Chapter 2: Conceptual Framework and Analytical Methods
2. Conceptual framework and analytical methods 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...
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