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Small Islands and Large Scale Spatial Development Patterns - Story of the Croatian Island of Unije


  • Nenad Starc



The paper deals with impacts of large scale patterns of socio-economic development on small island communities and their economies. The Croatian island of Unije (17 km2, 100 islanders) is chosen as a representative case due to its relatively rich resources and turbulent economic and social history. The paper describes the island's ecosystem, resources, population and built environment and analyses ups and downs that the island experienced in last two centuries. The inability of usual analytical methods to capture features of small economies and communities is observed and discussed. The main external economic factors of changes of the Unije community have been the fishing industry with its dynamic spatial pattern and the tourist industry which has been the main activity on the island in the last 40 years. Other factors have been changes in the geo-political environment and general socialist development policies. Development of both industries and corresponding state policies are discussed in order to reveal the inability of policy makers to take into account insular development specificities. Policy failure to take into account different effects that the same measure may have in different parts of the territory in which it is applied is also discussed. In the remainder, decentralisation of development management and bottom-up top down policy mix are proposed and elaborated as solutions for existing policy failures.

Suggested Citation

  • Nenad Starc, 2006. "Small Islands and Large Scale Spatial Development Patterns - Story of the Croatian Island of Unije," ERSA conference papers ersa06p244, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p244

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