Urban Structure as a Precondition of Regional Development. Evidence from Slovakia
Abstract. The main objective of the paper was to investigate a possible link between the urban structure and regional economic performance in Slovakia, at district level (LAU1). Based on the selected urban indicators, we identified distinct patterns in terms of urban structure and economic performance in Slovakia through the Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering (AHC) method. The “inner” urban pattern includes districts located predominantly in the central part of the country with some extension to the west and east. Common characteristics of this pattern are higher centrality, clustering, and monocentric urban cores. The “outer” urban pattern includes districts located predominantly at the periphery, along the borders. The common characteristics of this pattern are the dispersed urban patterns and polycentric settlement structures. The underlying urban structure was matched with the economic conditions prevailing in each district for evaluating the degree of concordance. The kappa coefficient of concordance has shown a scant relation between the urban structure and economic performance of regions at the district level (LAU1). According to the main findings, underlying urban pattern (clustered or dispersed one) in any particular district does not preclude economic success or failure of its regional economy.
K e y w o r d s: urban patterns, monocentricity, polycentricity, coefficient of concordance, economic development