Unveiling core-periphery disparities through multidimensional spatial resilience maps

Alexandru Bănică*, Gabriela Carmen Pascariu, Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Resilience has become a crucial concept in understanding the ability of complex systems to withstand shocks and adapt to future challenges. This concept has recently gained much attention in various disciplines, including geography and regional science. For example, the European Union has recognized the importance of resilience-based policies in the face of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This study focuses on core-periphery disparities within European regions and aims to examine the impact of economic peripherality on regional resilience. Economic peripheries often face challenges such as adverse sectoral structures, low activity rates, and lower levels of innovation, making them more vulnerable to various shocks. The main hypothesis is that peripherality increases vulnerabilities and is correlated with lower resilience. Nevertheless, peripheral regions are more motivated to enhance resilience compared to regions already considered resilient. We argue that these peripheries need to renew existing structures or create new paths to enhance their resilience. However, historical and path dependency factors make it difficult to bring about such changes in a timely manner. The study explores different conceptual and methodological approaches to core-periphery models and emphasizes the importance of assessing socio-economic disparities from a spatial resilience perspective. Various factors, including trade integration, GDP, industrialization, human capital, and institutional efficiency, appear to contribute to core-periphery differentiation. Moreover, the paper highlights the long-run impact of the recent 2007–2012 economic crisis on peripheral regions, particularly in Southern areas of Greece, Italy, and Spain. To understand the spatial patterns of resilience comprehensively, the study presents a range of European multidimensional resilience maps, including consistent spatial indicators, building on previous resilience atlases that illustrated resilience at various territorial levels. These maps provide evidence-based insights into regional resilience performance and capacity in European regions, facilitating a better understanding of their potential to bounce back from major shocks and disruptions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalAnnals of Regional Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


  • F63
  • O11
  • O18
  • O43
  • O44


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