Urban Clusters and Agglomeration

A new paper from our group. Click here for the paper and also for the issue of Environment and Planning B .

Abstract: Agglomeration economies are a persistent subject of debate in regional science and city planning. Their definition turns on whether or not larger cities are more efficient than smaller ones. Here, we complement existing discussions on agglomeration economies by providing a sensitivity analysis of estimated externalities to the definitions of urban agglomeration. We regress wages versus population and jobs over thousands of different definitions of cities in France, based on an algorithmic aggregation of spatial units. We also search for evidence of larger inequalities in larger cities. This paper therefore focuses on the spatial and economic complexity of the mechanisms defining agglomeration within and between cities.

In The Post-Urban World

This new book edited by Tigran Haas and Hans Westlund from KTH is a collection of interesting and somewhat oblique essays on the urban world we have entered. Lot of people you know writing here. Ed Glaeser, Richard Florida, Patrick Adler, Rahul Mehrotra, Felipe Vera, myself, Hans Westlund, Paul Knox, and Richard Sennett – and that is the first part. And then in two more parts: Jessie Poon, Wei Yin, Kaisa Snellman, Jennifer Silva, Carl Frederick, Robert Putnam, Kyle Farrell, Tigran Haas, Fulong Wu, Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp, Edward Soja, Fran Tonkiss, Laura Burkhalter, Manuel Castells, Saskia Sassen, Susan Fainstein, Emily Talen, Michael Neuman, Nadia Nur, Nina-Marie Lister, Duncan McLaren and Julian Agyeman. You can get a sneak preview using some Google Gizmo that is attached to the site.

In the last few decades, many global cities and towns have experienced unprecedented economic, social, and spatial structural change. Today, we find ourselves at the juncture between entering a post-urban and a post-political world, both presenting new challenges to our metropolitan regions, municipalities, and cities. Many megacities, declining regions and towns are experiencing an increase in the number of complex problems regarding internal relationships, governance, and external connections. In particular, a growing disparity exists between citizens that are socially excluded within declining physical and economic realms and those situated in thriving geographic areas. This book conveys how forces of structural change shape the urban landscape.

In The Post-Urban World is divided into three main sections: Spatial Transformations and the New Geography of Cities and Regions; Urbanization, Knowledge Economies, and Social Structuration; and New Cultures in a Post-Political and Post-Resilient World. One important subject covered in this book, in addition to the spatial and economic forces that shape our regions, cities, and neighbourhoods, is the social, cultural, ecological, and psychological aspects which are also critically involved. Additionally, the urban transformation occurring throughout cities is thoroughly discussed. Written by today’s leading experts in urban studies, this book discusses subjects from different theoretical standpoints, as well as various methodological approaches and perspectives; this is alongside the challenges and new solutions for cities and regions in an interconnected world of global economies.

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