Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies

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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Chapter 5: A comparative approach to doing research on cities: comparing North American cities to others

Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay and Angélo Battaglia


We want to highlight here the interest of the comparative method in doing research on cities, as in our view it is amongst the best ways to understand local and regional development and to highlight the specificities of particular developments in the North American context as in others. This comparative study shows how the process of territorial and urban renewal concretely transforms formally industrial spaces. First of all, we show that these cases of policies of territorial and socio-economic regeneration produce a real renewal on a local scale, and not only represent discontinuous projects which are not integrated in terms of innovative socio-economic revitalization. Our comparative study on Montreal and Barcelona’s innovation districts highlights the main factors of a city’s regeneration, and permit a demonstration of the usefulness of the comparative method for research on cities, as one of the most fruitful methods to highlight specificities in urban research but also to develop strategies for new revitalization projects, as is the case in Montreal.

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