Planning Cities for the Future

Planning Cities for the Future

The Successes and Failures of Urban Economic Strategies in Europe

Peter Karl Kresl

Planning Cities for the Future links the study of urban economic competitiveness with urban planning and is able to ascertain the crucial factors for success in this area of public policy. These factors include effective governance, leadership and monitoring of performance. The author also reveals how economic turbulence – macro-economic stagnation, the emergence of competitors such as China and Central Europe and the introduction of the euro for example – all have distinct impacts on the economic development of cities. He also suggests that today’s economic strengths may create tomorrow’s social pathologies, a fact which city planners must always keep in mind. Peter Kresl’s book offers examples of cities that got it right and others that did not.

Chapter 7: Lessons from the Past and a Look to the Future

Peter Karl Kresl

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


In this final chapter we will review the experiences of the ten cities over the past decade and a half, and then we will suggest what the future may hold for the city leaders who have to chart the courses of the economic development of their urban regions. The experiences of the ten cities in this study, which were presented in Chapters 4 to 6, enable us to gain an understanding of the degree to which city planners in each city adhered to what were referred to in Chapter 2 as the ‘five components’ of effective urban SEP. In Table 7.1 the five components are arrayed horizontally across the top and the cities are listed vertically on the left. It is, of course, possible that in spite of the interviews with city leaders and the examination of planning documents of each individual city the effort of local leaders with regard to one or more of the five components may have been understated. Any such misstatement is sincerely regretted. This review of the recourse of each of the cities to the five components indicates that half of the cities included in this study, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Lyon and Munich, have implemented all five of the components, but the remaining five have omitted one or more of them. Dresden did much better with its recent SEP than it did a decade ago. The process was open, involved all of the major entities in the urban region, and the resulting plan appears to...

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