The Rise of the City
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The Rise of the City

Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century

  • New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough

This book examines urban growth and the dynamics that are transforming the city and city regions in the 21st century focusing specifically on the spatial aspects of this process in the “Urban Century”. Forces that are driving city growth include agglomeration spillovers, concentration of innovation and entrepreneurship, diversity of information and knowledge resources, and better amenities and higher wages. These benefits produce a positive reinforcing system that attracts more people with new ideas and information, fuelling innovation, new products and services and more high-wage jobs, thereby attracting more people. Such growth also produces undesirable effects such as air and water pollution, poverty, congestion and crowding. These combined factors both impact and change the geography and spatial dynamics of the city. These transformations and the public policies that may be critical to the quality of life, both today and in the future, are the substance of this book.
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Chapter 3: Smart Specialization Strategies and Smart Cities: an evidence-based assessment of European Union policies

Andrea Caragliu and Chiara F. Del Bo

Extract

Recently, the European economy has undergone severe stress. After a decade of stable prices, cheap borrowing, and the progress of the process of enlargement (pushing the European Union (EU) to 28 member countries and about half a billion inhabitants), the European economy entered a stage of economic distress which has so far not yet been fully solved. The crisis which began in 2008 has had several manifestations. Unemployment has constantly increased in several EU countries, with a particular burden on the younger generations and with a constant rise in long-term rates (European Commission, 2013). The cost of financing public debt has notoriously risen, in particular in Mediterranean countries and in a few new Member States. In addition, the insufficient degree to which the challenging targets in terms of science and innovation set first by the Lisbon Agenda (European Commission, 2000) and then by the EU2020 follow-up (European Commission, 2010) are being met seems to cast doubts on the long-term possibilities to structurally regenerate the EU economy and truly make it more innovative, and, thus, more competitive.

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