The World and Europe
This chapter identifies the main features of urban-regional change, setting Europe within a broad international context. It then asks how far these trends can be attributed to technological developments that were occurring within the same period, relating these to parallel changes in economy, society, lifestyles and values. The chapter also asks how far any of these factors might be expected to change in the immediate future, defining as the period 1980–2010. It considers the impact of such changes, again, on the pattern of urban-regional change. Forecasting is an inherently risky and usually unprofitable business, especially where, as here, it involves the interrelationship of technological, economic, social and even national-cultural trends. The really difficult problem, given this uncertainty, is to predict the effects of the new technologies, through their economic impacts on both production and consumption, on future patterns of living and working.