Call for Papers: 'Globalization, City-Regions and Polycentricity'

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2007 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
San Francisco, California, USA
17th-21st April 2007

Michael Hoyler, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, UK
Robert Kloosterman, Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies, Netherlands
Bart Lambregts, Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies, Netherlands
Martin Sokol, Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Recent debates about the future of cities and regions in the global knowledge economy have postulated an increasing importance of the city-regional scale (Scott 2001, Hall and Pain 2006). Concepts such as ‘global city-region' or ‘mega-city region' suggest a complex interrelationship between the role of major city-regions as nodes in the global economy and their polycentric, multi-clustered spatial form. While some have argued that these regions derive considerable economic strength from their polycentric structure, others have pointed to the major challenges these highly fragmented city-regions pose in terms of social cohesion and environmental sustainability. However, there is a lack of systematic evidence on the changing internal geographies of global polycentric city-regions. Equally, we need a better understanding of the functional integration of various economic activities within city-regions and their global linkages. Unpacking the patterns, meanings and dynamics of polycentricity at the city-regional level is therefore a timely and pressing task. This session aims to address some of the conceptual and empirical gaps in our understanding of polycentric city-regions. We welcome papers that focus on any of the following topics:

  • concepts of polycentricity
  • scales of polycentricity
  • historical trajectories of polycentric city-regions
  • functional divisions of labour within and between polycentric city-regions
  • the role of ‘first cities' in polycentric city-regions
  • locational strategies of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) in polycentric city-regions
  • business clustering and dispersal of KIBS sectors in polycentric city-regions
  • geographies of connectivities of KIBS firms within and beyond the city-regional sphere
  • critical evaluations of policy discourses on polycentricity and city-regions
  • critical evaluations of strategic planning and governance issues in polycentric city-regions
  • case studies from different globalization arenas

If you are interested in participating in this session, please send title and abstract (of no more than 250 words) to Michael Hoyler ( and Martin Sokol ( by 15th October 2006.

For AAG abstract specifications, see