One of the curious paradoxes of the modem, developed, capitalist economy is that whilst its very foundation depends on trade, which itself implies the transport of both goods and people over space, many of its most urgent economic problems also concern space. By space is meant the separation of economic activities by distance and the organisation of the economy into distinct areas such as towns and regions. As economies have become richer the variations in the well-being of their residents between such areas have become more pronounced. As transport and communications have improved so the relative lack of mobility experienced by certain groups within the economy has become more pronounced. The easily identified problems of backward regions, decaying urban centres and stagnating public transport systems are not unique to the developed economies; similar problems, often intensified, are also found in many developing countries of the Third World.
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