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 14: Organizing mobility as an infrastructure for development

Riccardo Mercurio, Paolo Canonico and Mario Pezzillo Iacono

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


Mobility is at the core of economic development of modern countries. Choices connected to the methods and rules of managing mobility determine the survival, decline or thriving of cities and industries. Investments in infrastructure (roads, railways, ports, and so on) bring about significant effects in terms of economic and social growth of the area of reference, permanently or temporarily involving local businesses and workers in the area of the investment. In fact, the development of the economy and of the quality of life itself is strongly conditioned by the way in which the growing need of mobility is satisfied by transport infrastructures and properly managed transportation systems (road, rail, maritime, air and inter-modal). Transport infrastructures are invaluable social and economic assets, as they influence trade flows as well as industrial and residential locations. In this chapter we will make use of the concept of policy networks to introduce the main consequences underlying the building and establishing of a transport infrastructure for enhancing mobility. Policy networks are a powerful concept to interpret the dualistic dimensions of public services. Transport infrastructures make no exception since they are regulated at a macro-level, but implemented locally. They interact with a physical space and cope with the need of citizens and businesses. From this follows the complex problem of relations between levels of competence and a variety of involved interests, bringing about negotiations and political transactions which necessarily take place between groups with different interests (Van der Vleuten, 2004).

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