In the last few years, the outlines of a new discussion of problems around the urban periphery have become apparent. If we compare these issues of the current discourse with the suburbanisation debate of the seventies, it becomes obvious that there has been a change in perspective. The development of the periphery is no longer perceived from the point of view of the core city, and interpreted as being an "outpouring" or "dissolving" of the city, but rather it is the new structures on the edges of the city on which the main interest lies. It is less the dissolving of the city as more a reformation of city structures which is focused on - newly established central structures on the periphery of European metropoles. A batch of new jargon attempts to give these new centres a title: "Zwischenstadt", edge city, exopoles, aeroville, technopoles, outer city, etc. In many cases, the contents and delimitation of the terms remain unclear. The following essay depicts various approaches within this discussion of new development tendencies on the periphery of cities and connects this discursive level with a first summary of the level of research which has been carried out on the developments on the periphery of European metropoles. In this context, we focus on the tendencies of peripheral growth in Spain, France, Germany (old and new federal states), Hungary and Russia. The selection of countries cannot cover all manifestations of the process of suburbanisation in Europe, but does register essential differences as a result of the West-East profile: different locations in the continental economic area, differences in the level of economic development, transformation countries on the one hand and established market economies on the other hand. In addition to the considerable national differences, western and eastern European developments are clearly dissimilar. They are significantly unlike American regional patterns on the periphery of large cities - from the urban sprawl of American suburbs. Different cultural evaluations of the cities, dissimilar planning cultures and different political forms of regulation are opposed to a radical change in European settlement structures. From a theoretic point of view of regulation theory, these processes in the city regions are the result of the different modes of regulation, which are determined by the overlapping of different scales of regulation (supra-national, national, regional and local)
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