Competitive Cities in the Global Economy

image of Competitive Cities in the Global Economy

Urban areas represent an important part of the national economy and feature higher GDP per capita and productivity levels than their country’s average. But they also harbour large pockets of unemployment and poverty and suffer from problems such as congestion, pollution and crime.  This book examines whether they are sustainable in the long term and what needs to be done to keep these engines of economic growth running smoothly. A synthesis report based on OECD metropolitan reviews and a database of 78 metro regions, this report examines cities performance within their countries and addresses key issues such as competitiveness and social cohesion, intergovernmental relationships, and urban finance.

“This is a 'must read' publication, not only for those who already believe in the key importance of urban policy, but even more so for those who remain to be convinced.”  Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Mayor of Madrid, Spain

"The most comprehensive examination of the territorial dimension underlying economic growth today."

Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2006).

With the nation-state and the corporation seen as the world’s two competing economic and social units, the regional economy is often overlooked. It’s refreshing to see such detailed attention paid to its role as the real motor force of international growth.”

Richard Florida, author of The Flight of the Creative Class.

“This report on cities demonstrates that economic prosperity and social well-being are inseparable.”

Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister of Labour, Social Cohesion and Housing, France.

"A striking report that will force governments to reconsider their urban agenda".

Dr. Giulio Santagata, Minister of Government's Programmes, Italy.

This report provides invaluable advice for policy makers as our cities grapple with profound change."

David Crane, Columnist on Global Issues, The Toronto Star


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Can Distressed Urban Areas Become Growth Poles?

The subject of deprived areas has aroused new interest during the last decade with the accentuation of the phenomena of social and spatial fragmentation in cities and metropoles. These systems of urban polarisation, with the expansion of “living together” in communities and ghettos, including the ghettos of the wealthy and “gated communities”, together with the phenomenon of urban sprawl, have shown clearly that we are in a new period of metropolitan organisation. The transformation of these metropoles is far from over and has not yet enabled the concepts required to describe it accurately and robustly to be created. Thus the contradictions hitherto used between, for instance, the centre and the periphery, the city and the countryside, the urban and the rural, the internal and the external, have become less and less clear-cut. Well-established paradigms are being outflanked on all sides, while new ones are finding it difficult to make their intellectual ends meet.

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