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Lauren Andres and John R. Bryson

The focus of this chapter is on city-regions located in a context of ‘regeneration economies’ or in other words areas that are experiencing an ongoing process of recovery, adaptation or in-depth transformation. This process of transformation is occurring in all city-regions, but with different drivers, both exogenous and endogenous, and with variations in intensity and impacts. There is no such thing as a representative or standard city-region. Every city-region is a distinct, even unique, bundle of assets or resources including subjective ones such as reputation, heritage and stories that are told of that place. In addition, every city-region has different degrees of local, national and international connectivity. At the centre of the analysis of city-regions is heterogeneity and a complex interplay between place, space and a concatenation of spatial and sometimes aspatial processes. The chapter reviews ongoing debates on city-regions with a focus on exploring city-regions as regeneration economies.

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John R. Bryson and Lauren Andres

This chapter calls for a research focus that emphasises understanding the city-region regeneration economy plexus. There are perhaps two alternative approaches to understanding city-regions. First, are approaches that begin with theorising global production networks and the ways they are strategically coupled with regional economies. This approach highlights global processes first and regional processes second. Second, are approaches that begin with understanding city-regions. These studies position regions within the context of global flows but much of the research focuses is on understanding city-region processes and their impacts at a variety of spatial scales. Research tends to adopt a micro (people/firms), meso (regional including agglomerations or clusters) or macro (global interactions) approach. What is absent is a concern with the development of a more integrated or systematic approach to understanding city-region regeneration economies. This is an ambitious and provocative research agenda, but it is one that will go some way towards unravelling the dynamics of the city-region regeneration economy plexus.

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Edited by John R. Bryson, Lauren Andres and Rachel Mulhall

This Research Agenda provides both a state-of-the-art review of existing research on city-regions, and expands on new research approaches. Expert contributors from across the globe explore key areas for reading city-regions, including: trade, services and people, regional differentiation, big data, global production networks, governance and policy, and regional development. The book focuses on developing a more integrated and systematic approach to reading city-regions as part of regeneration economics, identifying conceptual and methodological developments in this field of study.
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Edited by John R. Bryson, Lauren Andres and Rachel Mulhall

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John R. Bryson, Lauren Andres and Rachel Mulhall

This chapter explores the relationships between people, place, space and city-regions by considering the development of an integrated or systemic approach for researching city-regions as regeneration economies. This chapter is intended to identify questions rather than to provide solutions. A critical issue to consider is the importance of place or context. Thus, city-regions are heterogeneous, complex and extremely diverse. On the one hand, every city-region is distinct or unique and is the reflection of place-based incremental decision-making that has produced a distinct set of localized structures, assets, resources, investments, firms, linkages, relationships, people, history and identity. On the other hand, all city-regions have within them a complex and ever evolving mosaic of different types of place. Thus, there is as much diversity within as there is between different city-regions. A key issue is how to “read” or diagnose cities by trying to identify and interpret the complexity of urban living, livelihoods and lifestyles.