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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Policies to Enhance City Attractiveness: Achievements and New Challenges

A major change in urban governance, particularly by old industrial cities that have experienced an unprecedented magnitude of industrial decline, has been the adoption of attempts to achieve economic regeneration by promoting cities as attractive locations for new businesses and workers that belong to the knowledge economy. This paradigm shift in urban policy has posed a formidable challenge for planners, because traditional policies, particularly redistributional measures, have either become obsolete or ineffective under current circumstances where many cities are fiercely competing for internationally mobile capital and talent. It has become clear that urban economic regeneration demands a pro-active and pro-growth approach which encourages wealth creation in the private sector. Such an approach necessitates, first, innovative mobilisation of diverse policy tools and resources, such as: flagship property developments in city centres with spectacular architectural designs; establishing new cultural facilities, hosting major cultural and sport events, festivals and fairs; promoting public art, preserving and restoring heritage; and city branding. Second, close partnership with the private sector to reflect its needs and interests in policy planning is increasingly becoming a key feature in the institutional framework for regeneration. Partnership and entrepreneurialism are the guiding principles in these coalitions. This market-led approach has also changed the role that governments (central and local) perform – as enabler and facilitator, rather than regulator and provider.

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