The Rise of the City

The Rise of the City

Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough

This book examines urban growth and the dynamics that are transforming the city and city regions in the 21st century focusing specifically on the spatial aspects of this process in the “Urban Century”. Forces that are driving city growth include agglomeration spillovers, concentration of innovation and entrepreneurship, diversity of information and knowledge resources, and better amenities and higher wages. These benefits produce a positive reinforcing system that attracts more people with new ideas and information, fuelling innovation, new products and services and more high-wage jobs, thereby attracting more people. Such growth also produces undesirable effects such as air and water pollution, poverty, congestion and crowding. These combined factors both impact and change the geography and spatial dynamics of the city. These transformations and the public policies that may be critical to the quality of life, both today and in the future, are the substance of this book.

Chapter 1: Complexity, scientific creativity and clustering

åke E. Andersson, David Emanuel Andersson, Björn Hårsman and Zara Daghbashyan

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, urban economics, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics


By the late 1960s, economists and policymakers realized that manufacturing employment was stagnating in many of the most developed countries. In a pioneering study of the American economy, Fritz Machlup (1980) concludes that what he calls the “knowledge industry” already accounted for close to 30 percent of America’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the 1970s. Using a definition of knowledge-producing occupations that included both occupations assumed to produce new knowledge and those involved in transferring knowledge and information, Machlup also showed that this group of occupations had grown faster than other groups for several decades. åke Andersson (1985) provides a broad historical overview of creativity, infrastructural change and economic growth, suggesting that an assessment of the relative knowledge orientation of an economy should exclude occupations that focus on information transmission. Andersson’s definition of “knowledge-handling occupations” is thus a subset of Machlup’s knowledge-producing occupations, and mainly consists of workers in education, research and the arts. Andersson and Persson (1993) show that the number of workers in this occupational category is growing faster than other categories in Sweden and other advanced economies. In a more detailed study of different industries, Christer Anderstig and Björn Hårsman (1986) show that the percentage of “knowledge-handlers” is increasing in manufacturing as well as in services; they further show that this expansion is fastest in large metropolitan areas.