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Revisiting urban hierarchy and specialization from a maritime perspective

Abstract : Port–city relationships have attracted paramount attention from a variety of scientific disciplines for several decades, such as geography, history, planning, regional science, sociology, and economics to name but a few. Yet, the extent to which maritime traffic specialization obeys the same spatial distribution than other economic activities remains underexplored today. This article tackles these lacunae head-on by proposing an empirical analysis of the way vessel tonnage per main categories of flows (e.g. containers, bulks, passengers) coincides with the demographic size of the world’s coastal and inland city-regions, using novel data on global inter-port vessel movements and harmonized population data over the period 1977–2008. Our main results confirm that such traffic is far from being randomly distributed, as its volume, value, and diversity concentrate at the top of the urban hierarchy. This research motivates the need to further integrate physical connectivity into the study of cities and their development mechanisms.
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César Ducruet. Revisiting urban hierarchy and specialization from a maritime perspective. Maritime Policy and Management, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020, 47 (3), pp.371-387. ⟨10.1080/03088839.2019.1693065⟩. ⟨halshs-02434274⟩



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