Geographia Polonica (1999) vol. 72, iss. 1

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Shifts in urban hierarchy? The case of finan-cial services in the Netherlands

Marina Van Geenhuizen

Geographia Polonica (1999) vol. 72, iss. 1, pp. 107-124

Abstract

This paper is concerned with interurban competition. Although large cities are still the focal points of information flows, creativity and innovation, particular medium-sized towns seem to offer good opportunities for economic growth. Against this background, the paper investigates whether medium-sized towns have improved their position at the expense of large towns in recent decades. To this end, an analysis has been made of the way in which companies in the financial sector have adapted their domestic networks across the Dutch urban system and their connections with larger cities abroad. Particular attention has been paid to the influence of the use of information and communication technology. The paper is organised as follows. In the first introductory sections, dynamics in city systems are discussed from a conceptual point of view, and important structural adjustments of the banking sector in The Netherlands are considered. The paper proceeds with an analysis of the location pattern of national control functions and regional functions in banking. This is followed by an analysis of the location pattern of venture capital banking and global banking in connection with first-order financial centres abroad. The paper concludes with a summary of results in terms of competition between cities, and with a few interesting lines for future research.

Keywords: interurban competition, The Netherlands, financial services, office networks, venture capital activity

Marina Van Geenhuizen, Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft, The Netherlands