Strategies for Improving Performance
Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri
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.