Understanding the drivers of concentration and deconcentration processes in and between urban regions

Authors: Angelika Muenter*, ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Dortmund, Germany , Kati Volgmann, ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Dortmund, Germany
Topics: Urban Geography, Economic Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: regional urbanization, metropolization, regionalization, reurbanization, suburbanization, polycentric urban region, urban region, drivers of urban spatial development
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban spatial development is marked by diverging, sometimes contradictory developmental dynamics. Both within and between urban regions, mutually reinforcing as well as contradictory processes of concentration and deconcentration are occurring. From an economic perspective, two fundamental and empirically observable trends of urban spatial development are the metropolization of the global urban system (Krätke, 2007; Floriade et al., 2017), which has a spatially concentrating effect, and the regionalization of cities (Phelps 2004, Soja, 2015), which has a de-concentrating effect. At the same time, demographic processes of reurbanization (Brake and Herfert, 2012; Rerat, 2012) and suburbanization (Modarres and Kirby, 2010; Hierse et al., 2017) are taking place. These trends lead to both discontinuous and disparate processes of spatial concentration and deconcentration of demographic and economic activities (Scott, 2001). Numerous descriptions of these trends of urban spatial development, as well as of individual causal drivers, are to be found in the literature (for example, Brake and Herfert, 2012; Florida, 2012; Glaeser, 2011). But the debates on demographic and economic processes of concentration and deconcentration are frequently disciplinary in character and are conducted separately from each other. The paper aims to bring together and conceptually consolidate these theoretical debates that have hitherto been pursued separately of one another on my means of a qualitative impact model. This allows for a better causal understanding of processes of concentration and deconcentration in and between urban regions.

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