Metropolization Processes and Intra-Regional Contrasts: The Uneven Fortunes of English Secondary Cities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


As urbanization spreads across territories, interdependencies between the cities composing a city-region fuel a process of functional and spatial integration labelled as metropolisation. This chapter discusses whether secondary cities can benefit from that process. Focusing on the case of England, the study assesses 64 secondary cities in eight city-regions on their potential to engage with metropolisation, situating them in four quadrants of a functional-demographic profile matrix. Results point to a variegated landscape of secondary cities with contrasting features regarding (1) the structure and size of the city-region; (2) local spatial-environmental factors; (3) demography; (4) functional performance; (5) population growth; and (6) transport connectivity. The chapter concludes with a discussion of incentives and deterrents to metropolisation typical of each quadrant to show the need for governance and planning to adopt a model of metropolitan development that stimulates integration in ways that serve the interests of secondary cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecondary Cities
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Uneven Development in Dynamic Urban Regions of the Global North
EditorsMark Pendras, Charles Williams
PublisherBristol University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5292-1208-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-5292-1207-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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