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 8: Relating cities to their international context

Earl H. Fry


Globalization, unprecedented technological change, and Joseph Schumpeter’s notion of “creative destruction” may be considered as defining characteristics of the early decades of the twenty-first century. A fourth hallmark should be added to this list: urbanization. For the first time in human civilization, a majority of the planet’s inhabitants lives in urban areas, compared with only 10 percent in 1900 (Brenner and Keil, 2006). In the United States, for example, more than four of every five residents are urban dwellers, up dramatically from less than one in three in 1900 (Population Reference Bureau, 2003). Globalization has been solidifying at the same time as urbanization has been proliferating, and the interaction of the international with the local is having a profound effect on the lives of average citizens, as is shown in Figure 8.1. This potent combination of globalization, technological change, and creative destruction will have a tremendous impact on the economic fortunes of metropolitan regions over the next several decades (Fry, 2010).

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