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The main objective of our research performed within the West Hungarian Institute of CRS of the HAS (A magyar régiók és települések versenyképessége az európai térben /Competitiveness of Hungarian regions and settlements in the European economic space/, NKFP 5/074/2001) measuring the competitiveness and innovative potential of Hungarian regions and the urban network was to detect the key factors of regional innovative potential and to develop a framework of analysis for the measurement of innovative capacity in diverse socio-economic dimensions and the detection of the availability of assets required for pursuing innovative activities. The research demonstrated the stratification of the domestic urban network which was not solely a function of the primary economic factors, but other social assets and characteristics as well, and was highly dependent on the human potential and the institutional background providing the basis for innovation. The results of our analyses demonstrated and highlighted the significant hierarchic dispersion of the urban network and verified our hypotheses concerning the high concentration of socio-economic resources and our available knowledge and further data confirmed an even deeper gap in the realm of innovative activity and potential between a narrow elite and the rest of the stakeholders of the urban network. During our separate, in-depth analysis of settlements constituting the innovative elite we were able to detect significant differentiation within this group as well, primarily caused by the lack of coherence and a positive interaction between the human and institutional background of innovation and its economic conditions in the case of urban centers (Grosz – Rechnitzer 2005).
In the framework of previous research projects funded by HRSF, (Az agglomerációk intézményesítésének sajátos kérdései a közigazgatási struktúrán innen és túl. /Specific questions on the institutionalization of agglomerations within and beyond the administrative structure/ OTKA K81789, 2010-2012), we analyzed three metropolitan areas outside Budapest (Győr, Miskolc, Pécs) classified as such in domestic terminology in terms of their capacity and propensity to establish metropolitan cooperations. Within the latter problematic, we attempted to provide an interpretation of the concept of cooperation as an immaterial resource in the framework of the Hungarian public legal system.
In the framework of a basic research subprogram of the research project titled “Vehicle Industrial District of Győr” carried out between 2013-14 (A Győri Járműipari Körzet, mint a térségi fejlesztés új iránya és eszköze. /Vehicle Industrial District of Győr, a new direction and instrument of spatial
development/ TÁMOP-4.2.2.A/11/1/KONV-2012-0010), we examined the stratification of the Hungarian urban network with the adoption of a similar approach. Having upgraded our indicators applied in the research performed in 2005 in terms of time and content, we obtained a new typology of the urban network highlighting the tendencies of change. Our results demonstrate that no significant shift has occurred during the past decade, similar groups can be detected within the urban network, however, a dual process can be observed as a result of which the stratification becomes even more marked, the individual groups increasingly distance themselves from each other while their internal homogeneity increases. Albeit certain changes in the position of cities can be demonstrated, the structure remains basically the same. The objective of the research subprogram was not merely the reproduction of the analysis performed ten years ago or the detection of the transformation tendencies (Rechnitzer-Páthy-Berkes 2014), its significant contribution was that it investigated the evolution of the domestic urban network in an international and macro-regional context (Hardi – Baráth – Csizmadia – Uszkai 2014, Egri 2014), detected the role of metropolitan areas in the practice of planning (Somlyódyné Pfeil 2014), and, going beyond a general typology, it also targeted the examination of specific groups of settlements (Rechnitzer – Berkes – Páthy 2014) and core socio-economic processes (Berkes – Páthy 2014) relying on the empirical results.

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