Special Issue "Regional Urbanization"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Anna Growe

Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: knowledge economy; urban system; metropolitan region; regional governance
Guest Editor
Dr. Angelika Münter

ILS-Institute for Regional and Urban Development Research, Dortmund, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: metropolization; polycentric urban regions; reurbanization; spatial planning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The concept of regional urbanization describes the transition between urban and regional spaces where the duality between urban and suburban spaces dissolves. Recent developments of metropolises and their surrounding regions are shaped through divergent and partly contrary dynamics of concentration, as well as de-concentration processes of jobs and households within the urbanized region. Economic geography and regional studies mainly analyze the processes of metropolization (the concentration processes of economic functions) and regionalization (the de-concentration processes of economic functions) and focus on resulting polycentric and networked megaregions.

At the same time, studies in urban and population geography describe the concentration and deconcentration processes of people and households in urbanized regions with the concepts of reurbanization (the concentration processes of people and households) and suburbanization (the deconcentration processes of people and households).

Although traditionally addressed in different strands of geography, these economic and demographic processes do overlap and partly add to each other due to the comprehensive changes initiated by megatrends like the rising knowledge economy and digitalization. Thus, the Special Issue aims at an integrated discussion on processes influencing economic and demographic patterns of concentration and de-concentration in urbanized regions.

Prof. Dr. Anna Growe
Dr. Angelika Münter
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • metropolization
  • regionalization
  • suburbanization
  • reurbanization
  • political consequences
  • planning strategies
  • comparative analyses
  • knowledge economy
  • digitalization
  • commuting

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Regional Urbanisation through Accessibility - The Case of Public Transport in the Munich Region
Authors: Fabian Wenner a,*, Alain Thierstein a
Affiliations: a Chair of Urban Development, TUM Department of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 Munich, Germany
* Corresponding Author: +49 89 289 22142 / [email protected]; ORCID: 0000-0002-2356-8120
Fabian Wenner MSc is a research and teaching associate at the Chair of Urban Development at Technical University of Munich’s (TUM) Department of Architecture since 2014. He has degrees in Spatial Planning from TU Dortmund and Urban and Regional Planning Studies from the London School of Economics (LSE). His research focus is on urban economics and transport planning, as well as IT tools in planning.
Abstract: Accessibility of people, jobs, and public as well as private services is one of the most significant locational factors for both households and firms, and thus a self-reinforcing driver of urban development, despite increasing teleworking and digitalisation. The knowledge economy with agglomeration economies at its pivot is reinforcing this effect. Changes of the spatial distribution of accessibility hence have the potential to alter the locational choices of households and firms. This particularly applies to improvements of public transport infrastructure. Despite recent innovations in individual transport – engine technologies, sharing, on-demand applications, automation – public infrastructure remains crucial for the functioning of transport in major cities as well as for the city-region wide daily urban space. The Munich Metropolitan Area is such a functional city-region at-large. The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich brought about an immense boost of public works, in particular of new major public transport projects, from which the city profited until recently. Only currently, the city-region has begun to re-consider its radial rail transport system. A first main project is a new regional express rail line across the city (“Zweite Stammstrecke”) that will speed up the connection between the city centre and certain suburbs. This new piece of infrastructure is going to selectively change the ‘accessibility landscape’ of the region, extend the spatial scope of its regional urbanisation. In turn, it may likely step-up the attractiveness of vast areas for residential and commercial development.
On the one hand, a new wave of suburbanisation and residential deconcentration can be expected, given the over-heated housing market in Munich. However, against the backdrop of recent trends such as reverse commuting, super-commuting and centrally located double-income households, a reconcentration of certain population groups also is possible. Commercial activities, on the other hand, are likely to further concentrate, as the central city benefits most from improvements of planned accessibility. This paper will first present the results of an analysis of the accessibility changes induced by the new transport infrastructure and develop a typology of its potential effects. We then visually and analytically compare potential outcomes with a key planning objective for today’s urban development: making use of public transport nodes in order to create high-performance, accessible, dense, and mixed-use neighbourhoods. Such a strategy aims at encouraging shorter commutes and the use of active modes of transport, and thus may overall ensure the more sustainable operation of public facilities. Hence, the paper will finally discuss how urban and regional planning can anticipate and effectively act upon the imminent shifts in accessibility.
Keywords: public transport, rail stations, transit-oriented development, urban development, upscaling

Title: Place-Making through the Creation of Common Spaces in Lima’s Self-Built Settlements: El Ermitaño and Pampa de Cueva as Case Studies for a Regional Urbanization Strategy
Authors: Samar Almaaroufi, Kathrin Golda-Pongratz, Franco Jauregui-Fung, Sara Pereira, Natalia Pulido-Castro and Jeffrey Kenworthy
Abstract: Lima as capital of Peru has become its first megacity with more than 10 million people, resulting from the migration processes from rural areas throughout the 20th century, which have also contributed to the diverse ethnic background of today’s city. The paper analyses two neighbourhoods located in the region of Northern Lima: Pampa de Cueva and El Ermitaño as paradigmatic cases for the city’s expansion through non-formal settlements during the 1960s. They represent a relevant case study because of their complex urbanisation process, the presence of Pre-Hispanic heritage, their location in vulnerable hillside areas in the fringe with a protected natural landscape, and their potentials for sustainable local economic developments. The article traces back the consolidation process of these self-built neighbourhoods or barriadas within the context of Northern Lima as a new centrality for the city. The analysis of urban form and mobility, heritage and environmental challenges, governance and social integration leads into a proposal for neighbourhood upgrading, capacity building with participatory processes, and a vision for a future local development to decentralise the traditional metropolitan centres, which can be scaled to other peripheral neighbourhoods.
Keywords: Latin American cities; Peru; Lima; barriadas; self-built urbanism; non-formal settlements; neighbourhood upgrading; regional development

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