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Building the extensive city: processes of metropolisation in European second-tier urban regions

Cardoso, R; (2016) Building the extensive city: processes of metropolisation in European second-tier urban regions. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research project investigates whether second-tier urban regions in Europe have functional, spatial, socio-economic and institutional characteristics which differentiate them in meaningful ways from primate urban regions. Based on the argument that second-tier urban regions can particularly profit from integration at that scale, it then explores whether the specific features detected may provide them with a greater ability to pursue that goal. The study fills two important gaps, as we do not know what differentiates second-tier urban regions regarding the aspects above, and in what ways those characteristics affect their integration processes. The research also helps to reveal a new and yet unexplored set of strategic options for second-tier cities, whose urgency is proportional to the extent to which they are neglected or hampered in their national urban systems. At a moment when cities have turned into large urban regions, size, functional mass and diversity and city-regional governance have been argued as major drivers of economic development, and the European economic and policy climate favours strategies that work more effectively with existing assets rather than adding new ones, integration is not only an ongoing territorial process but also a relevant strategic approach for second-tier urban regions. The research proposes an original interpretative lens to observe the integration of urban regions, namely the concept of metropolisation, a perspective which is not spatially selective and acknowledges different forms of urbanity, making a conceptual transition from a notion of cities dissolving into urban regions to one of urban regions consolidating into ‘extensive cities’. The appropriateness of this concept to read contemporary urbanisation modes may find a particularly fitting response in the spatial features of second-tier urban regions. The study applies a set of comparative research methods to European second-tier urban regions, gradually focusing on three main cases studies: Porto, Portugal, Bristol, UK and Antwerp, Belgium.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Building the extensive city: processes of metropolisation in European second-tier urban regions
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: metropolisation, second-tier cities, urban regions
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493084
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