The process of metropolization in megacity-regions

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This chapter presents the concept of metropolization, defined as the dynamics of interaction between spatial-functional, political-institutional and cultural-symbolic integration processes across city-regions, which transform these fragmented territories into coherent metropolitan systems. The authors first discuss the arguments in favour of metropolization as a strategic policy aim, as integrated city-regions become able to jointly reap the benefits of scale through mechanisms of borrowed size, and review some significant barriers. They then illustrate, through the case of the Dutch Randstad, the long-term process of interaction between the three dimensions of integration, operating in conjunction to become either barriers or incentives to a potentially virtuous cycle of city-regional integration. The metropolization concept contributes to debates on whether city-regional economies should be defined by agglomerations or networks, the importance of historical legacies at the city-region scale, and the role played by governance arrangements and identity-building efforts, alongside functions and infrastructure, in city-regional integration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Megacities and Megacity-Regions
EditorsDanielle Labbe, Andre Sorensen
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781788972703
ISBN (Print)9781788972697
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in Urban Studies series

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • metropolisation
  • city-regional integration
  • extensive urbanisation
  • Randstad
  • borrowed size
  • metropolitan identity


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