Geographia Polonica (1997) vol. 69, pp. 7-22 | Full text
Geographers, and especially those involved in cooperative work inside the IGUfor the last decades, have contributed in a significant way to provide original insights in boththeoretical and practical urban issues. By developing and illustrating the concept of urbansystems, they have emphasized the importance of scale effects and spatial organization in theurban realm. Comparative research at intra- and interurban scales have demonstrated theuniversality of the problems created by the process of urban transition, under a variety ofcultural forms and socio-economic circumstances. A formalised consideration of metropolisationtrends, social polarisation, urban image and identity is already well advanced, whereasquestions about the vulnerability of megacities or the elaboration of comparable indicators onan international basis are still in progress. The time has also arrived to elaborate a newconvergence between urban geography and mathematical modelling, to bring about a betterintegration of spatial analysis and urban dynamics in the increasingly numerous and sophisticatedurban information systems.
Denise Pumain, INED Etablissement Public Scientifique et Technologique, 27, Rue Du Commandeur 75675 CEDEX 14, France