Europe and the Latin Arc Countries
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Roberto Camagni and Roberta Capello
Chapter 2: Driving Forces of Change and Thematic Scenarios for European Regions
Jacques Robert 2.1 INTRODUCTION Any serious foresight for regional development requires in-depth consideration of the main driving forces of change that are likely to be manifest and the main fields on which they may impinge. In the analysis reported here, the following fields were considered most likely to be profoundly affected by the huge transformations under way as a consequence of the ‘global’ economic crisis that hit the world, and the Western world in particular, in 2008–09: ● ● ● ● ● ● demography and migratory flows, economy and technological advances, energy, transport, urban systems and rural areas and rural development. Many of these areas and the underlying transformation trends were already visible beforehand, but the crisis generated accelerations or sudden turnarounds in them: the propensity of advanced countries to give up manufacturing functions in favour of new emerging countries, keeping on-shore only ‘advanced’, ‘control’ and financial activities proved highly risky; the apparently endless possibilities to expand world demand for goods on the basis of debt creation and credit multipliers failed under the explosion of financial and real estate bubbles; the ageing of Western economies, whose rejuvenation was almost solely reliant on external in-migration, was likely to accelerate in the presence of the reduced wealth and attractiveness of advanced areas; and the possibility of a linear extrapolation into the future of relative growth trends, 15 M2714 - CAMAGNI 9780857935618 PRINT (Colour).indd 15 24/08/2011 15:52 16 Spatial scenarios in a global perspective without considering feedback effects on international power relations, resource depletion, turnaround of...
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