Table of Contents

European Cities and Global Competitiveness

European Cities and Global Competitiveness

Strategies for Improving Performance

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri

The volume begins with an Introduction, followed by a set of three papers in Part Two examining European urban competitiveness from the standpoints of measurement and policy. This section also provides a case study of the cities of one country – Italy – from which the reader can gain an understanding of the current position of European cities as well as what might be possible going forward. Experience has shown that perhaps the most crucial element in competitiveness enhancement is good and effective governance. To that end, Part Three examines structural aspects of urban government, including polycentric regions, wide metropolitan cooperation, the role of social actors and territorial aggregation. Part Four treats issues of innovation from two perspectives and provides a case study from Eindhoven, while also covering social issues such as demographics, participation, social exclusion and mobility.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Daniele Ietri and Peter Karl Kresl

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


The authors contributing to this book gathered for the first time at the AISLo (Italian Association for the Study of Local Development) conference “City and future”, held in Napoli in December 2009. The first draft or ideas for the majority of the chapters that follow were prepared by the authors in order to contribute to the conference, and have been written in the understanding of two fundamental premises. The first is that there are substantial changes taking place in the world economy that will have powerful impacts on economic activity everywhere. While some are widely discussed economic phenomena, there are others of equal importance that relate to social practices, political systems, demography, and life-style preferences. The second is that the primary impact of these changes will be found in cities and urban regions, and that these entities are increasingly being left to their own resources as other levels of government withdraw into their own difficult situations. Hence, we offer the thoughts collected in these chapters on the important policy question of the possibilities and the strategic options that confront urban economies. The chapters address three areas of interest: competitiveness, structures of governance and innovative policy making, and include case studies. The economic situation of cities in the European Union (EU) has been particularly difficult in recent years because of the fiscal, sovereign debt, competitiveness, viability of the Euro single currency, and future of the Southern European and Irish economies.