New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Aura Reggiani and Peter Nijkamp
The structure and development of spatial-economic networks is currently undergoing drastic changes and following diverse pathways, mainly due to the increasing use of information and communication technology in our global economy and society. A prominent feature of the new economy is certainly the transition to a networked society, where interconnectivity and interoperability between the different economic systems play a significant role. A condition for improved insight into the emerging socio-economic– political network structures is a thorough exploration of the evolution of established economic activities, as well as of the dynamics of their connected subsystems. This includes the investigation of how quickly economic activities are able to respond to the globalization of networks, and, consequently, of the new role of ‘space’ in this evolutionary interacting process. For example, it is a matter of serious concern how the increasing geographical scale of economic, social and political interactions can drive – and sometimes destabilize – existing systems that are usually characterized by ‘slow’ dynamics, such as the demographic, employment, energy and transport-infrastructure systems, even in peripheral and remote areas/countries. Modelling such network processes at different spatial scales is, therefore, an important challenge that can yield critical information for the design of plans and policies. It is nowadays evident that spatial and economic science needs innovative trajectories, together with continuous cross-fertilization among the many disciplines involved, for understanding and forecasting the sets of interacting network structures, ranging from the technical to the organizational, and from the social to the economic and political levels. In this complex...