Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

‘Left behind places’: a geographical etymology

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andy Pike, Professor Rachel FranklinORCiD, Professor Danny MacKinnonORCiD, Dr Sanne Velthuis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. ‘Left behind places’ has become the leitmotif of geographical inequalities since the 2008 crisis. Yet, the term’s origins, definition and implications are poorly specified and risk obscuring the differentiated problems and pathways of different kinds of areas. This paper explicates the geographical etymology and spatial imaginary of ‘left behind places’. It argues that the appellation and its spatial expression have modified how geographical inequalities are understood and addressed by recovering a more relational understanding of multiple ‘left behind’ conditions, widening the analytical frame beyond only economic concerns, and opening up interpretations of the ‘development’ of ‘left behind places’ and their predicaments and prospects. While renewing interest in fundamental urban and regional concerns, what needs to endure from the ascendance of the ‘left behind places’ label is the terminology and spatial imaginary of reducing geographical inequalities and enhancing social and spatial justice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pike A, Beal V, Cauchi-Duval N, Franklin R, Kinossian N, Lang T, Leibert T, MacKinnon D, Rousseau M, Royer J, Servillo L, Tomaney J, Velthuis S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Regional Studies

Year: 2023

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 09/02/2023

Acceptance date: 20/12/2022

Date deposited: 22/02/2023

ISSN (print): 0034-3404

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0591

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2023.2167972


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name