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 11: Urban development in Hong Kong and its regional integration with the Pearl River Delta, 1978-2009

Jianfa Shen

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


A ëworld city paradigmí has been developed to explain the formation and dynamics of world cities such as New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore (Friedmann, 1986; Sassen, 2001). It is argued that its most intrinsic feature is its global control function, although many should be called ëinternationalí rather than ëworldí cities (King, 1990; Huang et al., 2007). World cities become nodes in a single global system superimposed on nation states. There is a systematic discontinuity between national growth and forms of global city growth, and the world city is increasingly ëunhookedí from the state where it exists (King, 1990; Sassen, 2001). More recently, Hill and Kim (2000) argued that Tokyo and Seoul no longer conform to the above world city model. Although Hong Kong satisfies five out of six world city hypotheses summarized by Hill and Kim, it represents another exception due to its strong regionalization, in contrast to their sixth hypothesis. This chapter argues that Hong Kongís world city status has much to do with the formation of a cross-border regional production system and its close relationship with its hinterland ñ the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region (Shen, 2002, 2003, 2004a, 2004b; Shen et al., 2006; Shen and Luo, 2013). Hong Kong has an area of 1,108 km2 and a population of 7 million in 2008 (CSD, 2010a: 4,390). From 1841 to the early 1950s, Hong Kongís economy benefited from entrepÙt trade with mainland China.

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