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Edited by Chris Nash and Ginevra Bruzzone

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Edited by Chris Nash and Ginevra Bruzzone

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Edited by John R. Bryson, Ronald V. Kalafsky and Vida Vanchan

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Edited by Miloš N. Mladenović, Tuuli Toivonen, Elias Willberg and Karst T. Geurs

This timely book calls for a paradigm shift in urban transport, which remains one of the critically uncertain aspects of the sustainability transformation of our societies. It argues that the potential of human scale thinking needs to be recognised, both in understanding people on the move in the city and within various organisations responsible for cities.
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Céline Rozenblat and Zachary P. Neal

The urban networks discussed in this volume, and that appear in the literature more broadly, are characterized by significant diversity. This is perhaps not a surprise as the study of urban networks is necessarily interdisciplinary, drawing on theoretical foundations from geography, economics, psychology and sociology, and on methodological tools including ethnographic and qualitative methods from sociology, and quantitative methods from mathematics and physics. However, although the flexibility of network models to capture a wide range of urban phenomena is a key strength of the approach and a source of intellectual diversity, it can also be a source of confusion. Different fields and different research questions require studying different types of urban networks, often defined in very different ways, which obscures their commonalities. In this introductory chapter, we sketch a framework for integrating the diversity of urban networks by situating them along the dimensions of level and scale. These two dimensions define, respectively, the aggregation and spatial scope of the nodes, and therefore provide critical parameters for defining an urban network. In some instances, a network’s level and scale are defined implicitly by the research question, but we contend there is still value in being explicit about level and scale. Similarly, although a great deal of past research on urban networks has explored only specific intersections of level and scale (for example, networks of people at the local scale, or networks of cities at the global scale), we contend that exploring urban networks with different combinations of levels and scales offers opportunities for new insights that the reader will find in this volume. We begin by describing the level/scale framework in general, then discuss the case of economic urban networks as an extended example, and use the framework to explore commonalities among the diverse urban networks in this volume. We conclude by discussing ways that levels and scales can be made more explicit in urban networks, and the potential benefits for studying urban networks at multiple levels and scales.

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Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp

The space-economy has never been static, but has always shown a state of flux. Regions are normally in transition; they are work in progress. As a consequence, we observe a complex evolution of regional systems that varies between growth and decline. Static location and allocation theories may be helpful in understanding underlying structures in regional economies, but do not offer a full-scale picture of the development of multi-actor processes and of the perpetual or temporal impediments for regional growth and prosperity. The conceptualization and solid explanation of regional growth, and differences therein, is still largely a mystery for the research community in many countries. There is no uniform panacea for enhancing or accelerating the development trajectory of regions in a national or supranational economy. Therefore, regional policy is still in many cases a black box; the outcomes of intensified regional growth strategies are often largely unpredictable. Best guesses are more common than testable and operational estimates of policy impacts. Against the above-mentioned backgrounds, the editors of the Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories published a decade ago a comprehensive volume with a rich collection of advanced contributions on the above challenges in regional economics and regional science. In the ten years since then the world, both the empirical regional world and the theoretical and empirical reflection on growth and development issues, has not come to a standstill. We have become sadder and wiser after economic crises, regional fragmentation trends, the introduction of radical technological innovation, and the awareness of failures of regional policy. However, we have also enriched our knowledge horizon, with new insights and new methods and theories of regional analysis. The time has now come to take a refreshing and new look at the achievements of regional growth and development theories.

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Andy Pike, Peter O’Brien, Tom Strickland, Graham Thrower and John Tomaney

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Andy Pike, Peter O’Brien, Tom Strickland, Graham Thrower and John Tomaney

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Andy Pike, Peter O’Brien, Tom Strickland, Graham Thrower and John Tomaney

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W. Richard Scott, Raymond E. Levitt and Michael J. Garvin

We do not subscribe to a goal of unconstrained development for its own sake; but assuring an adequate supply of civic infrastructure (including housing, roads and public transport, power, water supply and sanitation) is essential to meet the needs of developing countries where populations are growing and becoming more urbanized, as well as those of developed countries where infrastructure is aging and in need of repair and/or replacement. Important as it is, however, providing the necessary infrastructure confronts severe difficulties. Governments of emerging market countries face enormous shortfalls in financial and governance capacity in delivering sorely needed new infrastructure for their growing populations. At the same time, financially strapped governments of mature market economies are struggling to upgrade and retrofit their aging and obsolete infrastructure. Societies at both ends of the development spectrum need more robust project governance structures that can enable new forms of financing coupled with improved systems of managerial oversight and control. Infrastructure is central to societal welfare, and the high cost of replicating the “last mile of pipe or wire” often requires a monopolistic state provision or regulated private provision strategy. We would thus ordinarily expect that the state would play a major role in its prioritization, funding, development and operation. However, historically this has not always been the case. Specific countries vary in their experience, but the United States (US) is not atypical. As Miller and Floricel (2000) point out, during much of the nineteenth century US transportation systems and power networks were built by private entrepreneurs, with minimal public involvement. Toward the end of the century, large corporate groups replaced the entrepreneurs but still experienced only modest public oversight. However, during the Progressive era of the early twentieth century, private initiatives were increasingly regulated and, over time, nationalized as public enterprises. For the greater part of the century, federal, state and local authorities planned, funded, built and operated the bulk of infrastructure. However, during the 1980s, buoyed by a more conservative political wave, calls intensified for the privatization of these enterprises. From that period to the present, varying combinations of private and public entities have partnered to provide these facilities and services.