Ideas of place in the economics property and planning cannot escape the concepts of space and spatial considerations held with economic geography. Space as a concept can be thought of in many ways, for instance ideas around ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ space, and physical natural and social constructions space are deep rooted in the realm of philosophy. For Kant, (1781) in his ‘Critique of pure reason’ he moves forward philosophies on the nature of reality by developing thought on both rationalism and empiricism, and in doing so synthesising separations of reason and human experience. Thus in relation to conceptualising the reality of space (and time), he sees two expositions of space (and time) as metaphysical and transcendental. The metaphysical expositions of space (and time) are concerned with clarifying how space (and time) are known independently of experience. The transcendental expositions attempt to show how the metaphysical conclusions might be applied to enrich our understanding. In short, experience of space can provide additional rational causal depth to what may be merely observed in empiricism. However space is conceptualised, space can employ economic concepts to understand resources over space.

As conceptions of space in property and planning, Burgess’ monocentric concentric zone model (Burgess, 1925) for instance still plays a part in visualisation concentric rings of property types. To add economic concepts, Alonso (1964) took the monocentric model and added economic rents to the various property classifications to gain greater understanding of maximum bid-rents at various distance from the core. Alonso’s work was inspired by von Thunen, whose Isolated State (1826) work initially imagined an isolated city, set in the middle of a level and uniformly fertile plain without navigable waterways and bounded by a wilderness. Von Thunen used this model to demonstrate methods of maximizing agricultural production in concentric zones. Other spatial models of significance in this field include Hoyt’s (1939) radial sector model demonstrates spatial patterns in urban development around ribbon transport corridor development. Further foundations in spatial modelling include the multiple nuclei model as developed by Harris and Ullman (1945). Here we find the nuclei model demonstrates that in addition to the CBD, additional similar industries with common land-use and financial requirements are established near each other and thus influence their immediate neighbourhood’s economic geography.

Economic geography in relation to space has several key writers of a more Marxian view on labour-capital relations and its governance. Harvey’s [1982] The limits to capital places more contemporary light on the extent of effects from capital accumulation over space. Plus, work by Massey (1995) focuses on the spatial divisions of labour and the geography of production as set by particular social structures of the time. In essence, unpacking why spatial inequalities persist via the production process. On a similar critical analysis, Smith’s (1996) gentrification work almost personalises the process of gentrification in cities, seeing some form of revenge by capital on (non-capital owning) residents as they are displaced. The shaping and governance of capital-labour markets are also important over space. On a world stage, we see Peck’s (2010) constructions of neoliberal reason putting a compelling historical critique of the neoliberal project of free(er) markets that has dominated contemporary thinking and practice. In addition to Brenner (2004), who’s new state spaces explores how globalisation of capital has created new governance of the state beyond the nation.

More theoretically on the geographies of space we can make some leap of connection to economics as applied to both property and planning. Given the nature of property considered here as real property, Lefebvre and Nicholson-Smith’s (1991) work on the production of space, bridging philosophy of mind and material, enabling an intellectual and practical take on how space is produced. Further though, the concept of space as both real in physics and imagined in social production can also be applied to the economic as commodification in the economics of property planning. Soja (1996) in ‘Thirdspace’ develops real and imagined dimensions of space are used to build a new theoretical frame. In doing so, there is an important rebalancing of historical, spatial, and social considerations in the production of space.

More pragmatic applications of economic geography towards property and planning are those that root themselves in ‘real world’ spatial phenomenon. Dicken’s work (1986) in ‘Global Shift’ is a major textbook on globalisation of the economy in the social sciences, and this able to contextualise future value. Thrift (1996) takes the spatial formation as interactions between the place, people, place and ‘things’ to provide some very important social theory of space. In Sassen’s (2001) global city work we find one of the first texts to crystallise thinking of city economies working as hierarchies in a global system. To make further spatial dissection, the important centre-periphery spatial differentials are raise by Garreau (1992) in ‘Edge Cities’. Here we see a popularising of the ‘Edge City’ term for growing development of commercial hub activity outside of the urban core.

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