The Successes and Failures of Urban Economic Strategies in Europe
Chapter 5: How these Planning Initiatives Fared During 1992–2005
The plans that were, to varying degrees, adopted in the first years of the 1990s were not implemented in a ‘frictionless,’ high-certainty economic space in which specific actions could be expected to have predetermined consequences. In reality, this economic space was, as it almost always is, marked by very significant disturbances that made the consequences of a multifaceted SEP quite uncertain. If this was disruptive at the level of the national economy, it was potentially exaggerated at the level of the urban region given that the latter is comparatively more specialized and less diversified in its economic activity. Thus, urban economies that rely heavily on production of goods in industries that are vulnerable to outsourcing or to competition from imports from emerging economies will be particularly hard hit, while those that are specialized in high-skill labor production or high level services will be shielded from competition from abroad and will probably experience positive impacts from liberalization of goods and capital flows. TURBULENCE The argument could be made that disruptions caused by one or more of the elements of turbulence will create an environment that is so unpredictable and so volatile that effective strategic–economic planning by local officials will be virtually impossible. The argument could be continued to posit that, since any planning will be inappropriate to the situation that exists when the plan is subsequently implemented, local officials can do little more than react to unpredictable events in hopes of maintaining the viability of local economic actors as...
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