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 13: Cultural policies and local development strategies: the cultural district of Caserta, Italy

Stefano Mollica

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


This chapter presents and discusses the research project carried out by the Italian Association for Local Development (AISLo) during 2006ñ07, jointly with the University of Naples, the Department of National Heritage and Cultural Activities, and the Province of Caserta. The project addresses the idea that various regions both in Italy and in other countries need to connect their cultural, artistic and environmental endowments with human and economic resources in order to enhance local economic development. Caserta is nationally and internationally renowned for its cultural resources, namely the famous Reggia di Caserta (Royal Palace). Each territory needs to actively govern its own development path and to adapt to continuous internal and external demands in order to survive. Consequently, key issues for development are innovation and transformation. Some conditions are necessary for such processes to take place: objective convergence, speed in taking decisions, planning ability and ultimately, knowledge of the non-material and immaterial endowments to be enhanced. The Province of Caserta is rich in an extraordinary set of cultural, industrial, historic, agricultural, artistic and tourist resources. It is a region well known in Europe and all over the world thanks to its local knowledge, new and old traditions, and specific and unique activities. A territory that is characterized by such qualities and features has huge development possibilities if it is able to enhance its image, the identity of its communities, culture, history and international visibility, that is all its material and nonmaterial assets.

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