Institute of Geography and Sustainability of the University of Lausanne
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Swiss Cities Attracting Networks firms' Locational Anchors Coordinator : Prof. Céline Rozenblat, Institut de géographie, Université de Lausanne Géographie urbaine, analyse spatiale. Celine.rozenblat [ @ ] unil.ch Partners : Prof. Olivier Crevoisier, Institut de Sociologie, Université de Neuchatel Economie territoriale, Olivier.crevoisier [ @ ] unine.ch Prof. Christian Zeller, Institut de géographie, Université de Salzburg Géographie économique, zeller [ @ ] sbg.ac.at Collaborator : Thierry Theurillat, Institut de Sociologie, Université de Neuchatel Economie territoriale, Thierry.theurillat [ @ ] unine.ch Abstract: The globalization of firms creates more and more interdependence between territories, especially between cities that are privileged nodes of this process. If this transformation of global capitalism (Wallerstein, 1979) has articulated with the transformation of cities, it’s because the "space of flows" becomes dominant in the space of places "(Castells, 1996). Multinational firms coordinate their multiple locations in integrated systems division of labor and production systems powers of "global value chains" (Porter, 1986; Gereffi, 1996; Gereffi et al., 2005). Thus, multinational firms contribute to the growth of urban "innovative milieus" and value-added to the supranational level by incorporating them directly or indirectly in these "global value chains and in the diffusion of innovations. Cities now compete directly beyond national borders to attract or retain these strategic functions of innovation or power centers (Kätke, 1990). The centralization of very hierarchical networks, on the one hand, and the concentration of strategic functions, on the other hand, are two sides of the same movement that guides the possible trajectories of each city in the global urban system. The processes underlying this interaction cumulative, however, are still insufficiently depth (Hall, Pain, 2006). This study of the dynamics of a cities system, seen from the articulation of these two aspects, forms of networks and attributes of places, moves to question of the foundations of the potential of each city to maintain, even to improve its position in global networks that are differentiated according to financial or industrial. Are there any preferred scales where the dynamics for different areas of activity develop (regional, European or others) ? Are dependencies tend to increase under the effects of dynamic networks? Does the dynamic networks help to maintain a certain level of national cohesion or on the contrary dislocation and a break international networks developed around each city? In what forms of territorial organizations "central places" persist alongside logical organizations reticular? How national, regional and urban regulations play a role in the current configurations of networks of cities and claim they can guide the future of cities? In the wake of a study on European cities in the world (ESPON project FOCI 2008-2011) we propose a thorough analysis of Swiss cities because they belong to the same national environment, a system in which federal urban is that very little primatial, with kinds of different economic specializations and relatively independent. At first, all the networks of large multinational firms through the Swiss territories will be analyzed in aggregate network activity in a coupling graphs cities and global value chain (2007-2010) . In a second step, the positions will be found in meso level with socio-economic and institutional cities and territories. In parallel, after selecting activities indicative of the knowledge economy in each of the five major Swiss cities, a third approach will show at the micro level development activities in networks within and between enterprises, stressing the positions and possible developments anchorages in the territorial global value chains. Here will be mobilized through investigations not only the business premises, but also their links with research institutions (public or private), research institutes and various actors of the territorial governance. These three studies at the micro, meso and macro feeding assumptions on networks and on cities processes, will be tested in a final step, on the dynamic between the development of networks and cities. Under these assumptions, a prospective study will look in last place on the trajectories of Swiss cities in globalization. The study will be conducted by three researchers and two PHD candidates included in two different parts of this research.

Research fields Urban studies
Urban dynamics
Spatial analysis
Graph analysis
Social networks
Keywords Clustering
Spatial impact
Urban Region Dynamics
Sociology of Organizations
Urban studies
Funding Founded by Fond national suisse de la recherche scientifique 2009-2012 280.000 CHF
Duration  - 
Researchers Crevoisier Olivier
Di Lello Olivier
Rozenblat Céline


Report 2010
Rapport FNS 2010
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