Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Urban Primacy

Another post inspired by Phil McDermott, now with some charts on Urban Primacy.

Urban Primacy indicates to what extent economic development is concentrated in a few cities (population, economic activities, services, etc.). It's all about Christaller's Central Place Theory and Agglomeration Economies!

Phil McDermott saysExcessive primacy may increase economic volatility because the contrast between a rich centre and poor periphery is politically destabilising. One centre dominating financial, human, and intellectual resources may also increase national vulnerability to structural decline.“ One should also note that excessive primacy can also mean excessive concentration of opportunities and public services. And that's a classic starting point for the debate over balanced urban networks and polycentrism.

Number of Cities by Size Category (2010)
[image credit: via Cities Matter]

Population Share of Largest City, Ten Nations, 1990 and 2010
[image credit: via Cities Matter]

Share of national GDP and Population of selected cities
Source: World Bank, 2007

*** And here you have peculiar way to visualize urban hierarchy in Brazil.

Soundtrack for this post: Clapton