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Clusters

  • By: Tim Vorley
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Clusters have long been a subject of much debate within human geography. While historically informed by location theory and regional science, the cluster has evolved as a highly interdisciplinary concept. While the concept of the cluster is particularly poignant in human and, more specifically, economic geography, it is an important concept across the social sciences. In simplest terms, a cluster can be understood as a group of similar or linked firms within a defined geographical area, although in addition to its importance as an empirical project, the concept provides a basis for considering the relationship between actors and space.

The term cluster was first coined and subsequently popularized by the regional scientists Stan Czamanski and Luiz Augusto de Q. Ablas in 1979; however, it was the ...

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