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Chapter 22: The Evolution of Spatial Patterns over Long Time-Horizons: The Relation with Technology and Economic Development
22 The evolution of spatial patterns over long timehorizons: the relation with technology and economic development Jan Lambooy 1. Introduction The relation between technology and economic development has been investigated extensively. Their combined impact on spatial development, in particular on urbanisation, the location of firms and the emergence of new regional economic patterns, still needs to get more attention. With spatial patterns (or spatial structures) we do not only mean the way in which physical objects are structured in space, but also how social and economic activities and actors are situated, and how they behave and interact in processes like relocation, urbanisation and regional economic production. Space can also be interpreted as Perroux (1950) did, first as a set of locations in the geographical or physical space, and second as a set of network relations in the topological space, where geographical relations are not important, only their relative locations are. In recent times the concept of ‘networks’ is used to indicate relations of various kinds and with various perspectives. It can be used for physical networks of infrastructure, for social relations and as an organisational concept for the coordination of a set of units that are part of a firm or other kinds of organisation (Huber, 2007). Many relations are enabled by physical structures, such as road infrastructure, and telecommunication, by the internet. Spatial patterns reflect technology and economic development in various ways, however, often with a certain time lag. Spatial development evolves more gradually, over longer and different time-paths,...
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