Regional development disparities represent some of the critical issues affecting multiple countries worldwide. Generally, several regions globally are well connected compared to others within the same country or geographical space. This imbalance in development and connections has been attributed to several factors, such as the physical geography or the regions that influence the kind of development likely to be pursued in the respective locations. Moreover, the governments and other relevant agencies must formulate the most appropriate strategies and measures to address these issues and promote sustainable development worldwide. Therefore, to understand the fewer connections and regional development imbalances, individuals must critically evaluate the likely reasons that could contribute to these occurrences, which subsequently be used to develop a framework that will reduce these disparities. Besides, a growing need to balance economic and other forms of development is essential in achieving various goals and objectives that will, in the long run, positively impact the whole population (Malpas, 2018).
Other than physical geography, some regions are less connected than others due to the different location-specific advantages present in diverse areas. Location-specific advantages generally refer to the different factors that increase a region’s likelihood of developing or attracting investment. These location-specific advantages include establishing transport and communication systems, raw materials, markets, and multiple port facilities. As a result, such regions favor developing and selecting various investment opportunities, making them well connected. Furthermore, location-specific advantages complement various development projects resulting in their development. For example, port regions are more likely to be more connected with transport activities and the maritime sector than inland regions, which are disadvantaged about the maritime transport system and related activities. Similarly, the inadequacy of economic overheads such as transport, communication, and banking facilities significantly influences connections and development in specific regions (Corcoran et al., 2018).
Historical factors such as colonial development activities also represent why some regions are well connected compared to others. Historical factors include various projects that were developed by colonial powers to achieve their organizational goals. Some of the expected developments conducted during the colonial regime include the manufacturing and processing industries and the transport sector. As a result, these regions had the upper hand in developing even after the colonial regime ended, resulting in regional disparities and subsequently enhancing their connections (Whyte, 2018). Similarly, these factors also resulted in significant economic developments unevenly distributed across various parts of the country or regions worldwide. For example, countries in Africa like South Africa under the British colonial powers greatly benefited from infrastructures and various industries constructed during the colonial regime. This factor explains the disparities and lack of equal connections in various countries across Africa.
Moreover, early mover advantages are other reasons specifically relating to historical factors that explain why some locations in a country or region are well connected than others. For instance, regions previously associated with industrial development and success are more likely to attract new projects and influence various projects to revive the previous glory. Additionally, researchers and other development experts suggest that new investments within the private sector tend to concentrate in regions with existing infrastructure facilities, which generally reduce the setup cost of business and projects. Therefore, other regions are more likely to remain disadvantaged and lack the required connections to influence such projects in their sustainable growth and advancement directions.
Similarly, political factors also reflect multiple reasons why some regions globally are more connected than others. Regarding politics and governance, one of the main concepts that can be used to explain the regional imbalance that affects various individuals and communities is a political representation within the government. Adequate political representation ensures various regions get a fair share of the national budget and projects resulting in equitable distribution of national resources. Furthermore, marginalized communities and populations that lack proper political representation and leadership positions have often been left behind in development. As a result, their settlement regions are deficient in the vital connections for sustainable development and growth.
Also, political instability affects connections and development since the violence and disruptions disrupt projects and businesses set up in the region. Politically motivated conflicts have been identified as the primary cause of regional disparities in regions like the Middle East and Western Europe. Consequently, extremist violence and wars drive away from various investments and businesses in the affected regions, hindering sustainable growth from diverse perspectives. For instance, Afghanistan is one of the countries affected by leadership conflicts that have obstructed development in the region, explaining the lack of connections to improve the country. Such conflicts also limit investment opportunities and may destroy existing infrastructure, resulting in economic disparities and limited connections (Schwanen, 2018).
Another reason other regions within a given country or worldwide are less connected than others relates to the development plans adopted by the government and other agencies tasked with such responsibilities. A given country’s development plan or framework relates to the procedure or strategies formulated to guide various measures to achieve sustainable growth and efficient distribution of resources. Moreover, individuals must understand that creating these guidelines and strategies that will guide countries’ development goals requires comprehensive research studies that will establish the needs of each region and recommend the most appropriate course of action to improve the former. Similarly, the lack of proper implementation of the defined plans or limited financial resources to sustain the development projects in specific regions contributes to unbalanced regional connections in any given country.
In reflection, selective bias in implementing development frameworks and long-term strategies also contributes to lesser connections in specific regions than others. For example, India’s Green Revolution, which significantly improved the agricultural sector by adopting new technologies and strategies, was explicitly restricted to Punjab and Haryana regions, resulting in more connections in these regions in line with the agricultural industry other regions in the country. Therefore, any country or regional government that doesn’t implement the right development plan will significantly create regional disparities and uneven distribution of essential connections.
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Whyte, K. (2018). Settler colonialism, ecology, and environmental injustice. Environment and