Sunday, April 23, 2006

Regional Networks


We are seeing more and more interest in "regional economies" all over the world. One of the key players in regional economics are the mayors of the cities in that region. How are the mayors in your region connected? Are they exchanging ideas? Are they assisting each other? Or are they chasing smokestacks and high tech labs, and only competing with each other?

Above is a network map of mayors from a small country in the European Union. The population of this country is around 5 million, about the size of typical economic region. The nodes, representing each mayor, are colored by political party.

Two things are immediately apparent:
1) This is a well connected network -- no isolates, no fragments, no bottlenecks. Measuring the network, we find a short average path length -- very little delay and distortion in communication flows.
2) There is no political polarization, as currently found in the U.S. -- various colors link to various other colors.

Because of the cross-polination of knowledge and ideas, along efficient communication paths, I am betting that these mayors give their region a strong advantage.

5 comments:

George Nemeth said...

Congrats on launching, complete with permalinks and RSS! I'm posting to BFD about it and adding it to my feed reader.

Valdis said...

Thanks G!

We could not have done it witout your help.

christy said...

Thank you for this new blog! The practice of network weaving seems like some of the most essential work there is, and I am excited about learning more from you three.

warm regards,
Christy Lee-Engel
Seattle

Edward Vielmetti said...

Great blog! Now to do a little Michigan-Ohio network weaving...

steveg said...

Ed, Between you , me, and Valdis we already have a triangle put together.