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 โ€“ Italy โ€“ 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 5: Competition and collaboration in creating a world city from polycentricity in central Scotland

William F. Lever


It is now widely accepted that there is competition between cities for a variety of resources and for some events. In a globalising world, there is competition for an enhanced share of global corporate and public investment in enterprises and infrastructure. Population, especially skilled and creative workers, are increasingly mobile and cities will compete to attract them often through enhanced quality of life. Corporate enterprises are now much more mobile, partly because they have been more dependent upon the transmission of information and knowledge to conduct their business, and partly because they are more likely to regard the world as their market and source rather than merely local or regional catchment areas. Competition has been fostered by the growth of multi-national free-trade areas such as the European Single Market and the NAFTA, and by national bodies such as the United Kingdom Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Porter (1998) argued that cities can compete in the way that firms and nation states compete, albeit by using different strategies and measuring their competitive success in terms of different objectives. Krugman (1991) argued that cities do not compete because they do not have a single decision-making body (such as a corporate board of management or a national government with powers over interest rates or exchange rates), but his views have largely been superceded by a volume of work stressing the role of competition and competitiveness between cities (Moore Begg and 2004).

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