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


The Governance of Metro-regions

Metropolitan governance emerges as a key issue for managing urban growth and for the implementation of policy actions and strategies in pursuing competitiveness objectives. Cities have to cope with negative effects of urbanisation and international division of labour (urban sprawl and spatial disparities, congestion and pollution, social issues and distressed areas) but they also have to produce proactive actions to improve and sustain their competitiveness position. Although market forces have contributed to shape the development of metropolitan areas, public policies addressing physical infrastructure (transport and communication, education and research centres) as well as soft measures (the animation of clusters, universities and firms linkages, human capital, etc.) are also increasingly important for large cities to attract and retain a potentially mobile workforce and capital. Yet, in a context of increasing strain on fiscal/financial capacities, cities (and other governmental layers) have to constantly “perform better with less”. Providing more efficient and effective public services, making economies of scale, and dealing with infra-metropolitan equity issues (positive or negative territorial spillovers and externalities) are a particular challenge for metropolitan regions.

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