chapter  13
13 Pages

Accentuate the regional 1

ByEdward Soja

The increasing fusion of the urban and the regional in theory, empirical analysis, social activism, planning, and public policy is creating many new pathways for innovative critical and comparative research. As networks of urban agglomerations, cohesive regional economies have come to be seen as the primary generative force behind all economic development, technological innovation, and cultural creativity. The widespread impact of peripheral urbanization accentuates the demand for rigorous comparative analysis at the national and international scales. Regional urbanization and the rise of polycentric city-regions and regional cities are the core concepts of the new regionalism (NR). Extended regional urbanization is indicative of another distinctive feature of the NR: its expression at multiple scales. An open theoretical frontier growing out of the debates on regional governance and planning involves the application of critical regional and spatial approaches to the study of citizenship, democracy, justice, human rights, and social movements.