Development networks and urban growth in small cities

Varna, G., Adams, D. and Docherty, I. (2020) Development networks and urban growth in small cities. European Urban and Regional Studies, 27(1), pp. 70-85. (doi: 10.1177/0969776418802919)

[img] Text
167584.pdf - Accepted Version



Real estate development is an intensely social process dependent on rich networks of relations between public- and private-sector actors. Previous work has explored how far such relations are formalised in large cities through shared coalitions of interest intended to promote urban growth. Relatively little attention has been given to networks in smaller cities, which is the concern of this paper. Drawing on detailed research in a small Scottish city, the paper explores how its local network was characterised by strong reliance on network construction and reproduction through trust and reputation. Significantly, within such local networks, competition and collaboration can exist side by side, without subsuming normal tensions into consistent agendas or formally-defined ‘partnerships’. Controlling land for urban expansion provides a particular focus for these tensions since it can allow certain interests to gain network dominance. These findings raise important concerns around whether small cities should rely on informal networks to promote growth instead of constructing formal coalitions that may attract more externally-based actors. Such choices have profound implications for the capacity and transparency of development networks, and thus for the accountability of the urban development process.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Docherty, Professor Iain and Adams, Professor David and Varna, Dr Georgiana
Authors: Varna, G., Adams, D., and Docherty, I.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:European Urban and Regional Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1461-7145
Published Online:09 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in European Urban and Regional Studies 27(1): 70-85
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record