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The View from Over the Hill: Regional Research in a Post-Demographic Transition World

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel FranklinORCiD


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Regional science came of age in the post-World War II era, when rapid advances were being made in many fields of science and computational technologies were blossoming; large-scale urban and regional modeling and normative approaches to planning were in vogue. The multidisciplinary field has perhaps been most closely associated with its methods. But the topics of regional science research have also reflected conditions extant in a world undergoing a profound demographic transformation. The most developed countries have now completed their long-term fertility transitions, and most of the still-developing countries have now moved out of the early expanding stage. At a regional and local scale, settlement patterns in much of the developed world have been characterized by urban sprawl and suburbanization, as well as periodic counter-urbanization starting the 1970s, while in the developing world rapid urbanization has been the norm with the growth of many new mega-cities. These trends all reflect the changing age composition attendant to demographic transition. In this chapter, we attempt to lay out some of the changing needs and issues for regional research as world population growth slows, as labor forces age in both more developed and rapidly developing countries, as advances in gender equality proceed apace, and when, in many regions, little population change or even population losses become as likely as continued population growth. We offer some provocative thoughts on nine broad topics where we think looking through the lens of demographic aging can help scope out policy concerns and research needs for the future.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Franklin RS, Plane DA

Editor(s): Jackson R; Schaeffer P

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Regional Research Frontiers, Volume 1: Innovations, Regional Growth and Migration

Year: 2017

Volume: 1

Pages: 329-346

Print publication date: 23/05/2017

Online publication date: 18/04/2017

Acceptance date: 22/07/2016

Series Title: Advances in Spatial Science

Number of Volumes: 2

Publisher: Springer

Place Published: Cham


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-50547-3_20

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783319505466