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 5: Multi-actor analysis of metropolitan performance indicators

Karima Kourtit, Miruna Mazurencu Marinescu and Peter Nijkamp

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


Our society lives in the ‘urban century’. Massive urbanization trends are increasingly seen as one of the hottest fields of research and policy, as these megatrends are decisive for the sustainable future of our planet. The development of urban systems and metropolitan areas is indeed critically dependent on various spatial-demographic forces of a global nature. First, the change in the world population will likely amount to approximately 2–3 percent growth per annum in the decades to come (see United Nations 2011). Consequently, the earth will most likely have to be the habitat for at least 9 billion people by the year 2050 (Kourtit 2014). A second megatrend is the likely unequal spread of these rising numbers of people. It is forecasted that there will likely be an increasing geographic skewness in the spatial distribution of the world population, with a rapid rate of increase in major regions like Latin America, Africa and Asia, accompanied by a modest rate of increase, and even stable development, in other parts of the world (in particular, Europe). Some countries like Japan or France may even show a considerable reduction in absolute population size (Kourtit 2014).

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