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Growth and urban differentiation on the urban periphery: A case study from Szeged, Hungary

Abstract

In late nineteenth century Hungarian cities there were strong contrasts between the inner ‘urban’ core and the rural periphery in terms of housing conditions, accessibility and lifestyle. Rural-urban fringe zones in the Great Plain were quite distinctive because the Turkish period was followed by an outflow of population which resulted in scattered settlement around the urban centres. The fringe could be regarded simply as a zone of transition, but the differences between urban centres and their immediate surroundings were gradually reduced through the industrialisation of the larger towns in the communist period. A study of Szeged examines the expansion of the fringe zone and its gradual urbanisation through the growth of housing as people have moved out from the centre to live among the rural population which increasingly turned from agriculture to commuting. Villages on either side of Szeged's administrative boundary accommodated more migrants from the city during the 1980s and experienced a gradual positive change in the quality of life as people escaped from the decaying residential blocs in the centre. During the years since 1989 there has been further migration, coupled with a growth of small businesses and a big improvement in services (shopping, running water, sewage and telecommunications). Further change may be expected in line with the forces of counterurbanisation.

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Nagy, E. Growth and urban differentiation on the urban periphery: A case study from Szeged, Hungary. GeoJournal 46, 221–230 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006916518908

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  • boundaries
  • fringe zone
  • Hungary
  • migration
  • periphery
  • transition
  • urban areas
  • villages