It took some time, but my article in Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie has finally been published online. It is co-authored by Marloes Hoogerbrugge (Erasmus University Rotterdam, but at TU Delft previously) and Rodrigo Cardoso (TU Delft). The title is Beyond Polycentricity: Does stronger integration between cities in Polycentric Urban Regions improve performance? and I am glad to say that it is open access! I think the paper really innovates, by identifying all PURs in Europe and by presenting the first cross-sectional quantitative analysis of PURs in Europe. We are able to statistically demonstrate the importance of functional integration and institutional cooperation between cities. If you like to continue doing research on PURs in Europe, then I am happy to share the dataset, just send me an email in that case.
Here’s the abstract:
A quarter of the European population lives in ‘polycentric urban regions’ (PURs): clusters of historically and administratively distinct but proximate and well-connected cities of relatively similar size. This paper explores whether tighter integration can increase agglomeration benefits at the PUR-level. We provide the first comprehensive list of European PURs (117 in total), establish their level of functional, institutional and cultural integration and measure whether this affects their performance. ‘Performance’ is defined as the extent to which urbanisation economies have developed, proxied by the presence of metropolitan functions. In this first-ever cross-sectional analysis of PURs we find that while there is evidence for all dimensions of integration having a positive effect, particularly functional integration has great significance. Regarding institutional integration, it appears that having some form of metropolitan co-operation is more important than its exact shape. Theoretically, our results substantiate the assumption that networks may substitute for proximity.