The Successes and Failures of Urban Economic Strategies in Europe
Chapter 4: The Ten Cities and their Planning at the Outset of the 1990s
In 1987, the context in which the ten European cities included in this study were situated was significantly restructured with the adoption of the Single European Act (SEA), also referred to as the process of ‘completion of the internal market.’ The popular conceptualization of this was that the member countries of the European Community (EC) would establish a set of markets for goods, services and factors that was as seamless and as tightly integrated as were those of the United States. Specifically, this entailed adoption of almost 300 individual measures that would lead to the realization of the ‘four freedoms’ – the freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and labor. So much has been written about the SEA and its consequences that it is not necessary to reiterate the details of this dramatic initiative, save to note that the expectation was that per capita incomes in the member countries would increase, over a period of five or six years, by between 4.5 and 6.0 per cent over what they would otherwise have been.1 Given the focus of this book, our interest in the SEA is the impact its implementation had on the economic situation of cities in the member countries. Realization of the four freedoms meant that what was being given up was the deep and pervasive structure of intervention in economic transactions on the part of national governments. While market economists would all argue that these interventions were inefficient and that they lowered incomes and increased unemployment for residents...
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