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


English French


Mainsprings of the Creative City: Lessons for Policy-makers

The origins of urban development and growth in modern society reside above all in the dynamics of economic production and work. These dynamics underlie the shifting fortunes of each individual urban area, just as they account in significant degree for the wider systems or networks of cities found in contemporary capitalism. Actual cities are always considerably more than bare accumulations of capital and labour, for they are also arenas in which many other kinds of phenomena – social, cultural, and political – flourish. We might say, to be more accurate, that localised production complexes and their associated labour markets constitute proto-urban forms around which these other phenomena crystallise in various concrete structures. As this crystallisation occurs, moreover, a process of reflexive interaction is established in which all the different dimensions of urban life continually shape and reshape one another. Still, in the absence of the basic genetic and functional role of production and work, cities as we know them would be immensely different in scale, extent, and substantive expression, perhaps nothing much more than simple service centres or small communities of likeminded souls. As it is, the complexities of the modern city are compounded by the fact that the dense many-sided human interactions that make them up are the source of endless, but always historically and geographically specific, forms of creativity and socio-economic change (Hall, 1998).

English French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error