Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Jaime Sobrino
Chapter 9: Defining the urban economic and administrative spaces
Interpretations of the changing world social-economic scenario attribute growing importance to transformations in territorial organization and in the ways the space is usually delimited and planned. These transformations can be investigated by drawing attention to two principal aspects, different yet closely interrelated. The first aspect concerns the relationships between the current processes of territories’ redefinition and changes imposed by globalization processes, operating not only in the economic and financial systems, but also in the institutional, governmental and social arrangements concerning the spatial systems (for example the European integration process). These processes have been unfolding along with the often asserted loss of centrality and even sovereignty by the nation-state governments. We return to this point below, but let us just remind here that the process of globalization, using the market values as elements of a universal language, is offering models of territorial organization that tend to simplify diversity, reducing territorial particularities to a sort of background noise.
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