By Leo van den Berg
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Extra info for A Study of Growth and Decline. Urban Europe
As far as economic structure is concerned, three very broad stages are conceived: first, the transition from a largely agrarian to an industrial society, second, the transition from an industrial economy to a tertiary economy, and third, the growth of the tertiary sector to maturity. In what follows these three stages will be distinguished, and the spatial changes of a town which can be considered typical of each stage will be investigated. Very broad definitions are envisaged, which will help to schematize to some extent the process of urban change.
Regions with high-level amenities and excellent environmental qualities will urge for improvement in the quality and quantity of jobs available in the region, etc. Whatever measure is taken, it cannot improve the level of well-being of the country as a whole unless the speed at which the level of the different elements in the non-maximum regions is raised exceeds that in the maximum regions. Absolute increases are uninteresting, only relative improvements exceeding the relative improvements in the "best" levels count.
Similarly, new towns spring up in places that appear favourable to industrialization. Such a process of urbanization was a characteristic development of all the countries of Europe following the Industrial Revolution in England. In most of them it began in the nineteenth century, but in some, only after the Second World War. We will come to some specific differences between these two groups of countries later. The phenomenon of accelerating urbanization can manifest itself in different ways. If the country-to-town movement in a country is oriented largely towards one particular town which embodies all modern development, that town has a chance of growing into the national metropolis.
A Study of Growth and Decline. Urban Europe by Leo van den Berg