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All over Europe conference and exposition centres are being renovated and extended. The aim of this paper is to propose a framework to analyse these developments. It does so from a historical institutionalist perspective by employing path dependency arguments. However, after an analysis of past and present of exhibition centres in Europe, it is found that this theory contains some omissions which make them less suitable for the analysis of such large scale urban projects. To correct these omissions, a multidimensional view to path dependency, consisting of four different dimensions is proposed. This framework looks at path dependency within and between the dimensions of form, function, spatial embeddedness and institutional setting. It is argued that corresponding developments in all four dimensions lead to path dependent development, while divergence from this correspondence in one of these dimensions leads to a critical juncture. From this analytical framework a typology of exhibition centre development is derived.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Amsterdam, Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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