Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

In search of the urban composition of sub-centres in polycentric european metropolises

Mateusz Gyurkovich


In spite of its tempestuous history, Europe managed to preserve and save the crucial elements of the urban structure of most cities which determine their urbanity. The uncontrolled growth of polycentric metropolitan areas and some attempts to demarcate new sub-centres based upon economic, demographic and transport premises only passing over the principles of urban composition characteristic of European cities, jeopardize this state of affairs. This article includes theoretical ruminations on the role of the elements of urban composition in the construction of the image of a city centre and, consequently, a sub-centre. Cracow, treated as a case study, exemplifies the historical development of a polycentric European metropolis. The final conclusions are based on these ruminations supported with the chosen example. They indicate selected elements of urban composition which developed in the European culture over a span of millenniums – they are still necessary for the creation of the well-functioning centre and a sub-centre of a contemporary, polycentric European metropolis.

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