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Spatial Dynamics, Networks and Modelling

Edited by Aura Reggiani and Peter Nijkamp

This important new book provides a valuable set of studies on spatial dynamics, emerging networks and modelling efforts. It employs interdisciplinary concepts alongside innovative trajectories to highlight recent advances in analysing and modelling the spatial economy, transport networks, industrial dynamics and regional systems. It is argued that modelling network processes at different spatial scales provides critical information for the design of plans and policies. Furthermore, a key issue in the current complex and heterogeneous landscape is the adoption and validation of new approaches, models and methodologies, which are able to grasp the emergent aspects of economic uncertainty and discontinuity, as well as overcome the current difficulties of carrying out appropriate forecasts. In exploring diverse pathways for theoretical, methodological and empirical analysis, this exciting volume offers promising and evolutionary perspectives on the modern spatial network society.
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Chapter 1: Space in Motion

Aura Reggiani and Peter Nijkamp


Aura Reggiani and Peter Nijkamp 1.1 PROLOGUE Modern spatial systems are in a permanent state of flux, in which static equilibria are replaced by varying space–time structures. Spatial dynamics – of urban, regional, transportation, environmental, industrial and social systems – has become a common feature of modern societies that undergo fundamental change. The background of these transformations is manifold, ranging from changes in political systems (for example, the fall of the Iron Curtain) to changes in lifestyle (for example, a trend towards individualism). All such changes have an impact on both the supply and demand of our infrastructural and communication systems. Locational and residential patterns display a high degree of volatility, as spatial network use and design are intertwined in a complex dynamics that is often unpredictable. Economic principles, socio-psychological change patterns, political constraints and technological conditions may sometimes retard and sometimes accelerate fluctuations in such spatial systems, but the backgrounds and directions of change in such movements are sometimes difficult to trace. The lack of appropriate information systems yet again hampers a solid and testable analysis of structural change in open economies. The dynamic complexity of emerging spatial systems is a research challenge, as spatial systems are subjected to both integrative and disintegrative forces. In recent years, we have witnessed new developments and rapid progress in advanced modelling efforts that address complex spatial dynamic systems. At both a micro and a macro level, promising endeavours have been made to come to grips with the complex evolution of the modern multi-faceted...

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