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‘A marvellous order’: how spatial and economic configurations interact to produce agglomeration economies in Greater Manchester

Froy, Francesca Elizabeth; (2021) ‘A marvellous order’: how spatial and economic configurations interact to produce agglomeration economies in Greater Manchester. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London. Green open access

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Abstract

Despite widespread agreement that agglomeration externalities present a powerful economic force, understanding how they work in practice has constituted a “black box” problem. The word “agglomeration” is itself a crude term for describing the spatial characteristics of cities, which disguises the important role that the spatial configuration of street networks plays in structuring the operation of shared supply chains, labour pools, and knowledge-spillovers. At the same time, while most would agree on the importance of economic diversity to urban agglomeration, it is increasingly recognised that this diversity also has relational structure, with certain industry sectors being more likely to interrelate with each other, and share skills, knowledge, and products. This thesis will unpack the role of these spatial and economic configurations in the functioning of Greater Manchester as an “engine of creativity” in the broadest sense. To do so it draws on two main types of network analysis – space syntax analysis (developed by architects) and industry relatedness analysis (developed by economic geographers). This network analysis is contextualised in qualitative and historical research to produce a “thick description” of the city's evolving economy, with an in-depth focus on the clothing, textile, and waterproofing industries. The configurational characteristics of Greater Manchester's street network have brought diverse economic capabilities within reach of each other, while also connecting them into national and international economic flows. A degree of mess and redundancy in the system has been important to spurring unlikely collaborations and new innovations. However, there has been an overall decline in the capacity of the city street network to support agglomeration externalities in recent years, due to a loss of configurational structure and network density that is partly associated with planning changes from the 1950s onwards. The thesis concludes by considering what this means for contemporary policy.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: ‘A marvellous order’: how spatial and economic configurations interact to produce agglomeration economies in Greater Manchester
Event: UCL (University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author [2021]. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Industry relatedness, Greater Manchester, Space Syntax, Evolutionary economic geography, Textiles and clothing
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10138609
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