Regional Science in the Twenty-First Century
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Regional science has been a research field for over 50 years; it continues to enjoy a solid reputation as a useful approach for problem solving for economic, sociocultural, political, and even environmental issues. Its methods, techniques, and perspectives contribute to understandings of regions and of interactions both between regions and within a given region. Its challenge for the future is to fully incorporate new technologies and approaches such as geographic and regional information systems while continuing to be useful to those wishing to evaluate the structure and evolution of established regions and the emergence of new regional identities.
Regional science has been a recognized enterprise for only 50 years, and it is still a young field. W. Isard, the founder, who for more than 40 years had a profound influence on regional science curricula, published a series of fundamental books on methods and introduction (Isard W, Methods of regional analysis; an introduction. M.I.T, Cambridge, 1960; Isard W, Introduction to regional science. Prenctice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1975). Regional science was seen as a science of places, locations, and networks. But the discovery in the 1980s, through social and natural sciences, of other possible approaches (Hägerstrand T, Pap Reg Sci Assoc 24:7–21, 1973) marked the beginnings of new lines of research that we present in this paper.
KeywordsRegion Regional science Regional geography Regional identities
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