Analysis of Cities and Regions

The central concern with this investigation was with the nature of cities and regions and the vagueness that appears to have enveloped these terms. Starting with the city, consideration was given  to the 'Built City' and how this might be modified to form several versions of the 'Extended City'. The investigation then examined the region, commencing with an exploration of the tripartite definition of the ‘region’ proposed by Meyer: the homogeneous region; the nodal region; and the programming or policy region. Particular attention was given to two distinctive regional forms (the city-region and the polycentric urban region), each of which has become the focus of attention. These two forms were examined in terms of spatial-structure and interaction patterns, along with certain aspects of economic development.

The investigation was extended to examine the nature of regional urban systems. This began with an examination of the regional economy and its spatial organisation, and it was argued that spatial structure could be affected by (and would also affect) regional economic performance. The primary focus was on the regional urban system within the context of the contemporary city-region.Certain location- theory models were of assistance in explaining certain (but not all) regularities within the city-region.

The final part of the investigation dealt with public policy toward regions. This was concerned with the economic and social bases of regional policy, the instruments used in pursuing policy, and the significance attached to space and spatial structure in the design and delivery of regional policy.


Professor John B Parr (Urban Studies, University of Glasgow)


August 2005 to date


Parr, J.B. (2007) Spatial definitions of the city: four perspectives, Urban Studies, 44.2, 381-392.

Parr, J. B. (2008) Cities and regions: problems and potentials, Environment and Planning A, 40.12, 3009-3026.

Parr, J.B. (2013) The regional economy, spatial structure, and regional urban systems, Regional Studies, 47 (forthcoming).

Parr, J. B. (2013) Neglected aspects of regional policy: a retrospective view (submitted)