OECD Territorial Reviews

1990-0759 (online)
1990-0767 (print)
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This series offers analysis and policy guidance to national and subnational governments seeking to strengthen territorial development policies and governance. These reviews are part of a larger body of OECD work on regional development that addresses the territorial dimension of a range of policy challenges, including governance, innovation, urban development and rural policy. This work includes both thematic reports and reports on specific countries or regions.

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OECD Territorial Reviews: Copenhagen, Denmark 2009

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26 Mar 2009
9789264060036 (PDF) ;9789264060029(print)

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The Copenhagen metropolitan region accounts for nearly half of Denmark's national output and plays a key role for the country as a whole.  Nevertheless, it has witnessed only modest economic growth over the last decade. This review of metropolitan area policy for Copenhagen examines key challenges including modest economic growth, scarcity of skilled workers and barriers to research and development. The report also examines how public institutions affect regional economic growth. Issues considered include: inter-municipal co-operation, local finance, public management, political leadership, and coordination mechanisms between the central government and the region.  
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  • Assessment and Recommendations
    The Copenhagen metropolitan region’s competitive position is essential to the economic health of Denmark, since it contributes nearly half of the country’s national output. With 2.4 million inhabitants, the Copenhagen metropolitan region accounts for 44% of the Danish population, in an area that includes the cities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, as well as five adjacent former counties. Among 78 OECD metropolitan regions with populations of more than 1.5 million inhabitants, the Copenhagen metropolitan region ranks fourth in terms of its share of national output. Metropolitan regions within the OECD often function as the engines of national economic growth: they are usually richer, more productive and more innovative. This is also true of Copenhagen. The Capital Region alone, an entity created in 2007 that has a population of 1.6 million (somewhat less than the Copenhagen metropolitan region), provided 75% of the new jobs created in Denmark in the last 10 years. The area, home of the best universities in the country, concentrates 80% of Denmark’s high-tech firms, as well as 70% of its private research and development. More than half of all Danes with higher education live within its confines, and its economic influence is felt throughout the nation. For every 100 jobs created in Copenhagen, 20 jobs are created elsewhere in Denmark, whereas for every 100 jobs created elsewhere in Denmark, seven jobs are created indirectly in Copenhagen. 
  • The Competitiveness of Copenhagen
    This Metropolitan Review of Copenhagen studies the competitiveness of Denmark’s capital city and assesses its policies and governance. This assessment is used as the basis for policy recommendations for increasing its economic edge. This Review has three chapters, the first evaluating the city’s economic performance; the second outlining policies that could strengthen its competitiveness, and the third describing the governance arrangements in Copenhagen.
  • Metropolitan Governance in Copenhagen
    Governance impacts on urban competitiveness. Better governance will lead to more effective delivery of public services and implementation of policies that stimulate economic development, such as the ones identified in Chapter 2 of this Review. The Danish population has great trust in government and its capacity to solve problems, and a discussion of governance arrangements is indispensable in assessing Copenhagen’s competitiveness. Governments have different functions, all of which impact on a region’s competitiveness: they can provide stability and predictability, and protect the rule of law, cherished values and property. Governments can also obstruct economic activity with burdensome regulation and red tape. Metropolitan officials are rarely able to act successfully in isolation; they must find ways to make alliances with and co-ordinate with the relevant actors for the metropolitan area. Important to any governance arrangement is its relationship with the private sector, which can help governments to coordinate actors to work toward a more competitive region. By definition, metropolitan governance involves several stakeholders in a multi-level government framework. This chapter assesses this framework and discusses the main critical issues.
  • Conceptual Framework
    This Metropolitan Review of Copenhagen studies the competitiveness of Copenhagen and assesses policies and governance arrangements to strengthen competitiveness. This assessment is used as the basis for policy recommendations on how Copenhagen’s urban competitiveness could be further improved. The following introductory chapter presents the analytical framework for the Metropolitan Review. It defines urban competitiveness and sets out its most important determinants based on a review of the empirical evidence in the current academic literature.
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