Regional patterns in the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy: a comparison between polycentric regions and monocentric ones
Polycentrism is a common feature of European urban systems. Lately, the concept has assumed a more normative relevance and it has been often considered as a pre-requisite for a more sustainable and balanced development across Europe. However, the effects of polycentrism on other main European Strategies (such as the Lisbon Strategy, aimed at increasing European competitiveness and social cohesion) are not so clear. Therefore, the paper tries to highlight the relationships between a regional polycentric development and the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy’s targets. Referring to a sample of 75 regions belonging to France, Germany, Italy and Spain, we have first measured the extent of polycentrism, by estimating through OLS the slope of the rank-size distribution of cities within each region. Then, we have performed a principal component analysis (PCA) in order to highlight the main features characterising the performance of each region according to Lisbon Strategy’s targets. Looking at the correlations between the extent of polycentrism and the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy’s targets, we have found that the former is significantly correlated both with the spread of manufacture and with low investments in human capital and innovation.
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