Geographia Polonica (2002) vol. 75, iss. 2

National urban systems in the Baltic Sea Region: trends and challenges

Piotr Korcelli, Niels Boje Groth, Ewa Nowosielska

Geographia Polonica (2002) vol. 75, iss. 2, pp. 117-143 | Full text

The point of departure in the search for the emergence of international urban systems must be offered by studies on the development of national urban systems.The project on Urban Systems and Urban Networking in the Baltic Sea Region (USUN) has shown that in the 1990s the national urban systems throughout the Baltic Sea Region experienced a concentration of economic activity in the largest cities. However, some medium-sized regional centres situated outside national core areas also proved dynamic, something that was revealed by studies on urban networking undertaken within the project. In this article, the concept of urban systems is examined, with recent trends and challenges discussed, together with the prospects for a balancing of the development of urban systems through a fostering of the dynamics of second-layer cities with higher education functions taken as an example.

Keywords: national urban system, inter-urban competition and cooperation, second-layer cities, urban policy, Baltic Sea Region

Piotr Korcelli [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakowskie Przedmieście 30, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
Niels Boje Groth, Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute (DFLRI) H0rsholm Kongevej 11 DK-2970 Horsholm, Denmark
Ewa Nowosielska, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00‑818 Warszawa, Poland