The City-Region concept in a Scottish context

Lindsay, Douglas (2012) The City-Region concept in a Scottish context. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The concept of the ‘city-region’ has (re)gained prominence in academic discourse, firstly in a functional dimension an explanation of patterns of life and work in the modern space-economy, and secondly in a related politico-cultural dimension via an advocacy of the city-region scale as a loci for political and administrative organisation.

As an acknowledgment of the connection between the two dimensions a case study approach was adopted. Firstly, the thesis considered the extent to which Scotland has city-regions in a functional sense, primarily via a quantitative analysis of census origin-destination (home-workplace) data. Secondly, having established that the spatial logic for city-regions was sufficiently robust, the thesis considered the political and organisational feasibility, desirability and relevance of devising arrangements that would facilitate planning and policy-making for city-regions. A series of qualitative semi-structured interviews featuring a cross-section of respondents across three field service case studies (local authorities, healthcare and strategic planning) were undertaken with discussions grounded in the context of Scotland’s pre-existing administrative geography. The interviews were interpreted via a series of governance principles or themes that emerged from a review of relevant literature on the city-region, and a second subsequent review of literature on Scotland’s field service geography.

The totality of the quantitative research constituted a comprehensive statement on the significance of city-regions as functional entities, with a ‘spatial mismatch’ evident between Scotland’s functional city-regions and Scotland’s pre-existing geoadministrative structure. With respect to the qualitative research (regional organising capacity and culture and identity) it was concluded that existing cooperative arrangements for city-regions in Scotland are inadequate, but that a fresh approach is necessary due to reluctance amongst many field service units to cooperate across administrative boundaries.

This work serves as a reminder that irrespective of any compelling functional evidence, the city-region concept must be able to overcome or adapt to the political and cultural barriers to its practical implementation that inevitably face any normative geoadministrative proposition.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: city-region, city, region, functional rationality, regional organising capacity, culture and identity, governance, Scotland.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Supervisor's Name: Turok, Prof. Ivan, Allison, Dr. Orr and John, Prof. Parr
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Dr Douglas Lindsay
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3811
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2013 09:25
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2013 10:53

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