The Rise of the City

The Rise of the City

Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough

This book examines urban growth and the dynamics that are transforming the city and city regions in the 21st century focusing specifically on the spatial aspects of this process in the “Urban Century”. Forces that are driving city growth include agglomeration spillovers, concentration of innovation and entrepreneurship, diversity of information and knowledge resources, and better amenities and higher wages. These benefits produce a positive reinforcing system that attracts more people with new ideas and information, fuelling innovation, new products and services and more high-wage jobs, thereby attracting more people. Such growth also produces undesirable effects such as air and water pollution, poverty, congestion and crowding. These combined factors both impact and change the geography and spatial dynamics of the city. These transformations and the public policies that may be critical to the quality of life, both today and in the future, are the substance of this book.

Chapter 6: Entrepreneurial governance for local growth

Amy Rader Olsson, Hans Westlund and Johan P. Larsson

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, urban economics, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics


In Sweden, as elsewhere, local governments address not only local service provision but also development, although local development is largely a function of economic forces at the regional, national and global levels. Few local governments have the resources to make the kinds of capital investments often required to significantly improve development potential. Therefore, local development initiatives often require investment and policies coordinated with other local governments, regional authorities and national agencies as well as private firms. The planning literature therefore emphasizes the importance of local institutional capacity for innovation and collaboration with a range of public and private partners (Cars et al. 2002, Rader Olsson 2009.) Some have described the phenomenon of local government efforts to actively foster expansion and economic development as entrepreneurial behavior (Wilks-Heeg et al. 2003). However, the insights from the literature on entrepreneurship have not been brought to bear in the planning and governance literature. This chapter therefore explores the concept of entrepreneurship as applied to the efforts of local governments to promote development in new ways and in new forms.

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