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The end of urbanisation? Transformation of the urban concept

Author(s): Hans Thor Andersen | Sten Engelstoft

Journal: Dela
ISSN 0354-0596

Issue: 21;
Start page: 53;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: settlement geography | urban geography | urbanization | Denmark

Cities and their environments are continuously changing. During the last two hundred yearsurbanization has replaced a predominantly rural landscape with an urban landscape. Althoughthe urbanization apparently has transformed the western countries most, the pace ofurbanization is now highest in economic less developed countries. However, this does notmean an end to urbanization or a stabilization of the urban landscape in more developedcountries. In the second half of the 20th century growth of large cities ceased and mediumsized and small cities went into a period of rapid growth. This new pattern of urbanization(counter urbanization) was strongly debated during the 1970s and onwards, in particular inrelation to its practical implications. Decentralisation of political decision making and publicservice production was soon following the population and often used as an instrument tostimulate growth in less prosperous regions. The Scandinavian countries are cases in point.During the last decade still more examples points at a reversal of the trend; metropolitanareas have begun to grew again both due to net migration and natural increase of the population.
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