On poles and centers : cities in the french style
The term "center" covers a multiple facets reality. A center is not only a concentration of activities. The concept of center can be associated with the ideas of domination, of power, of creation and of interaction. Consequently, the "multicentric city" is an oversimplified view of the contemporary city. The so-called "secondary centers" do not replicate the main center and they are clearly differentiated. Defining the "pole" as a concentration of activities and the "center" as a dominant pole in terms of high-order and strategic activities seems to be more accurate to interpret present urban restructuring in France. At the light of this distinction, the hypothesis can be supported that French cities generally have only one center but many poles.This is the Multipolar Specialized Monocentric hypothesis.
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