Strategies for Improving Performance
Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri
Chapter 4: Urban competitiveness in Italy: a benchmarking and benchlearning approach to support local government decisions
Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest from both academics and policy makers on the concept of competitiveness between territories – nation states, regions, urban regions and cities – which compete for attracting investments, firms, tourists, big events and ultimately citizens. In particular, the issue of “urban competitiveness” is now not only at the centre of scientific studies but also at the centre of the political debate. In a country like Italy, the argument is in fact sensitive to attitudes and policies at European, national and local level. The reasons behind the resurgence of this issue are easily explainable. In the era of knowledge economy, cities are focal points around which knowledge, business, opportunities, wealth, and production circulate. They are also places where relationships develop and where university, labour market, production and society can meet. They are propulsive forces for the national economies and starting points for defining new competitiveness strategies. Cities represent fertile arenas for policy innovation and experimentation in the fields of economics, institutions and culture.
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