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Here you can find all articles published during 2003.

Refereed articles


Migration Processes – Challenges for German Cities (#8)

Heinrich Mäding


In recent years, demographic processes have rightly attracted growing attention. In addition to the natural development of the population (with the phenomena of population decline and over aging), the various forms of migration (international and inter-regional migration, core city-periphery migration) present cities with a number of political challenges. This paper describes some of the important trends, induced problems, and options for action with regard to Germany.

24 pp (Refereed Articles, November 2003, no 8)

Mäding, H. (2003). Migration Processes – Challenges for German Cities, European Journal of Spatial Development, 8


Differential Economic Performance (DEP) in the Periphery: Evidence from Swedish rural areas (#7)

Vânia Ceccato and Lars Olof Persson


Understanding Differential Economic Performance (DEP) at the local and regional level is a key element in devising practical strategies and programmes for sustainable regional development in different contexts. This paper contributes to the understanding of the factors underlying persistent differences in DEP between rural localities. The basic hypothesis is that the DEP of rural areas can be explained by a combination of ‘tangible’ and ‘less tangible’ factors and the way in which these interact in specific national, regional and local contexts. Natural and human resources, infrastructure, economic structure and investments are together with institutions, networks and community values the most decisive factors that help to characterise DEP for the Swedish case studies. Findings show that such factors not only define the different opportunities and constraints for local development, but also illustrate how effective the local and regional system is in tapping into resources and opportunities and in ameliorating constraints. This sheds light on the importance of taking a broader perspective regarding policies towards regional development, making them much more focused on contextual and environmental aspects than uni-faceted, sectoral measures. The paper also provides a discussion of the implications of the results for policy and gives an account of new research questions for future studies.

28pp (Refereed Articles, October 2003, no 7)

Ceccato, V. & Persson, L.O. (2003). Differential Economic Performance (DEP) in the Periphery: Evidence from Swedish rural areas, European Journal of Spatial Development, 7


Restructuring Competitive Metropolitan Regions in North-west Europe: On Territory and Governance (#6)

Wolfgang Knapp & Peter Schmitt


This paper intends to build a bridge between academic debates on the contemporary rescaling of political economy, with regard to urban governance, and the strategic approaches produced by policy makers and planners with a view to establishing region-wide governance-structures for metropolitan regions. To do so, the authors use empirical evidence from several north-western metropolitan regions, namely London, Paris, Randstad and RheinRuhr, which were under study in the framework of two research projects, namely, EURBANET and GEMACA. The paper commences by discussing whether ‘places’ can actually compete, and this will be followed by a short historical survey of the nation state’s interest in developing global cities and metropolitan regions as competitive territories.

After taking into account their specific ‘spatial configurations’ we will then focus on the territorial shapes of such regions. The authors present a rather simple method to demarcate city-regions as comparable ‘Functional Urban Regions’. It will then be argued that to optimise their development and to exploit their potentialities, political focus should be directed towards upgrading the economic, institutional and social base, which is a prerequisite for entrepreneurial success. The article chiefly deals with the issue of establishing appropriate city-regional ‘organizing capacities,’ and provides a critical overview of the situation in four exemplary regions. In the concluding section this perspective will be extended by discussing in what sense these ‘Functional Urban Regions’ are actually ‘regions’?

43pp (Refereed Articles, October 2003, no 6)

Knapp, W. & Schmitt, P. (2003). Restructuring Competitive Metropolitan Regions in North-west Europe: On Territory and Governance, European Journal of Spatial Development, 6


Spatial Interaction and Regional Unemployment in Europe (#5)

Annekatrin Niebuhr


The findings of recent studies on adjustment processes suggest that regional labour markets in the EU and the US differ significantly. Low wage flexibility and limited labour mobility in European countries involve persistent unemployment differentials across regions. However, the spatial dimension of regional labour market problems is largely neglected in the corresponding analyses. In contrast, the present paper focuses on the spatial structure of regional unemployment disparities. Regions are tightly linked by migration, commuting and interregional trade. These types of spatial interaction are exposed to the frictional effects of distance, possibly causing the spatial dependence of regional labour market conditions. The spatial association of regional unemployment is analysed for a sample of European countries between 1986 and 2000 by measures of spatial autocorrelation and spatial econometric methods. The results indicate that there is a significant degree of spatial dependence among regional labour markets in Europe. Regions marked by high unemployment as well as areas characterised by low unemployment tend to cluster in space. The findings suggest that different forms of spatial interaction affect the evolution of regional unemployment in Europe.

26pp (Refereed Articles, October 2003, no 5)

Niebuhr, A. (2003). Spatial Interaction and Regional Unemployment in Europe, European Journal of Spatial Development, 5


Location as the reason for the problems of old industrialised settlements: The Case of Estonia (#4)

Raigo Ernits


In this paper we will chart the problems of small single-company (so called mono-functional) industrial settlements in post-socialist Estonia. The major research question asked will thus be whether the disadvantageous location of these industrial plants is the reason for problems in such settlements. Using the notion of gravity models, we will calculate the distance factors of such settlements in relation to larger centres, and compare them across different groups of different kinds of settlements. The conclusion arrived at is that advantageous location (location close to a larger centre) is a necessary though not a sufficient condition for guaranteeing the development and success of settlements. The main determinant factors in the success of a settlement are the fulfilment of the conditions for a good social and economic environment, while it is undoubtedly the case that a healthy environment favouring the growth and deployment of entrepreneurial skills develops more easily in settlements located nearer to larger centres.

16pp (Refereed Articles, February 2003, no 4)

Ernits, R. (2003). Location as the reason for the problems of old industrialised settlements: The Case of Estonia, European Journal of Spatial Development, 4


Reaching the Peripheral Regional Growth Centres: Centre-periphery convergence through the Structural Funds' transport infrastructure actions and the evolution of the centre-periphery paradigm (#3)

Jörgen Gren


The centre-periphery concept can be used in a wide variety of ways, not the least to extract funding, as is shown in the Nordic case. More importantly, the centre-periphery concept is at the very heart of most national regional policies and aid schemes as well as being at the heart of the EU’s cohesion/convergence efforts undertaken in the framework of the Structural and cohesion funds. It then follows that the goal of virtually all studies concerning the centre-periphery paradigm has been to assess whether there is convergence or divergence in development between the centre and the periphery, and what are the factors associated with the “success” of core regions or the atypical success-stories in peripheral areas. In this context, the importance of transport infrastructure for improving the accessibility and competitiveness of peripheral regions is recognised in the context of the Structural Funds. The long-term structural effort needed to reduce disparities in terms of basic infrastructure, of which transport is a large part, is particularly reflected in the allocation of almost 1/3 of total EU funding to these types of measures (objective 1 areas).

The purpose of this article is to provide a systematic analysis of the contribution and impact on centre-periphery convergence of the Structural Funds transport infrastructure actions, but also to discuss the possible evolution of the centre-periphery paradigm in the light of recent developments in economic development, cohesion and accessibility in European peripheral areas. Indeed, it seems as if infrastructure investments under the Structural Funds have actually been quite successful in reducing the gap between core and periphery. To understand why and how, we have to analyse the emergence of regional growth centres in peripheral areas. The article will argue that these regional growth centres play an increasingly important role in the definition of the centre-periphery concept as well as in challenging the traditional centre-periphery paradigm.

22pp (Refereed Articles, January 2003, no 3)

Gren, J. (2003). Reaching the Peripheral Regional Growth Centres: Centre-periphery convergence through the Structural Funds' transport infrastructure actions and the evolution of the centre-periphery paradigm, European Journal of Spatial Development, 3


Rationality Types in Evaluation Techniques: The Planning Balance Sheet and the Goals Achievement Matrix (#2)

Tore Sager


There is a strong tradition among planners to conceive of their task as one of inserting rationality into public debate and decision-making. The article examines how Morris Hill and Nathaniel Lichfield tried to develop the goals achievement matrix and the community impact evaluation (the planning balance sheet), respectively, as rational ex ante evaluation techniques for transport and land-use planning. Special attention is given to the ways in which they modify the economic rationality of the cost-benefit analysis. Furthermore, the techniques are assessed against the need for economic efficiency achieved by instrumental (means-end) rationality, dialogue and participation achieved by communicative rationality, and non-cycling planning recommendations achieved by consistency (transitivity).

30pp (Refereed Articles, January 2003, no 2)

Sager, T. (2003). Rationality Types in Evaluation Techniques: The Planning Balance Sheet and the Goals Achievement Matrix, European Journal of Spatial Development, 2


The Struggle against Social Exclusion at the Local Level: Diversity and Convergence in European Cities (#1)

Enzo Mingione & Marco Oberti


This article is based on the results of the European comparative research project ESOPO (Evaluation of Social Policies at the Local Urban Level: Income Support for the Able-Bodied) directed by Chiara Saraceno (Saraceno, 2002). The research explored the configuration and impact of income support programmes in favour of able-bodied individuals in 13 cities of 6 European countries.

In the face of rising unemployment and for a growing section of the population the difficulty of finding a steady job, most European countries have adopted anti-poverty strategies. Minimum income benefit in various forms constitutes a central element of income support for disadvantaged populations. Although its stated objective is often the same – to combat exclusion – there is a fairly large degree of heterogeneity in the way this policy is organized at local level, even in strongly centralized countries. Beyond simply revealing institutional differences, the comparative study of local experiences gives us a closer understanding of the rationale according to which each city – with its own mode of development, political and social history, culture, associative or community resources and, more broadly, the characteristics of its civil society – structures its anti-poverty strategies. Comparative analysis of local situations has the advantage of highlighting the different complexity of the processes at work, as well as of the local configurations which result from them. These may involve arrangements and relationships between public institutions, intermediate organizations, the Church, family networks and local community. Moreover, such an approach allows us to discern both the diversified forms and levels of intervention of these various actors and the principles involved by looking at the interaction between people and institutions.

In drawing on this research which is focused on a comparative study of the models of anti-poverty social policies, we will discuss some important issues. First, we will argue that poverty cannot be separated from the social conditions which generate it and from the social structures in which it is embedded. Second, we will demonstrate that the comparative study of anti-poverty models enables us to define more precisely the systems that mobilize resources other than those implemented on the basis of well known and formalized criteria. In fact, they are sometimes very localized and based on particular arrangements between the public sphere and the civil society. Finally, we will show how these local systems that implement anti-poverty social policies are not necessarily leading to strong institutionalization and public regulation through a linear process of modernization. Although the challenge of social integration is driving all countries towards greater intervention, it is also obliging them to introduce new and more flexible forms of regulations.

23pp (Refereed Articles, January 2003, no 1)

Mingione, E. & Oberti, M. (2003). The Struggle against Social Exclusion at the Local Level: Diversity and Convergence in European Cities, European Journal of Spatial Development, 1


Research briefings


Towards a new European Coastal Mineral Aggregates Planning Regime (#1)

Bert van der Moolen and Ian Wilson



9pp (Articles, November 2003, no 1)

Van der Moolen, B. & Wilson, I. (2003). Towards a new European Coastal Mineral Aggregates Planning Regime, European Journal of Spatial Development, Research Briefing No. 1