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A város- és várostérség-tipizálás alapjai Kelet-Közép-Európában = The bases of a typology of cities and urban areas in Central and Eastern Europe

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A város- és várostérség-tipizálás alapjai Kelet-Közép-Európában = The bases of a typology of cities and urban areas in Central and Eastern Europe
Egri, Zoltán
GF1 Settlement geography / településföldrajz
Tartalmi leírás:
The aim of this study is to show the regional inequalities and special features of Central and Eastern Europe which is considered a region still in transition. In other words, the purpose is to classify cities and urban regions. Today, we can see a revival of urban research. As focal points of regional and national economic growth, development and competitiveness, cities are the venues of spatial processes taking place in a fairly concentrated form. This study seeks to describe today?s major efforts in the field of city and urban region analyses as well as to highlight the various interpretations and methodologies of the same. Furthermore, the study identifies urban performance indicators and ?draws? a map of the urban network of Central and Eastern Europe. Based on numerous literature sources, the study deals with several spatial levels from the ?actual? urban level to the research projects completed at a regional level. The study starts by presenting spatial and methodological information on the flagships (the so-called MEGA areas) of polycentric regional development, and arrives at an important conclusion about the primary role played by Berlin and Vienna in the region. Actually, the ?new? capitals represent the secondary line, while the weak MEGAs at the bottom of the urban hierarchy act as development hubs in the region. Even the contours of a new integration zone become visible in the region. This zone is forming along Pan-European corridor VI with the involvement of Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest (and Zagreb). Another major data source for urban-level measurements is the urban audit, coordinated by Eurostat, which has already supplied databases for a multitude of studies. This source represents a substantial innovation in urban research efforts as it includes multi-layer data, contains long statistical data series and allows comparisons in both time and space. Nevertheless, it also has many disadvantages including, in particular, lack of data and national features in the delimitation of urban agglomerations. In my opinion, this fact makes a lot of analytical surveys unreliable. One of the most widespread analyses of the rural/urban issue is the version adapted to NUTS 3 and based on population density. Developed formerly by the OECD, this model has undergone many changes. As a result, its recent versions place greater emphasis on the role of cities. The research results of Bengs and Schmidt-Thomé (ESPON 1.1.2) have contributed to the clarification of urban-rural relations at the level of NUTS 3. This survey draws the demarcation lines of urban regions in view of population density as well as other factors (central town status of the region, land use indicators). In my effort to further differentiate the notion of the city as a territorial unit, I have found several publications using the expression of metropolitan regions or metro regions. The special region is defined as the cities and urban agglomerations shown in the urban audit, which are manifested at NUTS 3 level(s). Unique efforts are seen in the ESPON FOCI project, where the units of observation are the city areas and their regional hinterland. Accordingly, a city is ?not always a city? because its smaller or bigger agglomeration or hinterland is almost always present in the various social or economic surveys of the given region. Based on a review of the main European documents, I may state that the efforts launched to classify cities and urban agglomerations are fairly wide-ranging. What is more, the associated interpretations and methodologies are also diverse. According to my literature review, the primary and supplementary factors of urban performance are the following: economic output, economic structure, accessibility, demography, innovative performance, infocommunications and land use indicators. Similarly to the varied picture found regarding the categorisation of cities and urban agglomerations, the Central and Eastern European urban network is also very differentiated depending on the spatial level of the actual analysis.
Egri, Zoltán (2014) A város- és várostérség-tipizálás alapjai Kelet-Közép-Európában = The bases of a typology of cities and urban areas in Central and Eastern Europe. Tér és Társadalom, 28 (2). pp. 87-104. ISSN 2062-9923