Edited by Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor and Frank Witlox
Chapter 48: Marked by Dynamics: Berlin and Warsaw in the Process of Functional Change
Ewa Korcelli-Olejniczak If you take a more Darwinian point of view, the dynamics of the universe are such that as the universe evolved in time, complex systems arose out of the natural dynamics of the universe. Seth Lloyd (2002) INTRODUCTION Since the main dividing lines between the West and the East became dismantled, the urban systems in Europe have been in constant transition – the fluctuations within these systems being a reaction to transformation and globalization processes. The drive for high-order functions of international range, defining the position of Central European cities within national and transnational systems, rather than spatial policy, has allowed for a ‘relative’ growth of cohesion in the European urban system as a whole. Functional change, expressed by a shift to advanced services and a knowledge economy, indicated by competitiveness and attractiveness, has resulted in higher economic effectiveness, changes of supply and new quality of demand, all these being synergic processes, influencing one another on higher and higher levels in a spiral-like manner. As predicted by Hall (2001), the absorbers of these processes were in the first place large cities, though not necessarily only the primary ones, as somewhat pessimistically hypothesized by Lichtenberger (1994). Still, in most cases, capital or otherwise leading cities were among the greatest gainers. According to the results of the ESPON 1.1.1. and 1.4.3. projects (ESPON, 2004, 2007), the Central European capitals of Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Warsaw have qualified for the status of so-called potential ‘MEGAs’ that constitute the fourth level in a...
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