chapter  10
24 Pages

Why Cities Prosper as Deltas: The Urbanisation of the Eurodelta

WithLUUK BOELENS, ED TAVERNE

Urbanisation is most of the time associated more with economic, political or military circumstances than with geographical conditions and how urban actors deal with this. Yet the physical peculiarities of the urban environment and, in particular, the way in which they infl uence the behaviour of involved parties-both people and organisations-largely guide the global embedding of cities and, thus, their spatial dynamics. This specifi c attention is not a sign of historical-geographical determinism that landscape historians or geographers are sometimes guilty of. Rather, it indicates new concepts of space within geography and new social scientifi c notions about the role of actors and networks. That is to say: the way in which people, circumstances and organisations interact with each other, construct specifi c networks and, in this way, determine the spatial dynamic of urban landscapes.1 These new insights have broadened our view of the subtle and complex workings of geographical conditions not only in terms of people’s economic negotiations, but also in their social behaviour and all the associated alliances and institutions.