The Role of Small and Medium-sized Centers for Territorial Development in Switzerland

Mayer, Heike (2013). The Role of Small and Medium-sized Centers for Territorial Development in Switzerland. Urban Planning International, 2013(5), pp. 36-44.

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This paper describes the role of small and medium-sized urban centers in Switzerland. Switzerland is a highly urbanized country where small and medium-sized urban centers play an important role in ensuring a balanced national urban system. Besides the four largest metropolitan regions (Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern), small and medium-sized towns function as central places for a wider, often extensive hinterland. They provide opportunities for living and working and they connect rural and mountain regions to national and international networks. Using secondary statistics and a case study, the paper shows that small and medium-sized urban centers are home to significant concentrations of export-oriented industries. Firms in these value-adding secondary sectors are rooted in these places and benefit from strong local embeddedness while also being oriented towards global markets. Small and medium-sized urban centers also profit from their strong local identities. While these places face various challenges, they function as important pillars in creating a balanced regional development pattern. Swiss regional development policy follows the goal of polycentric spatial development and it employs various instruments that aim to ensure a balanced urban system.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Mayer, Heike

Subjects:

700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

1673-9493

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

13 Dec 2013 15:16

Last Modified:

28 Oct 2015 15:46

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Small and Medium-sized Towns; Switzerland; Local Embeddedness; Regional Development Policy; Polycentric Development

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/39478

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