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The polycentric metropolis. Learning from mega-city regions in Europe

Peter Hall and Kathy Pain

Published by Earthscan, 2006 | ISBN 1-84407-329-7

A new 21st century urban phenomenon is emerging: the networked polycentric mega-city region. Developed around one or more cities of global status, it is characterized by a cluster of cities and towns, physically separate but intensively networked in a complex spatial division of labour.
This book describes and analyses eight such regions in North West Europe. For the first time, this work shows how businesses interrelate and communicate in geographical space - within each region, between them, and with the wider world. It goes on to demonstrate the profound consequences for spatial planning and regional development in Europe - and, by implication, other similar urban regions of the world.
The Polycentric Metropolis introduces the concept of a mega-city region, analyses its characteristics, examines the issues surrounding regional identities, and discusses policy ramifications and outcomes for infrastructure, transport systems and regulation. Packed with high quality maps, case study data and written in a clear style by highly experienced authors, this will be an insightful and significant analysis suitable for professionals in urban planning and policy, environmental consultancies, business and investment communities, technical libraries, and students in urban studies, geography, economics and town/spatial planning.


List of Figures and Tables
List of Contributors Acknowledgements
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

Part 1 The Polycentric Metropolis: Emerging Mega-City Regions
• From Metropolis to Polyopolis,
Peter Hall and Kathy Pain

Part 2 Analysing the Polycentric Metropolis: Quantifying the Mega-City Region

• Anatomy of the Polycentric Metropolis: Eight Mega-City Regions in Overview,
Peter Hall, Kathy Pain and Nick Green
• Organization of the Polycentric Metropolis: Corporate Structures and Networks,
Peter Taylor, David Evans and Kathy Pain
• The Connectivity of the European Heartland,
Peter Hall, Kathy Pain and Loek Kapoen
• The Informational Geography of Europolis: Mapping the Flow of Information,
Peter Hall, Kathy Pain and Nick Green

Part 3 Understanding the Polycentric Metropolis: Actors, Networks, Regions

• Firms and Places: Inside the Mega-City Regions,
Kathy Pain and Peter Hall
• Flows and Relationships: Internal and External Linkages,
Kathy Pain and Peter Hall
• People and Places: Interrelating the ‘Space of Flows’ and the ‘Space of Places’,
Kathy Pain and Peter Hall

Part 4 Visiting the Polycentric Metropolis: Regional Identities, Regional Policies

• South East England: Global Constellation,
Kathy Pain, Peter Hall, Gareth Potts and David Walker
• Randstad Holland: Multiple Faces of a Polycentric Role Model,
Bart Lambregts, Robert Kloosterman, Merijn van der Werff, Robert Röling and Loek Kapoen
• Central Belgium: Polycentrism in a Federal Context,
Christian Vandermotten, Marcel Roelandts, Laurent Aujean and Etienne Castiau
• RhineRuhr: ‘Polycentricity at its Best’?
Wolfgang Knapp, Daniela Scherhag and Peter Schmitt
• Rhine-Main: Making Polycentricity Work?
Tim Freytag, Michael Hoyler, Christoph Mager and Christian Fischer
• European Metropolitan Region Northern Switzerland: Driving Agents for Spatial Development and Governance Responses
Lars Glanzmann, Simone Gabi, Christian Kruse, Alain Thierstein and Nathalie Grillon
• The Paris Region: Polycentric Spatial Planning in a Monocentric Metropolitan Region
Ludovic Halbert
• Greater Dublin in the Celtic Tiger Economy: Towards a Polycentric Mega-City Region?
Chris van Egeraat, Martin Sokol and Peter Stafford

Part 5 Planning Europolis: The Effectiveness of Policy

• From Strategy to Delivery: Policy Responses,
Peter Hall and Kathy Pain
Appendix 1 The Web Survey
Appendix 2 The Interview Questionnaires


Sir Peter Hall is Bartlett Professor of Planning and regeneration at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London, UK and Senior Research Fellow at the Young Foundation, London, UK. Author and editor of over 35 books, he is one of the world's pre-eminent authorities on urban and regional planning.

Kathy Pain is a Research Fellow at the Young Foundation, London and at the Globalisation and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group in the Department of Geography at Loughborough University, UK. She is a professional urban planner and researcher in global city relations, sustainable development and policy.