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 10: Brainport Eindhoven: a proactive approach towards innovation and sustainability

Leo van den Berg and Alexander H.J. Otgaar

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


The Eindhoven region is considered one of the most innovative regions in Europe. It is one of the few regions that meet the Barcelona standard (expenses on R & D = 3 per cent of the gross regional product), which has been formulated to reach the Lisbon aims (turning Europe into the world’s number one economy). The region owes this position to the presence of innovative companies – like Philips, ASML and FEI Company – and renowned knowledge institutions – like the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) and TNO. In the Eindhoven region, leaders of the administrations, business companies and knowledge institutions (the so-called Triple Helix) are aware of the possible temporality of success. Joint efforts are needed to secure the competitiveness of the region, particularly in view of the increasing competition from other upcoming locations (like in China and India). Moreover, history has taught the lesson that the Eindhoven region is very vulnerable to global downswings. After the problems with Philips and car manufacturer Daf in the early 1990s – hitting the regional economy severely – several initiatives were launched to strengthen the economic structure. The EU-subsidised Stimulus Programme (effective in the 1990s) was succeeded in 2001 by the so-called Horizon Programme. And more recently, the Eindhoven region introduced the Brainport Navigator, which can be considered the follow-up of the Horizon Programme. One of the distinctive features of the Navigator is the geographic scale.

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