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On the growth dynamics of cities and regions - seven lessons. A Canadian perspective with thoughts on regional Australia

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Polese, Mario
  • Journal Name: The Australasian Journal of Regional Studies
  • Journal Number: Vol. 19 No. 1
  • Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association
  • Published Location: Armidale, NSW
  • ISBN: 1324-0935
  • Country: Australia

Seven trends/lessons in regional development are reviewed, taking Canada as reference point: 1) the forces of agglomeration will not lessen; 2) top cities will remain so; 3) distance continues to matter; 4) costs matter, a driver of non-metropolitan growth; 5) market access increasingly matters; 6) as do naturally amenities (sea and trees), but constrained by distance; 7) natural resources are a double-edged sword, both a driver of growth and possible impediment. For regional Australia, as for peripheral Canada, the chief discriminant factor is lesson 3 (distance). The transport costs for goods and information have fallen. But, relative distances have not changed. The cost of transporting people - prime input into knowledge-intensive production - has not fallen, and has arguably risen as the opportunity cost of time rises. The essential distinction is not between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, but between those that are close and those that are far.

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