Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Virtual special issue

CURDS 40th ‘virtual special issue’ list

CURDS 40th Anniversary – ‘Urban and Regional Development: Retrospect and Prospect’

Across its 40-year history, CURDS research has been published in the form of articles in academic journals.

Many of these journals are international, peer reviewed and represent the published outlets of record in the disciplines relating to the core interests of CURDS in urban and regional change, development and policy.

Looking across the history of the articles published from CURDS since 1977, there has been a large volume which is testament to the productive culture, initiative and hard work of staff. Highly influential and significant contributions are evident which have forged and shaped agendas in urban and regional development in conceptual, theoretical, empirical and policy terms.

This virtual special issue has been assembled to highlight and demonstrate the enduring importance and significance of key papers published from CURDS since 1977. Selecting the papers has been a mixture of art and science, identifying influential contributions and those that have attracted high levels of citations in wider literatures.

For each of the central research themes in CURDS, the selected articles demonstrate the articulation of key research agendas and their evolution.

In people and places, the articles highlight the pioneering work on conceptualising and quantifying urban systems, capturing demographic change and their evolving urban and regional expressions, and understanding and mapping urban and regional labour market dynamics.

In innovation and technology, the articles demonstrate the novelty of spatializing technological change and explaining its urban and regional implications, the emergence and territorial development ramifications of the new economy and information and communications technologies and examining the emergence of new forms of economic activities and work in peripheral regions.

In finance and services, the articles mark leading contributions to explaining institutional, technological and spatial restructuring in the financial services sector including building societies, public sector dispersal, and geographies of money and finance pioneering engagements with Islamic banking and post-colonial political-economy and decentred and gendered economic geographies.

For institutions and governance, articles have led the critique of the regionalisation of flexible accumulation, scrutinising the connections between policy incentives and mobile investment quality, examining the dynamics of inward investment and its implications for peripheral regional development, interpreting the (re)emergence of regional governance and regionalism in England, and addressing the fundamental question of ‘what kind of local and regional development and for whom?’. Engaging new approaches to economic geography has been central drawing upon postcolonial and evolutionary theories as well as leading and setting in train the research agenda focused upon the role of universities in urban and regional development in the round.

In putting together and making more widely accessible these articles, we are grateful to the editors and editorial boards of the journals who originally published them, and to their publishers, for making them freely available for those without institutional access.

CURDS 40th logo


  1. Thwaites AT. Technological change, mobile plants and regional development. Regional Studies 1978, 12(4), 445-461.

  2. Coombes MG, Dixon JS, Goddard JB, Openshaw S and Taylor PJ. Daily urban systems in Britain: From theory to practice. Environment and Planning A, 1979, 11(5), 565-574.

  3. Amin A and Robins K. The re-emergence of regional economies? The mythical geography of flexible accumulation. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 1990, 8(1), 7-34.

  4. Marshall JN, Alderman N and Thwaites AT. Civil service relocation and the English regions. Regional Studies, 1991, 25(6), 499-510.

  5. Amin A, Bradley D, Howells J, Tomaney J and Gentle C. Regional incentives and the quality of mobile investment in the less favoured regions of the EC. Progress in Planning, 1994, 41(1), 1-122.

  6. Goddard JB and Chatterton P. Regional Development Agencies and the knowledge economy: Harnessing the potential of universities. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 1999, 17(6), 685-699.

  7. Marshall JN, Willis R, Coombes MG, Raybould S and Richardson R. Mutuality, de-mutualization and communities: The implications of branch network rationalization in the British building society industry. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2000, 25(3), 355-378.

  8. Tomaney J and Ward N. England and the new regionalism. Regional Studies, 2000, 34(5), 471-478.

  9. Champion AG. A changing demographic regime and evolving polycentric urban regions: consequences for the size, composition and distribution of city populations. Urban Studies, 2001, 38(4), 657-677.

  10. Gillespie AE, Richardson R and Cornford J. Regional development and the new economy. European Investment Bank Papers, 2001, 6(1), 109-131.

  11. Richardson R and Belt V. Saved by the bell? Call centres and economic development in less favoured regions. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 2001, 22(1), 67-98.

  12. Dawley S. Fluctuating rounds of inward investment in peripheral regions: Semiconductors in the north east of England. Economic Geography, 2007, 83(1), 51-73.

  13. Pollard JS and Samers M. Islamic banking and finance: Postcolonial political economy and the decentring of economic geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2007, 32(3), 313-330.

  14. Pike A, Rodríguez-Pose A and Tomaney J. What kind of local and regional development and for whom? Regional Studies, 2007, 41(9), 1253-1269.

  15. Pollard JS, McEwan C, Laurie ND and Stenning AC. Economic geography under postcolonial scrutiny. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2009, 34(2), 137-142.

  16. MacKinnon D, Cumbers A, Pike A, Birch K and McMaster R. Evolution in economic geography: Institutions, political economy, and adaptation. Economic Geography, 2009, 85(2), 129-150.

  17. Pike A, Dawley S and Tomaney J. Resilience, adaptation and adaptability. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2010, 3(1), 59–70.

  18. Pollard JS. Gendering capital: Financial crisis, financialization and (an agenda for) economic geography. Progress in Human Geography, 2013, 37(3), 403-423.

  19. Pollard JS, Datta K, James A and Akli Q. Islamic charitable infrastructure and giving in East London: everyday economic-development geographies in practice. Journal of Economic Geography 2016, 16(4), 871-896.

  20. Gordon I, Champion T and Coombes M. Urban escalators and inter-regional elevators: the difference that location, mobility and sectoral specialisation make to occupational progression. Environment and Planning A, 2015, 47(3), 588-606.