The Urban Response to Internationalization

The Urban Response to Internationalization

Peter Karl Kresl and Earl H. Fry

Three decades of accelerated trade and financial market liberalization have had significant and lasting impacts on the global economy and its component entities. In this volume, Peter Karl Kresl and Earl Fry examine the impacts of these profound changes on the economies of urban areas, and the responses to them. They provide a comprehensive treatment of the issues surrounding internationalization, such as urban transport, communication, and production. In addition, the authors explore the effects of internationalization on municipal foreign affairs, urban governance, inter-city relations and structures, and strategic planning.

Chapter 4: New Technologies and the Urban Economy

Peter Karl Kresl and Earl H. Fry

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, urban economics, urban and regional studies, urban economics, urban studies


The rapid pace of technological advance we have experienced since the Second World War has made powerful impacts on all aspects of our economic life. The resulting efficiencies have lowered costs of production and the prices of goods and services, redefined comparative advantage and optimal specialization for all economic entities and increased living standards for most people. But technological changes have also made many skills no longer viable in places where they had been viable for decades if not centuries, they have made individuals and firms vulnerable to competition for jobs and markets from localities thousands of miles away, and they have made the economic bases of many urban economies increasingly threatened and unsustainable. Globalization may be centered on the reduction of barriers to movements of goods and services and to the opening of these markets as well as that for financial services and flows, but it is advances in technology that enable all economic actors to realize the potential that is inherent in these liberalization policies that are enacted by national governments. Market liberalization may make it possible to think of reconceptualizing the economic space within which some activity is done but, for example, it is the advances in communication technology that make it possible for accounting, financial analysis, back office activities and other services to be outsourced from New York or London and to be done in south India. Obviously this new environment brings many exciting opportunities for the urban economies of the industrialized world,...

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