Cities in the most advanced economies are progressively abandoning spatially additive, radio-centric patterns of urban expansion that were fueled by industrialization and the subsequent 'demographic boom' for a long time in the past. Uneven changes in the global hierarchy of metropolitan regions have given room to newly emerging relationships between urban and rural districts based on cooperative and specialized exchange of services and goods. By representing a distant world from traditional notions such as 'gravitation' and 'hierarchy', the 'city-region' paradigm has proposed distinctive visions of urbanization that should be progressively reconnected with hegemonic notions of urban management, such as those referring to 'sustainability' or 'resilience' dimensions. With global changes, interpretative approaches related with the 'mega-city region' ideal have informed the diachronic analysis of contemporary urban agglomerations. A brief reflection on the emergence of this new economic model in Southern Europe is presented in this work with the aim at investigating the relationship between dispersed urbanization, economic restructuring and socio-spatial change in light of urban sustainability. While Mediterranean cities have been seen as a sort of 'ordinary' cities for a long time, likely distant from more 'globalized' urban models, distinctive socioeconomic traits - possibly open to competition and globalization - are now characteristic of such cities. Our commentary describes the emergence of a Southern European urban area, Athens, as a new 'city-region' in the specific context of Mediterranean urbanization, suggesting that one of the possible features of urban competitiveness amongst emerging and established city-regions is the fight for hosting mega-events. Efforts for boosting urban competitiveness may largely impact new forms of city-regions reflecting dispersed urbanization and socio-spatial inequalities in the metropolitan space.
'Post-financial' metropolises? Rise and decline of a (sprawling) city-region / Ermini, B.; Sateriano, A.; Rontos, K.; Salvati, L.. - STAMPA. - (2021), pp. 21-68.