Myths, Visions and Realities
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Marina van Geenhuizen and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 13: Interlocking Firm Networks in the German Knowledge Economy: The Case of the Emerging Mega-city Region of Munich
Alain Thierstein and Stefan Lüthi INTRODUCTION Globalization has entailed a reorganization of spatial development processes on a global, European, national and regional scale. New forms of hierarchical and network development and functional differentiation between cities can be observed (Friedmann, 1986; Sassen, 2001). Scott (2001) and, recently, Hall and Pain (2006) argue that cities cannot be separated from their regional hinterlands as they often compose a functional division of labour in terms of different kinds of services and value chains among firms (Scott, 2001; Hall and Pain, 2006). Hence, the traditional hierarchical model of a core city dominating its urban hinterland is becoming increasingly obsolete. Instead, a process of selective decentralization of particular urban functions, and the simultaneous concentration of others, has led to the emergence of polycentric mega-city regions (Kloosterman and Musterd, 2001; Thierstein et al., 2008). This emerging urban form is spread out over a large area containing a number of cities more or less within commuting distance, and one or more international airports that link the region with other parts of the world (Hoyler et al., 2008). Different attempts have been made to handle these extended urban regions analytically, and a variety of research projects and publications concerned with polycentricity on a city-regional scale has been produced (ESPON, 2004; Duhr, 2005; Hall and Pain, 2006; Thierstein et al., 2006; Built Environment, vol. 32 (2), 2006; Regional Studies, vol. 42 (8), 2008). Furthermore, a number of labels have been used to denote the identified new metropolitan form (Hoyler...
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