Last edited 30 Nov 2020


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In general, a region is defined as being an area of land that has common features and characteristics, and is a concept that is useful for describing spatial areas. Regions are often referred to as being the basic units of geography.

Regions are normally categorised as physical (natural or artificial geographical features), human (language, government, religion, and so on), or environmental (forests, nature, climate, and so on).

Regions are not necessarily defined by boundaries; geographic regions and sub-regions are typically defined by imprecise boundaries that can sometimes be transitory. However, in human geography, regions are typically defined by areas of jurisdiction such as national, county or city borders.

Regions are often expressed as being part of the spatial hierarchy; global, national, regional, local. The regions of England are commonly considered to comprise; South East, London, North West, East of England, West Midlands, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, North East.

However, regions can also be used to define multi-national global areas, such as; Africa, Asia, Central America, Eastern Europe and so on.

Devolution is the granting of powers away from central government to a sub-national level, such as regional or local, enabling the creation of legislation specific to that particular area. It is a form of decentralisation that provides territories with greater autonomy and independent responsibility. For more information, see Devolution.

In a built environment, regions can be referred to in relation to masterplanning or devising policy for urban regeneration or development. A strategic masterplan might identify how an entire region could be regenerated or changed in order to meet a perceived challenge. For more information, see Masterplanning.

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