- As an appropriate tool to conceptualise this general framework, the functional analysis provides planners with answers to the following questions:
- Ideal for classifying the settlement pattern according to functions, for example in rural centres, intermediate and regional centres according to agglomeration economies
- Assists in determining whether settlements in the region are equipped with adequate functions which may only need limited investments to maintain their current advantages.
- Determines settlements that are functionally deficient or those that could even serve a larger hinterland than is currently the case.
- Depicts which settlements offer the best potential to be upgraded in order to promote future economic development.
- Highlights settlements that are below the standard level of service and should therefore be designated as remote centres.
- Is useful for assessing settlements that fulfil the threshold values needed to support services and facilities.