Urban Competitiveness and Innovation

Urban Competitiveness and Innovation

Edited by Pengfei Ni and Zheng Qiongjie

Against the backdrop of today’s climate of economic globalization and the rapid development of information, this timely book explores the complex concept of competitiveness between cities. The expert contributors illustrate that innovation is a prerequisite for increasing urban competitiveness, and highlight the various ways that urban innovation-based competitiveness can be approached.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Pengfei Ni and Zheng Qiongjie

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, public sector economics, urban economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, urban economics


Increasing competitiveness is a topic of especial interest to cities, especially in todayís economic globalization and the rapid development of information; it is indispensable to further the well-being and prosperity of citizens and firms, and to generate employment. Thus, competition between cities and the nature of urban competitiveness have attracted the attention of both governments and research funders. At the same time, with the diversity of world development and the arrival of new technology opportunities, the spread of innovation plays an increasingly important role in promoting social and economic progress. This important factor is profoundly reflected in the competition between cities. Earlier studies on this topic were either confined to the traditional strategy analysis framework or mainly focused on economic indicators. Subsequently, scientific analysis tools such as resource-based and capability theories (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990; Langlois, 1992; Peteraf, 1993) were adopted to explore the causes of competitiveness. These tools not only involve technological factors in their research field, but also consider organization management, manufacturing, marketing, and the industrial environment. Technological innovation capability has long been a major source of competitive advantage (Freeman, 1994). Thus, new approaches and perspectives have considerably extended the means of studying urban competitiveness.