Optimized Socio-Spatial Development Framework for Yielding Competitiveness at the Level of Tehran Metropolitan Area(TMA)

Document Type : Original Articles


1 AssociateProf., Department of Urban & Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran

2 PhD Student of Urban & Regional Planning, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran


According to experts, competitiveness requires application of specific kinds of spatial development patterns like clustering, with a logic based on Marshal-Romer, Porter and Jacobes Models stating that proximity is the main requirement for knowledge transfer, formation of knowledge spillovers,facilitation of innovation production, and competitiveness. Thus, unconditional acceptance of "clustering" policy-making tool is impossible and unjustified without regard to historical, economic, institutional and geographical paths. Therefore, the hypothesis of the present study was that competitiveness geography is a function of context based on two factors, i.e., first. The type of knowledge source, and two. Second. type of interaction of active units. This study investigated two questions, i.e, to whatextent and under what conditions competitive units are dependent on spatial aggregation, and if these aggregations follow clustering development pattern. After in-depth interviews with managers of competitive active units, the type of knowledge source used, and interactions with other active units, the most appropriate statement and theoretical framework of competitiveness spatial development were extracted using Structural Equation Modeling with regard to specific conditions of Tehran. Also, spatial map analysis was used in determining the willingness of units toward a specific type of location pattern. The output of these studies was the presentation of a policy-making framework for competitiveness spatial development. This framework shows that competitive application of all activities is not always resulted by clustering, and some competitive activities are not related to clusters (cross-sectoral links). Some others are dependent on a specific location and some are independent of location.


  1. Polenske K. Competition, Collaboration and Cooperation: An Uneasy Triangle in Networks of Firms and Regions. Regional Studies Journal; 2004; 38)9): 1029-1043.
  2. Asheim B, Cooke P, Martin R. The rise of the cluster concept in regional analysis and policy A critical assessment. In B. Asheim, P. Cooke, & R. Martin, Clusters and Regional Development, Critical reflections and explorations. Oxon, Routledge; 2006. pp. 1-30.
  3. Audretsch D, Feldman M. Knowledge Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation. in J.V. Henderson J.F. Thisse(eds) Handbook of Urban and Regional Economics. Netherland, Amsterdam, Elsevier; 2003. pp 2713-39
  4. Begg I. ‘Investability’: The Key to Competitive Regions and Cities?. Regional Studies Journal; 2002; 36(2): 187–200.
  5. Boschma R. Competitiveness of Regions from an Evolutionary Perspective. Regional Studies Journal; 2004; 38(9): 1001-1014.
  6. Currid E, Williams S. The Geography of Buzz:Art, Culture and the Social Milieu in NewYork and Los Angeles. Journal of Economic Geography; 2010; 10(3): 423-451
  7. Feldman M, Francis J. Entrepreneurs as agents in the formation of industrial clusters. In B. Asheim P. Cooke R. Clusters and Regional Development: Critical reflections and explorations. Oxon, Routledge: 2008. pp. 115-137
  8. Kaiser U. Measuring Knowledge Spillovers in Manufacturing and Services:an Empirical Assessment of Alternative Approaches, Research Policy Journal; 2002; 31:125-144
  9. Lever W. F. Correlating the Knowledge-base of Cities with Economic Growth. Urban Studies Journal; 2002; 39(5-6): 859–870.
  10. Malecki E. Everywhere? The geography of knowledge. Journal of Regional Science; 2010; 50(1): 493-513
  11. Morgan K. The Learning Region: Institutions, Innovation and Regional Renewal. Regional Studies; 1997; 31(5): 491-503.
  12. Porter M. Cluster and the new economics of competition. Harvard: Harvard Business Review; 1998
  13. Potter M. Evaluating Regional Competitiveness Policies: Insights from the New Economic Geography. Regional Studie Juornals; 2009; 43(9):1225-1236
  14. Scott A. Social Economy of the Metropolis: Cognitive-Cultural Capitalism and the Global Resurgence of Cities. Oxford, Oxford University Press; 2008. Pp 548-554
  15. Simmie J. Knowledge Spillovers and Reasons for the Concentration of Innovative SMEs. Urban Studies; 2002; 39(5-6): 885–902.
  16. Simmie J. Do clusters or innovation systems drive competitiveness? In B. Asheim, P. Cooke, & R. Martin, Clusters and Regional Development: Critical reflections and explorations. Oxon, Routledge; 2009. Pp. 164-189.