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Small Towns and Regional Development: Major Findings and Policy Implications from Comparative Research

Small Towns and Regional Development: Major Findings and Policy Implications from Comparative... The role of lower-order urban centres in regional development constitutes an important subject of debate. The existing controversies in the literature and the lack of empirical data to support the optimistic assumptions of policy-makers and planners inspired a team of geographers at Utrecht University in the 1980s to start a programme of comparative studies on the role of small towns in a selected number of regions. These regions were considered to be representative for four types of context with respect to the functioning of small towns-a south-east Asian and a Sahelian context, the context of agricultural colonisation and export production areas in central America and southern Africa, and the context of industrialising borderland areas in northern Mexico. The findings from the comparative studies and from recent literature allow us to challenge optimistic assumptions about the development role of small towns. The divergent character of the selected contexts and the differential impact of regional conditions explain the observed variations in town-hinterland conditions and the potential development role of small urban centres. The findings establish that generalisations about the role of small towns are hard to make and lead to some important policy implications. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban Studies SAGE

Small Towns and Regional Development: Major Findings and Policy Implications from Comparative Research

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References (53)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0042-0980
eISSN
1360-063X
DOI
10.1080/00420980220112748
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The role of lower-order urban centres in regional development constitutes an important subject of debate. The existing controversies in the literature and the lack of empirical data to support the optimistic assumptions of policy-makers and planners inspired a team of geographers at Utrecht University in the 1980s to start a programme of comparative studies on the role of small towns in a selected number of regions. These regions were considered to be representative for four types of context with respect to the functioning of small towns-a south-east Asian and a Sahelian context, the context of agricultural colonisation and export production areas in central America and southern Africa, and the context of industrialising borderland areas in northern Mexico. The findings from the comparative studies and from recent literature allow us to challenge optimistic assumptions about the development role of small towns. The divergent character of the selected contexts and the differential impact of regional conditions explain the observed variations in town-hinterland conditions and the potential development role of small urban centres. The findings establish that generalisations about the role of small towns are hard to make and lead to some important policy implications.

Journal

Urban Studies: An International Journal of Research in Urban StudiesSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2002

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