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An economic analysis of the Flemish Diamond

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CONTRIBUTORS:
  Author Vanhaverbeke, Wim (Technische Universiteit Eindhoven)
JOURNAL:
  European Planning Studies, 6(4), 425 - 442.
YEAR: 1998
PUB TYPE: Journal Article
SUBJECT(S): urban networks; Belgium; regional economics
DISCIPLINE: Business/Management
HTTP:
LANGUAGE: English
PUB ID: 103-386-291 (Last edited on 2011/03/02 17:59:41 US/Mountain)
SPONSOR(S):
 
ABSTRACT:
This paper analyzes the economic role of a polynucleated international urban networks in general and that of the Flemish Diamond in particular. It intends to give an answer on three particular questions. First, what is the appropriate size and internal structure of an urban network? Second, what is the relationship between the urban network and the immediate economic environment? And finally, what is the economic relationship between neighbouring urban areas such as the Flemish Diamond, the Randstad and the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region. The paper shows that the Flemish Diamond has all the characteristics of an urban network but lacks the organizational linkages between the different urban areas enhancing the exchange of information and knowledge and the cooperation among these areas. Empirical evidence shows that the economic relations of the Diamond with its immediate environment (100-150 km) are very important for the latter and that the Diamond plays the role of a gateway to the European and global economy for regions in the immediate environment. Finally, there is strong empirical evidence that there exist intensiveeconomic transactions between the Flemish Diamond, the Randstad and the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region that go way beyond their share in the GDP. As a result, urban regions at relatively short distances have to be analysed together, because the economic dynamics in one of them is determined by what is happening in the other regions. The economic attractiveness of an urban region is not only determined by its own economic and infrastructural characteristics but also by the intense interactions with the other urban regions.
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