La concentration spatiale de l'urbanisation : un problème de développement ? L'émergence de Montréal au 19ème siècle
Urbanization is frequently interpreted as an outcome of agglomeration economies and, following this logic, a high concentration around a single site of urbanization could reveal agglomeration economies which are particularly effective. In a very different literature, whose origin can be traced back to contributions which are now classical as HOSELITZ (1953), the same concentration of urbanization around a single site is indicative of development problems. Regional development, along with its well-intended activism, relies to some extent on this second interpretation. The paper presents a case study : the urbanization of Québec Province in the 19th century, mostly concentrated around the site of Montréal, whose interpretation has been largely based on a paradigm of urbanization with a continuum set of cities of various sizes. After a summary description of Montréal’s growth and of urbanization in surrounding regions, there is a synthesis of the literature assessing the scope of this paradigm. The third part revisits the interpretation of Montreal’s growth in the 19th century in light of new data on economic activity in the periphery and by taking into account the transportation technology available in the periphery. Given the analogy from a cost structure perspective between this technology and modern transportation over land, the last section concludes on the need of a richer interpretation of concentrated urbanization frequently observed in developing countries. Classification JEL : R12, N10, O18, R58.
Volume (Year): avril (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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