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Jaime Sobrino

boundaries and began to undergo metropolitanization (Negrete and Salazar 1986; Unikel et al. 1978: 115–152). The degree of urbanization rose from 20.1 percent to 51.8 percent. Widespread urbanization was an outcome of the rising natural growth rate (the birth rate minus the death rate) and mass internal migration from rural areas to urban ones. The geographical distribution of the urban population exhibited concentration towards the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA), which rose from 1.5 million inhabitants in 1940 to 14.5 million in 1980. Consequently, its share of the

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James Duminy, Vanessa Watson and Nancy Odendaal

7. Doing research in African cities: the case study method James Duminy, Vanessa Watson and Nancy Odendaal INTRODUCTION The urban challenge in Africa is undoubtedly more serious than in any other part of the world. Not only will rates of urban growth over the next several decades outstrip other regions of the global South, but Africa is the only continent where urban population and economic growth have not been mutually reinforcing, leading to a situation where an impoverished urban populace survives largely under conditions of informality. In many parts of the

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Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Jaime Sobrino

In this timely Handbook, seventeen renowned contributors from Asia, the Americas and Europe provide chapters that deal with some of the most intriguing and important aspects of research methodologies on cities and urban economies.
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John F. McDonald

formulate the transportation plan for the urban area. The first tasks therefore were to project population and employment for the target year. Those projections were much too high, and the possibility that the central city would decline was not discussed. It was assumed that the population of the urban area would grow at the same rate as the population of the nation, so the projection was 9.5 million compared to an actual population of 7.25 million for 1980 – an overestimate of 31 percent.2 The population of the central city was projected to level off at 3.7 million

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Joan Trullén, Rafael Boix and Vittorio Galletto

in a homogeneous way, even if in reality it is not uniform. However, Hägerstrand’s rings of specialized human skills are associated with a base-place, producing an overlapping of the rings associated to these places across the space, that is, a network of people, cities and local labour markets operating through a system of crossed interactions linking in one system diverse and differentiated local communities. This idea is expressed by Berry (1964a) who quotes James Blaut to affirm that “the objects dealt with by science are not natural entities, ultimate objects

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José Marcos Pinto da Cunha

mobility of the population, due to the impacts this has on territorial expansion and the spatial redistribution of the population. There are still considerable differences in fertility and mortality among sub-groups, with their respective socioeconomic conditions, ethnic factors, migratory status, and so on. For this reason, it is true that natural growth must be considered an important aspect for understanding the different growth rates in parts of cities and other large urban areas. Nonetheless, the spatial mobility of the population is also a central factor for

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Ni Pengfei, Qingbin Li and Chao Li

this requires comprehensive research from multiple aspects. To answer these questions, this chapter takes the “city” as the object of analysis. The reason lies, firstly, in the acceleration of urbanization. According to the sixth National Population Census launched at midnight on 1 November 2010, the urbanization rate in China has already achieved 49.68 percent, and the progress of urbanization will be accelerated in the following 20 years. The census signifies the importance of the city (the special economies or economic zones) from a distinctive perspective. Second

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Peter Karl Kresl

York City economy for transportation and some economic area planning, planning may not go smoothly. Early in 2011 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had the project of many years for a second tunnel under the Hudson River cancelled by newly elected Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey. The new governor simply had different priorities than did his predecessor, and there was no interest group with sufficient clout in New Jersey to convince Governor Christie to continue with the project. The typical US city economic area consists of several counties, even when the

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Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Daniel Arribas- Bel

the Netherlands, which has shown the sharpest rise in absolute numbers of non-Western entrepreneurs and a relatively high birth rate of new firms. These are the higher-educated young Moroccan entrepreneurs operating in the ICT, consultancy, marketing, media, financial, and real estate sectors, mostly concentrated in the four largest Dutch cities, namely Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. These cities also have a large share of many ethnic groups present in the Netherlands. The important research question is now whether these ethnic firms, with a similar