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Books Year : 2007

Cities and networks in Europe

Nadine Cattan


The aim of the book “Cities and networks in Europe. A critical approach of polycentrism” is to look at the dominant representations that at present underpin the issues of territorial organisation and planning in Europe. Cities and networks are often envisaged, both in scientific research and in operational debate, as inevitably driving territorial development. However, because they are always positioned within a logic of economic and political competition in which only processes of wealth generation are taken into account, the conceptualisation of European territorial integration has often been reduced to two conventional models: the centre-periphery model and the hierarchical model of urban networks. Limiting territorial integration to these two schema means that integration is limited.
Today reference to polycentric territorial development has to some extent changed the picture. Rather than being viewed in a polarised, pyramidal manner, spatial dynamics are being read in terms of interconnection and reticulation. In addition, reflection on the subject of polycentric territorial strategies has encouraged politicians and spatial planners to include the principle of “territorial cohesion” in the priorities of European public policies.
From considerations which associate conceptual approaches and analytical studies, this book makes it possible to understand in what manner polycentrism, viewed as an alternative to metropolisation could sow the seeds for new readings, at various scales, of the organisation of European territory. The main challenge of this book is to explain why it is worthwhile revisiting some rather too static representations of territorial systems in Europe. The aim is to promote the emergence and the consolidation of new, critical ways of looking at the issues of territorial dynamics.
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Dates and versions

halshs-00162491 , version 1 (13-07-2007)


  • HAL Id : halshs-00162491 , version 1


Nadine Cattan (Dir.). Cities and networks in Europe: A critical approach of polycentrism. John Libbey Eurotext, pp.2007, 2007. ⟨halshs-00162491⟩
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