Interlocking Firm Networks and Emerging Mega-City Regions in the Knowledge Economy

  • Alain ThiersteinEmail author
  • Stefan LüthiEmail author
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


The main objective of this contribution lies in the exploration of a new metropolitan form in the context of the knowledge economy: polycentric Mega-City Regions. In the first part, we focus on the theoretical building blocks of Mega-City Regions by considering these polycentric urban structures as an emerging spatial phenomenon based on re-scaling processes of agglomeration economies as well as network economies. By using the two inter-related concepts, we secondly analyse large-scale interlocking networks and functional urban hierarchies in nine Mega-City Regions in North West Europe: Munich, Northern Switzerland, the Dutch Randstad Region, South East England, Rhine-Ruhr, Rhine-Main, the Paris Region, Central Belgium and Greater Dublin. The main conclusion of the paper is that polycentric Mega-City Regions are becoming a more general phenomenon in advanced economies. The inter-urban functional linkages are found to be extending and intensifying while, at the same time, global functions are clustering and centralising. These apparently contradictory processes are intersecting on the Mega-City Region scale, which emerges as a new strategic location for activities of the knowledge economy.


Mega-city region Knowledge economy Interlocking firm networks Advanced producer services firms Agglomeration economies North Western Europe 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Territorial and Spatial DevelopmentMunich University of TechnologyMunichGermany

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