Anchoring Urban Development: Globalisation, Attractiveness and Complexity

Crevoisier, Olivier; Rime, Delphine (2020). Anchoring Urban Development: Globalisation, Attractiveness and Complexity. Urban Studies, 58(1), pp. 36-52. SAGE 10.1177/0042098019889310

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Since the work of Hoyt in the 1930s, economic theories of urban development have stressed the primacy of manufacturing because of the existence of a regional multiplier effect. This model was extended to traded services and, in the last 10 years, to the residential and presential economy, taking into account the fact that mobile consumers and residents also bring monetary flows into regions. The city today is both a productive agglomeration and a place of living, for both local and extra-local consumers, heralding the end of the primacy of manufacturing. In this article, we go a step further and consider the primacy of other kinds of export, either based on selling competitive goods or on attracting consumers. Due to changes in globalisation and to the rise of interurban competition for spending, incomes earned on exports are less and less likely to be spent locally, and instead flow out, progressively invalidating the multiplier effect. Consequently, the hypothesis of this article is that the main issue for urban development theories and practices is combining competitiveness in terms of exports with attractiveness to local as well as to external consumers. In this article, we call complexity the idea of pushing aside the focus on exports in order to understand the tensions and synergies between all activities and populations present within the urban space. In order to formulate new research questions, we build a typology of urban income flows and activities.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


11 Centers of Competence > Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Economic Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Rime, Delphine


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
900 History > 910 Geography & travel








Carmen Metzler

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2020 09:56

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:35

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

complexity, development, economic processes, globalisation, governance, milieu, theory




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