Handbook of Urban Geography
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Handbook of Urban Geography

Edited by Tim Schwanen and Ronald van Kempen

This collection brings together the latest thinking in urban geography. It provides a comprehensive overview of topical issues and draws on experiences from across the world. Chapters have been prepared by leading researchers in the field and cover themes as diverse as urban economies, inequalities and diversity, conflicts and politics, ecology and sustainability, and information technologies. The Handbook offers a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in cities and the urban in geography and across the wider social sciences.
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Chapter 11: Emerging city regions: urban expansion, transformation and discursive construction

Markus Hesse


This chapter takes a critical look at city regions from an urban geography perspective. As subject matter, it first identifies city regions that have evolved through the course of urban growth and expansion, representing an assemblage of an urban core and associated neighbour cities and suburbs that are functionally linked. Second, it also addresses the specialization of some of these city regions that host advanced services, political functions, higher education infrastructure or gateway functions, which make them being classified as ‘metropolitan’ regions. Further, it emphasizes the processes through which regions are labelled and thus created as metropolitan areas: ‘metropolization’. This labelling includes indicator-based observations, political manifestations and also discursive representations.

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