Author(s): David F Batten
The global economy is nurturing an innovative class of polycentric urban configurations: network cities. A network city evolves when two or more previously independent cities, potentially complementary in function, strive to cooperate and achieve significant scope economies aided by fast and reliable corridors of transport and communications infrastructure. Creative network cities place a higher priority on knowledge-based activities like research, education and the creative arts. The cooperative mechanisms may resemble those of inter-firm networks in the sense that each urban player stands to benefit from the synergies of interactive growth via reciprocity, knowledge exchange and unexpected creativity. Two case studies are discussed briefly—Randstad Holland and Kansai, Japan. Since much of their future dynamism may rely upon transnational human resources, it is foreseen that more network cities will transcend national borders during the next millennium.