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Karima Kourtit and Peter Gordon

The aim of this chapter is to position the popular concept of geographic clusters in a broader regional development context. After a general overview of regional upgrading strategies and a concise introduction to cluster analysis, the chapter offers a critical analysis of clusters. It also provides a range of extensions of cluster analysis, with a particular view to the role of governments.

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Amitrajeet A. Batabyal and Karima Kourtit

The notion of resilience originated in the ecology literature in the modern or post-World War II era. Even so, this term has now found widespread use in the social sciences in general and in regional science in particular. Although this expansion in the use of resilience is welcome, it is important to recognize that there is some ambiguity and confusion in the extant regional science literature about foundational issues and hence also about the nature of policy when resilience is a factor to contend with. Given this state of affairs, in this chapter, we provide a detailed discussion of three foundational and two policy related issues concerning the use of resilience in regional science. The three foundational issues are about definitions, whether resilience is a process, and whether resilience is always a good thing. The two policy issues concern multiple stable states and the connection between the twin notions of resilience and sustainability. The chapter concludes with some retrospective and prospective remarks.

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Ana Maria Bonomi Barufi and Karima Kourtit

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Akın Özdemir, Karima Kourtit and Peter Nijkamp

Modern cities face a range of challenges and threats caused, inter alia, by intense population growth, environmental pollution, climate change, poverty, unemployment, lack of safety, migration and socio-economic inequality. Smart cities presuppose an innovative and knowledge-based approach to cope with these challenges and threats to improve urban quality of life and to make the city more inclusive and competitive. Digital technologies provide the tools to enhance the empirical knowledge about the city and its residents. This chapter addresses the question: ‘Under which conditions is social policy a facilitator of smart city strategies?’ Using a broad inventory and multi-disciplinary approach, and with the help of an extensive literature review, this chapter aims to provide a better understanding of the technology-based issues of smart cities and the position of those social groups most affected by these developments. The authors develop a conceptual framework for mapping out the forces at work. They also argue that digital technologies can be more accessible and usable for more city residents through social policy.

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Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Tigran Haas

Since the early history of mankind, human beings have tried to build settlements that were fit for purpose. In a nomadic or low-technology society human settlements had to be by necessity flexible and small. Large cities hardly existed and were only built to demonstrate or strengthen political and military power. However, even these cities were – compared with current standards – relatively small and their management demanded enormous efforts (for example, import of agricultural produce, fresh water, sewerage systems and jobs for citizens). Cities of more than 1 million inhabitants were, until a few centuries ago, a miraculous urbanistic exception (see Tellier 2009). This situation lasted in most countries until the age of the Industrial Revolution (mid-nineteenth century) when cities started to grow. With the worldwide uninterrupted population growth since two centuries ago (the first demographic revolution), cities went through an accelerated growth path. This has led over the past half a century to a double urbanization process: most cities were growing and became large cities, while several large cities reached the size of megacities (more than 10 million inhabitants). This development is clearly demonstrated in China which currently has more than 60 cities with a population exceeding 1 million inhabitants, while the number of megacities in this country is also showing rapid growth. Worldwide, we witness a megatrend towards more and bigger cities. This revolutionary phenomenon in the history of urbanism is sometimes termed the New Urban World (Kourtit 2019). In the past decade, our world has reached a stage where more people are residing and living in urban areas than in rural areas. This new species of mankind is sometimes named the homo urbanus. The city has become the most attractive settlement place for the majority of people on our planet. The United Nations has, therefore, named this new epoch in the geographic-demographic history of our world the urban century.

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Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough

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Karima Kourtit, Miruna Mazurencu Marinescu and Peter Nijkamp

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The Rise of the City

Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century

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.
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Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Daniel Arribas- Bel