Intermediate Cities

Cities are defined mainly based on spatial and demographic criteria. The criteria of intermediation helps in identifying current urban dynamics, in relation to surrounding suburban/rural areas or in national and international environments. Medium‐sized cities are emblematic of so‐called “intermediate cities.” According to international thresholds, nearly 50 percent of the world's urban population now live in cities of less than 500,000 inhabitants. In developing countries, these cities face particular difficulties: less efficient public administration, insufficient funds to meet social needs, and lack of skilled individuals to manage large projects. In more industrially and technologically advanced countries, intermediate cities long suffered from the primacy of larger‐sized cities. An intermediate city is defined based on a certain number of characteristics, with three spheres of influence: the micro regional scale, the national scale, and the international scale. Three positions for these cities can be identified: “affected” intermediate cities, with a strong position in their territory; “satellite” intermediate cities, near larger cities; and “remote” intermediate cities, distinguished by a more closed system vis‐à‐vis the outside, given their remoteness. Because of their characteristics, intermediate cities should be the target of regional planning to link urban growth and territorial balance between city and country.

Published in:
The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies

 Record created 2020-08-28, last modified 2020-08-28

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