IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

La concentration spatiale de l'urbanisation : un problème de développement ? L'émergence de Montréal au 19ème siècle


  • Benoît Mario Papillon


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Benoît Mario Papillon, 2004. "La concentration spatiale de l'urbanisation : un problème de développement ? L'émergence de Montréal au 19ème siècle," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Armand Colin, vol. 0(2), pages 223-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:rerarc:reru_042_0223

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free

    More about this item


    urbanization; history and economic development; agglomeration economies and transportation costs; regional development policies;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cai:rerarc:reru_042_0223. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.