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Theoretical Foundations in Support of Small and Medium Towns

Faculty of Economics, University of the Algarve, 8000 Faro, Portugal
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 1W7, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5312;
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 15 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
This theoretical review aims to create a comprehensive and systematic analysis based on previously published literature explaining how contemporary technological developments may promote new paths for small and medium-sized towns (SMTs) and their networking systems. Much has been said concerning the capacity of towns to absorb strategic knowledge, which is highly dependent on local governance systems. In this paper, five levels of multidisciplinary approaches will be addressed so as to pinpoint the theoretical grounds for the promotion and advocacy of small and medium-sized towns (SMTs) as major drivers of regional sustainability: agglomeration advantages and networking efficiencies—representing strict economic accounting of cost and benefits; clustering in a context of online environments, and its extension to open networking systems; sustainable innovation processes for SMTs, technology, and knowledge transfer in open innovation systems—both settings for discussions within the framing of new technological developments and artificial intelligence; knowledge and new technological developments with local spillovers—to be enhanced employing new educational programs and learning diffusion at advanced levels; the social functions of small and medium-sized towns—to be addressed in the areas of sociology, architecture, and planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: small and medium-sized towns (SMTs); regional development; sustainability small and medium-sized towns (SMTs); regional development; sustainability
MDPI and ACS Style

de Noronha, T.; Vaz, E. Theoretical Foundations in Support of Small and Medium Towns. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5312.

AMA Style

de Noronha T, Vaz E. Theoretical Foundations in Support of Small and Medium Towns. Sustainability. 2020; 12(13):5312.

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Noronha, Teresa, and Eric Vaz. 2020. "Theoretical Foundations in Support of Small and Medium Towns" Sustainability 12, no. 13: 5312.

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