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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Local Public Finance: Issues for Metropolitan Regions

The goal of this paper is to discuss the links between the fiscal health of cities and their suburbs and the economic health of the metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas are widely recognised to be important engines of growth in modern economies. Our premise is that for metropolitan areas to be economically healthy, they must have a local public sector which can provide at reasonable costs needed services for households and business firms. We consider two separate questions. First, how do the fiscal institutions in a city and in a region – taxing authority, spending or service mandates, interjurisdictional and metropolitan arrangements for sharing of costs and tax base, and intergovernmental grants-in-aid – contribute to fiscal health? What is the effect on fiscal health of fiscal decentralisation and fiscal competition? Are there public policies that governments at the national, regional, and local level can follow that will reduce the fiscal problems faced by many cities? Second, what is the relation between the fiscal health of big cities and the economic prosperity and success of the greater metropolitan region? What lessons for metropolitan finance can be learned from the metropolitan areas and central cities that are doing well?

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