The Global Urban Competitiveness Report – 2011
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The Global Urban Competitiveness Report – 2011

Pengfei Ni

the competitiveness of 500 cities around the world. This one-of-a-kind annual resource draws on a wealth of data sources, all of which are described and assessed. Using a sophisticated methodology and a team of 100 researchers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the book not only ranks these cities but also presents a treasury of information with regard to the strengths and weaknesses of each city in relation to each other. The book includes a full discussion of the factors that create urban competitiveness and what sorts or categories of cities are most competitive, and comments on the policies and initiatives that are adopted by the most competitive cities.
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Chapter 2: Conceptual Framework and Analytical Methods

Pengfei Ni


INTRODUCTION The enormous progress of global technological informatization and economic integration since the 1990s has stimulated the profound changes on the concept of space and time and the process of decision-making in global activities. Under the globalization and localization, the development of economy and technology has not only enhanced cities’ roles in global activities and local affairs, but also intensified competition among different cities. In the context of global competition, some cities are increasing in population and economic position, while some cites are suffering economic decline or shrinking of their population. Why are some cities developing faster and revealing greater potential than others? Why are some cities boasting higher productivity and better public welfare? These are the issues concerning a city’s development, prosperity and decline in the context of global competition; these are the issues concerning the comprehensive competitiveness of the cities. As early as the 1980s, urban problems have been widely investigated. Paul Cheshire et al. (1986) investigated urban problems concerning the decline of urban competitiveness; Peter Karl Kresl and Balwant Singh then conducted a direct and in-depth study of urban competitiveness and tentatively explored the 24 US metropolitan regions (Kresl and Singh, 1999); and Iain Begg (1999) later made a systematic summary on the issue. Urban competitiveness is an explicit concept whose implication is difficult to capture accurately. Storper (1997) and Kostiainen (2002) emphasized an ability to attract and maintain flows of information, technology, capital, culture, people and organizations; Begg (1999) and Huggins (2003) emphasized the presence of...

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