The spatial implications of the functional proximity deriving from air passenger flows between European metropolitan urban regions
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Until recently the traditional spatial configuration of the European geography was based upon the core-periphery model. The ‘pentagon’, broadly defined as lying between London, Paris, Milan, Munich and Hamburg, was seen as the core area characterised by having the highest concentration of economic development in the European Union (EU), with the remainder of the European territory viewed as peripheral, albeit to varying degrees. In a number of cases such peripheral areas equated with clear regional disparities. The elaboration of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) (CEC, European spatial development perspective, towards balanced and sustainable development in the territory of the European Union, 1999) challenged this core-periphery model. European spatial planning policies, aimed at encouraging social and economic, and with ever increasing importance, territorial cohesion, seek amongst other aspects to encourage the development of a balanced and polycentric urban system. This paper adopts a network analysis approach to the analysis of air passenger flows between some 28 principal European metropolitan urban regions. The evaluation of these flows contributes to an enhanced comprehension of the spatial dynamics of the European metropolitan territory which goes beyond that deriving from the more standard analyses of the individual components of the urban system. Several indicators are used, deriving from gravitational modelling techniques, to analyse the complexity of the air passenger flows. A multidimensional scaling (MDS) technique is introduced in order to interpret and visualise the resulting spatial configuration and positioning of the different metropolitan centres within the conceptual European ‘space of air passenger flows’, thereby contrasting with the more traditional map-based geographical image of Europe, based upon Cartesian coordinates.
CitationBurns, Malcom; Roca Cladera, Josep; Moix berguedà, Montserrat. The spatial implications of the functional proximity deriving from air passenger flows between European metropolitan urban regions. A: GeoJournal (2008) 71:37–52. Pàg. 37-52.