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Beyond the 'Divided City': a manifesto for spatially-balanced, sprawl-free post-crisis metropolises

Listed author(s):
  • Zitti, Marco


    (Department of Social and Economic Sciences, 'La Sapienza' University of Rome, Piazzale A. Moro 5, I-00185 Rome, Italy)

  • Efstathios Grigoriadis

    (Department of Planning and Regional Development, School of Engineering, University of Thessaly, Pedion Areos, EL-383 34 Volos, Greece)

  • Luca Salvati


    (Italian Council of Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Via della Navicella 2-4, I-00184 Rome, Italy)

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    Going beyond traditionalist discourses on economic backwardness, uneven demographic growth and cultural secularism, this article proposes an interpretation of Mediterranean urbanities based on place-specific settlement morphology and characteristic socioeconomic traits, including unregulated regional planning, poorly-participated local governance and typical socio-spatial structures. By questioning the (supposedly weak) strategies containing regional disparities and the failed opportunities to promote scenic landscapes and cultural heritage of peri-urban areas, a framework investigating long-term urban dynamics in the Mediterranean was illustrated here and can be generalized to other metropolitan regions with similar morphological and functional traits. The proposed framework is based on the analysis of ecologically-fragile and socially-unstable contexts in view of the persistence of a structural crisis affecting the economic base, the institutions and the governance system. In this line of thinking, we debate on the relationship between crisis conditions in both social and economic dimensions and unbalanced spatial configurations typically observed in southern European regions, and shaped by persistent economic polarizations in urban and rural areas. While reducing demographic and economic polarizations along urban gradients, dispersed expansion of cities further contributes to unbalanced metropolitan structures promoting local-scale spatial heterogeneity and further enhancing territorial disparities.

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    Article provided by Pro Global Science Association in its journal Published in Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2017)
    Issue (Month): 1 (JUNE)
    Pages: 95-109

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    Handle: RePEc:rse:wpaper:v:13:y:2017:i:1:p:95-109
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    1. Harry Coccossis & Dimitris Economou & George Petrakos, 2005. "The ESDP relevance to a distant partner: Greece," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 253-264, January.
    2. Georgia Giannakourou, 2005. "Transforming spatial planning policy in Mediterranean countries: Europeanization and domestic change," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 319-331, January.
    3. Thomas Maloutas, 2003. "Promoting social sustainability The case of Athens," City, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 167-181, July.
    4. Thomas J. Vicino & Bernadette Hanlon & John Rennie Short, 2007. "Megalopolis 50 Years On: The Transformation of a City Region," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 344-367, 06.
    5. Scott, Allen J. (ed.), 2001. "Global City-Regions: Trends, Theory, Policy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297994.
    6. Pasquale De Muro & Salvatore Monni & Pasquale Tridico, 2011. "Knowledge‐Based Economy and Social Exclusion: Shadow and Light in the Roman Socio‐Economic Model," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(6), pages 1212-1238, November.
    7. Christian Longhi & Antonio Musolesi, 2007. "European cities in the process of economic integration: towards structural convergence," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 41(2), pages 333-351, June.
    8. Vittorio Gargiulo Morelli & Kostas Rontos & Luca Salvati, 2014. "Between suburbanisation and re-urbanisation: revisiting the urban life cycle in a Mediterranean compact city," Urban, Planning and Transport Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 74-88, March.
    9. Lila Leontidou, 2014. "The crisis and its discourses: Quasi-Orientalist attacks on Mediterranean urban spontaneity, informality and joie de vivre," City, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4-5), pages 551-562, October.
    10. Aspa Gospodini, 2009. "Post-industrial Trajectories of Mediterranean European Cities: The Case of Post-Olympics Athens," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 46(5-6), pages 1157-1186, May.
    11. Luca Salvati & Vittorio Gargiulo Morelli, 2014. "Unveiling Urban Sprawl in the Mediterranean Region: Towards a Latent Urban Transformation?," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(6), pages 1935-1953, November.
    12. Simin Davoudi, 2003. "EUROPEAN BRIEFING: Polycentricity in European spatial planning: from an analytical tool to a normative agenda," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(8), pages 979-999, December.
    13. Thomas Maloutas, 2001. "Vertical Social Differentiation in Athens: Alternative or Complement to Community Segregation?," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 699-716, December.
    14. Lila Leontidou, 1993. "Postmodernism and the City: Mediterranean Versions," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 30(6), pages 949-965, June.
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