European Cities and Global Competitiveness
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European Cities and Global Competitiveness

Strategies for Improving Performance

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Daniele Ietri

The volume begins with an Introduction, followed by a set of three papers in Part Two examining European urban competitiveness from the standpoints of measurement and policy. This section also provides a case study of the cities of one country – Italy – from which the reader can gain an understanding of the current position of European cities as well as what might be possible going forward. Experience has shown that perhaps the most crucial element in competitiveness enhancement is good and effective governance. To that end, Part Three examines structural aspects of urban government, including polycentric regions, wide metropolitan cooperation, the role of social actors and territorial aggregation. Part Four treats issues of innovation from two perspectives and provides a case study from Eindhoven, while also covering social issues such as demographics, participation, social exclusion and mobility.
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Chapter 2: The prospect for European urban economies

Peter Karl Kresl


Urban economies exist in a state of continual flux – enhanced or diminished competitiveness, changing competitive advantage, vacillating policy regimes from higher levels of government, and the consequences of mobility of capital, labor and other resources are just a few. Each urban economy must respond to its evolving environment while at the same time being cognizant of the fact that other urban economies with which it is in competition are working to improve their own competitiveness. This context of challenges to an urban economy’s competitive position presents us with an opposite face as well – that of opportunities of which far-sighted local leaders will take advantage for the enhancement of their urban economy’s competitiveness. In this chapter I would like to give equal attention to both challenges and opportunities, and then to identify some of the positive futures that avail themselves to Europe’s urban economies.

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