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The Small Towns conundrum: What do we do about them?

Atkinson, Rob



Small Towns have long been seen as an important element in Europe’s urban structure, currently around 24.2% of the European population live in them. Despite this, we know relatively little about them and there is insufficient recognition of the role they have as important providers of services, employment, housing, etc. Moreover, there is a tendency to view them as a homogenous category. However, this paper argues what is required is a more disaggregated understanding of them in order to develop policy approaches relevant to their situations and to genuinely include them in approaches that seek to enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion. Drawing on research from the ESPON TOWN project, I will try to throw some light on the issues around small and medium-sized towns (SMSTs) and what to do about them if they are to continue to thrive.


Atkinson, R. (2019). The Small Towns conundrum: What do we do about them?. Regional Statistics, 9(2), 3-19.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2019
Online Publication Date Aug 1, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 9, 2019
Journal Regional Statistics
Print ISSN 2063-9538
Electronic ISSN 2064-8243
Publisher Hungarian Central Statistical Office
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 2
Pages 3-19
Keywords Small Towns, European, policy, cohesion
Public URL
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