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  Evolutionary or revolutionary change in form. There have been two main areas of application in human geography.

The transformation of a landscape. Sauer established such a concern as focal to historical geography in his essay on The morphology of landscape (1925), when he emphasized that \'we cannot form an idea of landscape except in terms of its time relations as well as of its space relations\'. This approach has been especially prominent in American and European studies of the rural landscape (see, e.g. Helmfrid, 1961) but there are also classical counterparts for the urban landscape (in particular, Conzen, 1960) which have provided impetus for modern and more theoretically informed studies of changing urban morphologies (Whitehand, 1987; Vance, 1990). (See also morphology; sequent occupance; townscape; vertical theme.)

The transformation of a system. Biology has been an especially important source of inspiration for many morphogenetic studies within this tradition, providing both informal, typically \'organic\' analogies of the Earth, its regions and states (see Stoddart, 1967), and much more formal methods and models, most of which usually acknowledge a debt to D\'Arcy Thompson\'s celebrated On growth and form, first published in 1917 (see Tobler, 1963). Thus, Bunge\'s Theoretical geography (1962) hailed Thompson\'s work as \'most suggestive\' and Haggett\'s Locational analysis in human geography (1965) found \'common ground\' in its focus on \'movement and geometry\'. In many ways, catastrophe theory represents a radical development of this tradition.

The connections between these two were explored in an early essay by Harvey (1967), which was much more concerned with the elucidation of the processes which sustained morphogenesis rather than with the changing forms themselves. Many subsequent attempts at systems analysis reflected Maruyama\'s (1963) distinction between a \'first cybernetics\' which studies morphostasis — \'“deviation counteracting” mutual causal processes\', i.e. negative feedback — and a \'second cybernetics\' which studied morphogenesis — \'“deviation amplifying” mutual causal processes\', i.e. positive feedback. The distinction between positive and negative feedback is more complicated than this implies, however, and involves no necessary correspondence with instability and stability (see, e.g. Bennett and Chorley, 1978, pp. 41-3). (DG)

References Bennett, R.J. and Chorley, R.J. 1978: Environmental systems: philosophy, analysis and control. London: Methuen. Bunge, W. 1962: Theoretical geography. Lund: C.W.K. Gleerup. Conzen, M. 1960: Alnwick: Northumberland: a study in town plan analysis. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers 27. D\'Arcy Thompson, W. 1942: On growth and form. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Haggett, P. 1965: Locational analysis in human geography. London: Edward Arnold. Harvey, D. 1967: Models of the evolution of spatial patterns in human geography. In R.J. Chorley and P. Haggett, eds, Models in geography. London: Methuen, 549-608. Helmfrid, S. 1961: Morphogenesis of the agrarian landscape. Geografiska Annaler 43: 1-328. Maruyama, M. 1963: The second cybernetics: deviation-amplifying mutual causal processes. American Scientist 51: 164-79. Sauer, C. 1925: The morphology of landscape. In J. Leighly, ed., Land and life: a selection from the writings of Carl Ortwin Sauer. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press (reproduced 1963). Stoddart, D.R. 1967: Organism and ecosystem as geographical models. In R.J. Chorley, and P. Haggett, eds, Models in geography. London: Methuen, 511-48. Tobler, W. 1963: D\'Arcy Thompson and the analysis of growth and form. Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 48: 385-90. Vance, J. 1990: The continuing city: urban morphology and Western civilization. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Whitehand, J. 1987: The changing face of cities: a study of development cycles and urban form. Oxford: Blackwell.

Suggested Reading Harvey (1967). Helmfrid (1961).



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