JOURNAL OF RURAL PLANNING ASSOCIATION
I. INTRODUCTION Recently the Jordanian desert areas have been growing at an explosive rate. As the western populated areas become more crowded, and the need to reserve arable land for agricultural purposes becomes more pressing, regional planners look to the eastern desert areas for potential development. These areas are expected to continue expanding from the densely populated centers into the eastern desert area which is already undergoing sweeping social, economic, and physical changes which
... have been examined in detail by other researchers. Four distinct geographical regions can be distinguished in Jordan: the Jordan Valley; the mountainous areas; the areas between mountainous and desert regions; and the desert regions themselves (Figure 1 ) . Settlements can be grouped according to these four geographic regions. Each group of settlements has a distinct nodal characteristic and a different sphere of influence. In order to create development policy framework for villages of desert regions for future effective regional development and reconciliation of existing regional nodal disparities, the problems of the regional planning systems in that country, the nodal structure of settlements and the classification of central settlements, and sphere of influence of these central settlements must be acknowledged for systematic development regarding regional planning concepts. In clarifying these systems, the regional planner will attempt to achieve an understanding of socioeconomic processes in the region based on these systems from the spatial objective viewpoint. Furthermore, establishing a development policy framework for desert regions must not only take into account the special features of these areas but also consider a method based on what people do in desert regions, by which village nodality in desert regions can be identified.This has not been properly studied. The major purpose of this paper will, therefore, be to derive a nodal structure and sphere of influence and nodal classification for seventy seven major villages in the Mafraq Desert Region (MDR) of Jordan, by using an analysis of the magnitudes, origins and destinations of some basic socioeconomic flows.