Urban development in southern Europe differs from urbanization patterns observed in other affluent countries. Urbanization processes in the Mediterranean region reflect heterogeneous spatial forms and more similar socioeconomic dynamics. Rejecting a unique ‘Mediterranean city’ model, this study proposes a thorough analysis of post-war urban development in four southern European countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) focusing on homogeneous patterns and possible sources of heterogeneity in spatio-temporal trends of individual city expansion. Urbanization without industrialization - boosted by the informal economy and the development of traditional services - has driven the growth of large cities through agglomeration economies enhanced by internal immigration. This trend has deflated shortly after the end of the baby boom, favoring slow dynamics towards spatially-balanced settlements and determining a recovery of medium-sized cities, which have been further consolidated with the economic crisis.
Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy – Springer Journals
Published: May 3, 2016
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