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Edge Urban Geographies: Notes from the Margins of Europe's Capital Cities

Phelps, Nicholas A. and Parsons, Nicholas 2003. Edge Urban Geographies: Notes from the Margins of Europe's Capital Cities. Urban Studies 40 (9) , pp. 1725-1749. 10.1080/0042098032000106573

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This paper places edge urban formations at the centre of understanding the rescaling of economic, political and social processes. In the European setting in particular, edge urban areas have been understudied and their contribution to the renewal of metropolitan-scale governance and the growth dynamics of major city-regions left largely unrecognised. Moreover, the diverse lineage and complexity of edge urban processes in the European setting militate against unifying analysis. Some contrasts are drawn implicitly with North American edge cities but in doing so, the concern is to contribute to a geographical analysis of edge urban difference. The paper develops three themes regarding European edge urban formations. Specifically, the paper argues that edge urban settlements have lent not only their economic dynamism but also their political and social dynamism to broader city-regions. It notes the manner in which some of these settlements have, in large measure, been created from spatial planning and redistributive policies. Finally, it notes the 'eccentric geometry' of these edge urban areas which display internal fragmentation and whose institutions have expanded their spaces of engagement within the metropolitan sphere. The paper draws upon research on the governance of three European edge urban areas-Croydon (London), Noisy-le-Grand (Paris) and Getafe (Madrid). The grass-roots political movements of Getafe have conferred a lasting political capacity that has been reactivated within recent metropolitan-wide politics and planning. Noisy-le-Grand is a good example of an 'administratively created nowhere'. The entrepeneurialism of council officers in Croydon has been part of a `Croydonisation' of emerging south London institutions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0042-0980
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:51

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