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Synekism[1] is a concept in urban studies coined by Edward Soja. It refers to the dynamic formation of the polis state - the union of several small urban settlements under the rule of a "capital" city (or so-called city-state or urban system). Soja's definition of synekism, mentioned in Writing the city spatially, is "the stimulus of urban agglomeration."

Social science

From the social sciences' view, it is also a "nucleated and hierarchically nested process of political governance, economic development, social order, and cultural identity" Soja (2000:13-14).

Synekism is related to proximity and the synergy that sometimes transpires when humans share ideas.

In densely settled urban places, a critical-mass potential for innovation exists that is not typically available in rural environments.

It is the geography that creates and gives importance to cities.


  1. ^ Greek: σύνοικος "joint dweller", συνοικία "cohabitation".

Further reading

  • Bell, Thomas L.; Muller, Peter O. (March 2003). "Book Review". Annals of the Association of American Geographers 93 (1): 248–250. ISSN 0004-5608.   (A review of Soja's Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions, ISBN 1-57718-001-1.)


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