What is it about?

The article investigates the importance of network capital on urban economic growth. It aims at shedding light on the convergence of agglomeration and network effects in the process of city region development. It reveals that cities are not only growing benefiting from agglomeration effect, representatively as the rise of city regions, but also re-organising as an inter-city network, creating network capital.

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Why is it important?

It is easy to argue that agglomeration and network are conceived as two alternatives pathways for urban development, neglecting the possibility of the interactive pathway. This article attempts to break the boundary between the agglomeration and network effects for urban development through unveiling the underlying economic configuration of a dynamic city region in China. This attempt will help us to break the dichotomy in terms of future urban development pathways.


In my perspective, this article is just an initial stage in exploring the interplay of agglomeration and network effects, asking for much more empirical studies and methodological complementaries. However, I strongly argue that this is imperative for urban scholars to pursue in this direction given the factor that city system has become an adaptive complex network system where factors interaction in both face-to-face and distant ways.

Shuai Shi
University of Hong Kong

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Investigating China’s Mid-Yangtze River economic growth region using a spatial network growth model, Urban Studies, January 2020, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0042098019894232.
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