Core & Periphery (DE)

In order to understand the influence of the Rhine area and the area that influences the Rhine area, it is necessary to investigate its context. A collective of factors (demographic, cultural, infrastructural, etc.) make the area along the river Rhine to a focus zone within Europe. We try to mistrust this fact as much as possible in order to redefine its current condition.

Europe does not have a clearly defined center or core but one can surely talk about a certain centrality, from a core zone, which is economic, institutional and cultural dominating. In our part of the project Beyond Plan B we go on a quest for Europe’s periphery and core with the help of economic, social-political and cultural parameters.

The current relationship between urbanity and economic growth seems to be easy explained. Where there is a high concentration of people, there is a high concentration of connections which leads to a higher information flow than in less populated areas. A higher information flow is resulting in higher exchange rates and consumption.  This advantage of high concentration in a rather small area can’t be competed by other, softer qualities, of less densely populated zones. Thus, according to this theory, high density is good business.

What happens to high density areas can be explained with the core-periphery model which constructs the link between areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration of, inhabitants, trade volumes, infrastructure, etc. The most intriguing part of this model is its scalelessness, thus it is not only applicable to cities but also to villages and social groups as well as to the world at large.

In our study we investigate Europe in the light of the core-periphery model to either prove it or trash it but as starting point it helps us to reorganize this vast atomized space.

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