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Flying high (in the competitive sky): Conceptualizing the role of airports in global city-regions through "aero-regionalism"

Addie, JD; (2014) Flying high (in the competitive sky): Conceptualizing the role of airports in global city-regions through "aero-regionalism". Geoforum , 55 87 - 99. 10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.05.006. Green open access

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Airports are key catalysts for urban growth and economic development in an era of global urbanization. In addition to their global economic functions, the multiscalar connectivity and localized impacts of air transport infrastructure place them at the heart of city-regional politics and planning. Yet the relations between global air transport, economic development and city-regionalism remain under-theorized. This paper introduces the concept of aero-regionalism to explore the relationality/territoriality dialectic and mechanisms of state territorialization unfurling at the nexus of globalization, air transport, city-regionalism and air transport. I provide a relational geographic comparison of the impact of varying local institutional arrangements and policy frameworks on the political and infrastructural integration of airports in the global city-regions of Chicago and Toronto. The paper analyzes the relative significance of variations in local transportation and planning systems to develop our understanding of the relations between global aviation infrastructures and their surrounding regional spaces, and the connectivity between major global ports and local transportation capillaries in global city-regions. The concept of aero-regionalism advances our understanding of the urban political economy of airports by uncovering how competitive economic globalization, state spatiality and the development of large-scale airport infrastructures are mediated through the symbiotic, if contested, co-production of urban and air space. While divergent governance regimes have shaped the development of urban transportation networks in the two case city-regions, the imperatives of globalization and neoliberalization are pressuring the material, political and discursive regionalization of airport space while privileging the logics of premium networked mobility.

Type: Article
Title: Flying high (in the competitive sky): Conceptualizing the role of airports in global city-regions through "aero-regionalism"
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.05.006
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.05.006
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.
Keywords: Global city-regions; Transportation governance; Urban infrastructure; Airports; Relationality/territoriality dialectic; Comparative urbanization
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1447837
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