Classic Books in Regional Studies

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Regional Studies, the Book Reviews section of the journal has published a series of reviews of books originally published decades ago, and whose influence has grown sufficiently that they are considered classics and milestones in regional studies. This involved scholars who are themselves established and highly influential in the field, through their ability to shape ideas and their broad perspective in assessing them. The reviewers reflect on: how the books have contributed to changing the landscape of the discipline; what aspects included in the books are little known but still relevant today; any “new” concepts in their own field that are clearly anticipated by the books; the ways in which the actual content of the books may differ from general presumptions; and the extent to which the books are still a worthwhile read for scholars.

Thanks to those who accepted the challenge, the results brought together in this Virtual Special Issue are a set of essays which allow us to better know these classic books and put them in contemporary perspective.

Ugo Fratesi, Politecnico di Milano, Book Reviews Editor, Regional Studies

Read the full editorial here.

Explore the individual book reviews below:

Albert O. Hirschman’s The strategy of economic development

Reviewed by Henry Wai-chung Yeung

Joseph A. Shumpeter’s The theory of economic development

Reviewed by Michael Fritsch

Nicholas Kaldor’s Economics without equilibrium

Reviewed by Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen

Gunnar Myrdal’s Economic theory and underdeveloped regions

Reviewed by Eric Sheppard

Doreen Massey’s Spatial divisions of labour

Reviewed by Michael Dunford

Alfred Marshall’s Principles of economics

Reviewed by Peter Sunley

Peter Hall’s Cities in civilization

Reviewed by Michael Batty

Harry W. Richardson’s Regional growth theory

Reviewed by Philip McCann

David Harvey’s Social justice and the city

Reviewed by Frank Stilwell

August Losch’s The economics of Location

Reviewed by Ron Martin

Jane Jacobs’s The death and life of great American cities and The economy of cities

Reviewed by Gilles Duranton

Editor’s Choice: Geddes’ Centenary Paper

The Editor of Landscape and Urban Planning has chosen our paper by Stephen Marshall and myself on Patrick Geddes as Editor’s choice. Our prize is that you can download it free from here and I do not have to post it unofficially online.  2015 was the centenary of Geddes seminal book Cities in Evolution and the journal has a special issue on Geddes which has just been published. We have unpacked Geddes’ contributions in a paper entitled: Thinking organic, acting civic: The paradox of planning for Cities in Evolution, where we suggest that his long term quest to build a theory of social evolution was never realised despite his voluminous letters and writing, much of which was spontaneous, stimulating, insightful and of course chaotic. This year is the centenary of D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s great book On Growth and Form. Geddes (PG for short) and D’Arcy were colleagues at University College Dundee for over thirty years but they did not write together – despite that fact that they were talking about the same kinds of things, evolution, form, morphology, but their individual foci were quite different: PG on cities and society, D’Arcy primarily on fish. We have also done something on unpicking their interactions and we presented this at the RGS Annual conference in London in late August. You can find our post on this here.

Again download our paper from this link or by clicking on the picture of D’Arcy and PG at Dundee in the late 1880s which is shown above. PG on the extreme right; D’Arcy sitting first on the left.

 

New Tools for Planning the Smart City

I gave two lectures on our smart cities projects to Geography at Nanjing Normal University and to a selection of researchers at Shenyang Jianzhu University drawn from architecture, urban planning, transport and GIS on the 25th and 27th September 2017. I post the lecture for Shenyang here so that anyone who wishes can access it. Click here or on the picture of the Imperial Palace above for the PDF. The lecture at Nanjing was more or less the same. I have given versions of it before so don’t expect completely new stuff but here it is. Enjoy!