Tomas Hanell


Urban systems in the Baltic Sea Region: metropolitan regions take the lead

Tomas Hanell, Bue Nielsen

Geographia Polonica (2002) vol. 75, iss. 2, pp. 101-115 | Full text

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Traditionally, apart from having had a role as gateways to national economies, capital or metropolitan areas in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) have primarily acted within the framework of their national urban systems. This has at least to some extent guaranteed a more balanced development pattern between these cities and their respective countries. In the 1990s this balance was challenged by recent changes in technology, the economic system, regional (or international) integration and demography that have called for changes in the regional urban system. The increasing importance of the knowledge-based economy, the concentration of R&D, and increasing competition among cities and countries, have all acted as engines for an unusually marked polarisation of economic activities to just a few of the larger BSR cities. While the experience in the cities of the eastern BSR is to a certain extent similar to that of the western parts, the development of an open market economy in the eastern BSR is adding further momentum to their growth.

Keywords: urban system, regional development, regional integration, Baltic Sea Region

Tomas Hanell, Nordregio - Nordic Centre for Spatial Development, Box 1658, S-lll 86 Stockholm, Sweden
Bue Nielsen, Spatial Planning Department, Ministry of Environment, Hoejbro Plads 4, DK- 1200 Copenhagen K, Denmark