The mechanism of subnational regional and urban economic development has been studied extensively by economists, geographers, town planners and other academics. The existing widely varying theories of regional economic development are insufficient on their own in explaining how a region can develop and prosper. Each theory has evaluated a few facets of regional economic development. Research from these different perspectives is narrow and prevents any cross‐fertilization of research from these diverse theories. Recognition of multiple factors affecting the development process has led the author to create an integrated model of regional and urban economic development. The essay first sets out to describe and explain this integrated model. Each of the components of this new model draws heavily upon seminal work in the field. This model proposes three rings. Each ring is at a different level of abstraction. The determinants of development described in each ring can influence each and every other determinant of development shown in the three‐ring structure. This model recognizes that development in any centre, be it regional or urban, nascent or established, is a composite end result of the complex interplay of all the determinants. The essay then goes on to show how this model can provide a broad holistic approach to regional economic development that can assist researchers in their attempts to understand and link its various theories.