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Innovation Cycles and Urban Dynamics

Abstract : Urban systems are adaptive systems, in the sense that they continuously renew their structure while fulfilling very different functionalities. Many examples of adaptation in city size, spacing, and their social and functional components have been given in Chapter 6 of this book. There, we defined the structure of urban systems as a rather persistent configuration of relative and relational properties differentiating cities, which, over long periods, maintains the same cities in categories of size or socio-economic specialization. The content of these categories changes in terms of the quantitative thresholds or the qualitative attributes used for defining them at each date, but they retain the same meaning in terms of the relative situation of cities in the urban systems. Hierarchical differentiation and socio-economic specialization are the major structural features shared by all city systems. On the scale of national, continental, or world urban systems, the structures result mainly from self-organization processes, even if intentional decisions made by individuals or institutions (for instance, the choice of Brussels for the seat of many European Union institutions) may sometimes influence the general configuration.
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Denise Pumain, Fabien Paulus, Céline Vacchiani-Marcuzzo. Innovation Cycles and Urban Dynamics. David Lane, Denise Pumain, Sander Ernst van der Leeuw, Geoffrey West. Complexity Perspectives in Innovation and Social Change, 7, Springer, pp.237-260, 2009, Methodos series, 978-1-4020-9662-4. ⟨10.1007/978-1-4020-9663-1_9⟩. ⟨halshs-01201544⟩

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