Journal section "Spatial aspects of territorial development"

From Regional Science to “Smart Cities”: Intellectual Legacies and Possible Ruptures

Sapir J.

Volume 11, Issue 3, 2018

Sapir J. From regional science to “smart cities”: intellectual legacies and possible ruptures. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2018, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 25–40. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2018.3.57.2

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2018.3.57.2

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
We have entered the 21st century facing a global trend of massive urbanization leading to an increasing concentration of population in relatively few, large cities. This exacerbates the share of GDP produced in cities (80%). Today, more than 54% of the world population lives in a city and this number will likely increase by the end of this century to 80%. This trend implies a redefinition of what a city, and what an agglomeration, is. There is then no doubt that the city has become the central point in various social sciences and that agglomeration economics have become an important topic in development economics. Smart Cities have become in this context an important topic in Regional science and in applied economics and geography. There is no doubt that the development of new technologies and especially information technologies have created their own issues. Actually, Smart cities are combining a production function and a housing and living environment one. But one can also see “Smart cities” as a new form of the industrial district issue. Regional science has known an important development since the late 1980 when the Marshallian concept of the “industrial district” came back to favour and became major a topic in development studies. The turn from the “industrial district” to “smart cities” is a much more recent one. But still in smart city studies as in industrial district ones, the same range of issues, some of them purely economic and others more politically oriented, are at stake


urbanization; regional development; regional science; smart cities; industrial district; Marshallian district; economic polarization; transportation

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