The Bartlett School of Planning


Urban value chains and re-framing agglomeration-centric conceptions of urban theory

Andres, L., Bryston, J.R., Graves, W. & Warf, B. in Urban Geography

3 September 2022


This paper engages with a new way to interpret agglomeration-centric conceptions in urban theory, acknowledging the diversity of local contexts, of places and various scales by developing the concept of Urban Value Chains (UVC). It explores how the stretching of UVCs engages with the hegemony of agglomerations; this is framed within accounts of city-regionalist orthodoxy and with an emphasis on concentrations of opportunity in core city environments founded upon concentrations of localized resources. To do so, we move beyond the value chain literature’s focus on logistics and manufacturing processes to explore processes related to human interactions and activities within and beyond urban settings. By examining post-pandemic agglomeration dynamics through the lens of UVCs, we re-interpret the importance of cities in the future but also demonstrate that future cities may re-enforce the role of distant places, putting them within the reach of UVCs through extended value-creation stretching processes.

View on the Taylor & Francis website.