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 4: Urban competitiveness in Italy: a benchmarking and benchlearning approach to support local government decisions

Stefano Mollica and Giovanna Hirsch

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


Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest from both academics and policy makers on the concept of competitiveness between territories – nation states, regions, urban regions and cities – which compete for attracting investments, firms, tourists, big events and ultimately citizens. In particular, the issue of “urban competitiveness” is now not only at the centre of scientific studies but also at the centre of the political debate. In a country like Italy, the argument is in fact sensitive to attitudes and policies at European, national and local level. The reasons behind the resurgence of this issue are easily explainable. In the era of knowledge economy, cities are focal points around which knowledge, business, opportunities, wealth, and production circulate. They are also places where relationships develop and where university, labour market, production and society can meet. They are propulsive forces for the national economies and starting points for defining new competitiveness strategies. Cities represent fertile arenas for policy innovation and experimentation in the fields of economics, institutions and culture.

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