Evolving Challenges for Sustainable Growth
Edited by Roberta Capello and Tomaz Ponce Dentinho
Chapter 2: The urban mobility system and regional competitiveness
Everybody today recognizes the strategic importance of big cities for the well-being of humankind in general, and of the European Union (EU) in particular: not only do the majority of the population live in big cities (in the case of the EU, more than 74 per cent live in cities of more than 5,000 inhabitants: Eurostat, 2008), but a very significant proportion of innovation and economic added value is created in the larger cities (Florida, 2005; OECD, 2006), which in effect drag whole regions around them. It is therefore of paramount importance that these cities are resilient and efficient production systems, which means that they have to be competitive in a world where some of the most relevant production factors (financial and human capital) are increasingly mobile. For this, they must offer their inhabitants good governance overall, with attractive conditions for business and quality of life (ODPM, 2004; Eurostat, 2008). So, quality of life in cities is no longer only a generic goal for local politicians, related to the short-term well-being and satisfaction of their constituency; it has also become an instrumental goal for local and national (as well as European) politicians, as an essential component of a comprehensive approach to medium-and long-term economic development and sustainability at all those territorial scales. And even exclusively for the accessibility component of that quality of life, different dimensions must be considered (Lotfi and Koohsari, 2009). In all studies of urban/regional competitiveness and quality of life in cities (ODPM, 2004; Mercer, 2009), quality of urban mobility is given a prominent role.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.