In the previous chapters of this book we have examined the enormous challenges and threats that confront the decision-makers of urban economies, both in the United States and in other countries. The fundamental confrontation is with the issue of their competitiveness but, as we have seen in earlier chapters, they have opportunities to improve their situation through participation in regional or international structures of cooperation; they can promote themselves through urban diplomacy; technology can be both a beneﬁcial factor and impose threats to existing economic activities, and they can improve the effectiveness of their governance. All of these issues come together in the process that is the subject of this ﬁnal substantive chapter – planning for competitiveness enhancement. Cities do much planning, but little of it is directly relevant to the enhancement of competitiveness. Land use, social housing, transportation infrastructure, accommodation of the needs of whatever economic interest presents a demand, cleaning up industrial sites, waterfront development, urban renewal and so forth, have captured a great deal of the time and attention of local authorities. Some of this is remedial work to make up for past inattention or the negative consequences of past economic activities. All of these actions make the city more attractive and viable than it would be without them. Good housing, efﬁcient transportation, urban amenities and attractive urban spaces are all aspects of a competitive urban economy. But in themselves, they do not address the speciﬁc economic competitiveness needs of that city. Hence, we are...
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