Large Scale Restructuring Has Taken Place in Book Review

Excerpt from Book Review :

Large scale restructuring has taken place in major urban centers of the worldthat included London, Singapore, San Francisco, Vancouver, and may more. 'Inner city' assumes much importance in the regional economics as the impact of globalization and rapid transformation in land use occur at inner parts of these cosmopolitan cities. "The New Economy of the Inner City: Restructuring, Regeneration and Dislocation in the 21st Century Metropolis" by Thomas A. Hutton addresses the critical issues of place and process in the development of 'new economies' in postindustrial cities. Thesis agenda of the book asserts that restructuring initiatives in cosmopolitan cities, specifically London, have enabled the emergence of creative enterprises in the 'new inner city' and thus has dislocated traditional industrial and manufacturing oriented regional economy (Hutton, 2009). Urbanization, migration, policy shifts in land use, restructuring initiatives, clustering of industries, and change in production-consumption has transformed the 'inner city economy'. The book is an original scholarly endeavor to unmask the policy limitation displayed by strategies of policy making institutions regarding urban economic and geographic development.

The main subjects being discussed are evolution of urban economy, shift in land use of metropolitan core of London as well as other restructured city economies, impact of capital and land use on labor market, and dislocation of traditional production system of 'inner city' areas. While discussing the 'inner city' industrial transformation of London, the book cites model studies on important restructuring initiatives in other cosmopolitan cities of the world. The overall purpose of this publication is to emphasize the role of technology and its role in creating a 'new economy' in postindustrial cities and how it has transformed land use, labor market, introduced specialized intermediate service industry, and dislocated the manufacturing industries. The book is a scholarly endeavor, incorporating primary as well as secondary materials along with critical analysis that will help researchers and practitioners in the fields of regional economics, urban studies, economic geography, and economic development policy.

Relevance and significance of materials used

The author has used exemplary case studies and conducted interviews with authors of exemplary studies, performed sequential exercises, and extensive mapping of the geographical areas under investigation. Rich narratives of industrial innovation were used to generalize the dynamics of regional economics within the context of 'new inner city' economies. 21st century urbanization induced by land use factors and technology innovation application in manufacturing and services sector has specifically been emphasized. The secondary materials used in the study also include figures and tables reproduced from original transcripts of those resources. These included graphical and tabular representation of factors of production in all the geographical areas being discussed, specifically the central London and generally those of San Francisco, Florence, Singapore, and Vancouver. Researchers such as Scott (2006) have also investigated 'inner city' development.

The socio-economic impacts that are impact the 'inner-cities' of major cosmopolitan cities are also extensively described through both textual as well as graphical representation. The economic geography of industrial districts has been described by critical analysis of primary research studies that were conducted by eminent scholars in the fields if regional economics, economic geography, and urban studies. The author has also cited empirical insights from the exemplary studies being conducted in the other cities. The theoretical conjecture of these studies along with their findings and implication of these findings have also been reported in the book. The acknowledgments that the author has provided in initial part of the book also describe the extensive interaction that was undertaken with scholars of regional economic but also with planning departments of cities whose case studies have been cited as examples.

Issues being raised

The principle motive of the study has been to conduct a systematic analysis of implications of new industry development in inner cities, specifically London. The semiotic features of land, development of agglomeration economies, policy shift by institutions has led to great impact on regional economics of major urban centers (Hutton, 2006). The author effectively presents the thesis case that innovation in technology and establishment of postindustrial 'inner' cities' can be linked directly linked to each other. The differentiated experiences with respect to place of restructuring have also been acknowledged by the author to discourage generalization of the study in totality and without situational adjustments. Demographic shifts in population, gentrification, and international immigration have been discursively elaborated to draw their connection with theoretical and practical shift in study ofregional economics.The book also elaborates the structural, spatial, social, and land use consequences of restructuring and resulting development of new economies in inner cities. It is observed that larger populations are now living in sub-urban and ex-urban locations to seek employment and earning opportunities in the urban centers. The author establishes the case of 'emergence of a new inner city' by substantiating the arguments with frequent reference to a recent landmark study conducted by Graham and Marvin (2001) in which it was observed that urban change is dynamic as well as 'disturbing' in some aspects. The change in money, labor, and commodity markets has also been tracked by referring the exemplary studies.

The thesis case that 'inner-city' economy has been displaced and replaced by technology intensive 'new economy' as well as the 'cultural economy' has been presented effectively. The concentration of this new economy is within the 'inner city' circle of major cosmopolitan centers of the world, it has been observed. The author draws the conclusion that rapid change in determinant factors of regional economics of London inner city has caused the emergence of new social groups. Experimentation in industries, restructuring, and complex reproduction of economic space has taken place.The core-space of metropolitan economy indicates how economy in the geographical region is placed to grow. Dynamics of income and employment opportunities has changed.

Objectives of research

The study has been attempted after placing specific aims for the study to be accomplished. The findings of the study have been presented after consolidating and synthesizing existing literature on reindustrialization in postmodern cities. Analysis of critical changes in process of developing new economy in metropolitan areas has also been conducted. The study also aimed to present a new integrative model that outlines land use and urban development in the core metropolitan areas of cities. For this, the author has delved into conducting synthesis of pertinent literature that includes primary transcript of all exemplary studies, theoretical engagement with key scholars of the study field, andvisits of exemplary case study sites along withfield work as well. The research conducted in this book has been guided by presenting questions such as:

How industry formation and social factors impact the regional economics of inner cities?

Are there any 'globalizing' tendencies in new inner city economies?

The nature and process of local contingencies that shape new industry formation, along with reporting the impact of regeneration and dislocation on economy of that area.

How space and place change impacts the industry of inner city and how it transcends the traditional boundaries of regional economics is also illustrated by means of theoretical research specifically metropolises area. The inner city industry formation has been discussed in historical context of urban development. The larger processes of urban development have been elaborated in context of change in macro-economic factors. A critique and synthesis of urban theory has also been presented by the author. In short, the book is part of developmental studies planned by the author and discusses important issues in regional economics, economic geography, and urban economy. The thesis being presented is not complete in its development and the theoretical framework of 'new inner city' is not competing yet. The implications of study along with conclusion being reported are non-exhaustive and the author himself acknowledges the evolutionary phase of this study. The concepts and findings are presented in a systematic and layered format, thereby addressing key issues of regional economics specifically labor market…

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