Photography by:
  • Lesedi Mogale & Gareth Pon

Economic Geography of the GCR

Economic geography focuses on studies of economic activities that incorporate spatial components, such as the location of resources and the patterns of their use. Economic geography can be conceptualized as occurring at various levels. Within a country or region it focuses on questions of the spatial and locational foundations of economic life (Scott 2000), while at the international level it focuses on understanding patterns and consequences of international trade (Krugman 2000). Krugman (2000) christens the latter ‘new economic geography’, emphasizing the need to unite new trade theory and economic geography thinking.

This study focuses on the economic geography of the GCR by addressing questions that tie together these levels of analysis. Following Krugman (2000) it will encompass an exploration of the city-region’s economy and how it links with the national as well as the global economy.

The research addresses:

  • Theoretical and conceptual issues: building on the international debates that relates to economic regions;
  • Past drivers of GCR’s economic growth and development: identifying what lessons need to be learnt;
  • Contemporary economic geography issues that position of the GCR within global economic dynamics as well as interrogate internal dynamics such as patterns of poverty and inequality, corporate geography, etc;
  • Economic drivers that the GCR has to focus on into the future. G2055 has identified the knowledge-based economy and the green economy as key drivers to sustain the city-region’s economy might in the years to come. The research will involve identification of pre-requisite key pillars, future trends, and policy issues in these two areas.

This study builds on research conducted under the Urban Space Economy project, and will help to inform the development of the GCR that is competitive, spatially integrated, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.


The first few drafts of written chapters have come in. The drafting of the complete manuscript is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2015.


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