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 8: The metropolitan area of Venice in the changing economy of the North East

Stefano Micelli


The metropolitan area of Venice has been the subject of debate for at least 30 years. It is hard to say who was the first to put forward the hypothesis of a city capable of going beyond the boundaries of the Venetian municipality. An important stage in the debate was the ambitious convention promoted by the local mayors in the early 1990s with the aim of reorganizing the “Pa-Tre-Ve” area (Padua, Treviso, Venice) and giving the three cities at the core of the Veneto renewed visibility and a new governance. These mayors, who were the first to have been elected in the so-called “second republic”, hoped to create a break with the past ushering in a new political and administrative era. Those participating recall the enthusiasm for the many projects discussed and the hope that insights from the previous decade could be turned into reality. They also clearly remember that the speakers struggled to find pressing reasons for accelerating the implementation of projects that were still at a preliminary stage. Even the most determined among them were hard put to justify the need for a metropolitan area. Obviously, this need arises from the desire to upgrade the status of the metropolitan area within the domestic scenario. However, it was unclear why so many local governing bodies should forsake their sovereignty in their local areas. Not only were the objectives hazy, there seemed to be no necessity.

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