Energy, Regional Science and Public Policy
For the last three decades, space has become a significant dimension in social science analysis. In many developed countries, economic growth is slowing down, and in some cases restrained, due to environmental considerations, and the real question is the optimum spread of development over space rather than the growth over time. In the developing countries, limited and uneven distribution of population and resources, and the existence of heterogenous groups, highlighted the need of balanced regional development. The energy cl~sis and the realization that energy resources are very limited and unequally distributed have further emphasized its importance. The expected impact and relocation due to energy shortages will have a crucial spatial dimension since manufacturing and service activities dependent on energy are concentrated in a few metropolitan regions connected by transportation, 'communication and cultural factors. Regional environ ment is also dependent on the spatial juxtaposition of activities and energy use. The papers included in this volume address some of these considerations. They were presented in the International Conference on Regional Science, Energy and Environment, held at Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven, Belgium, on May 1975. A second volume titled Environment, Regional Science and Interregional Modeling published also by Springer-Verlag contains research papers related to environment and space. This book does not concern all facets of the energy situation. In fact, contributions on major oil producing countries, U. S. S. R., East European and developing countries are not represented.