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 9: Urban development and competitiveness in Hong Kong: opportunities and challenges of a changing relation with mainland China

Jianfa Shen


Urban development and urban performance depends on both urban competitiveness (internal factors) and external environment (external factors). Studies on urban competitiveness have inevitably focused on internal factors although urban economic performance is often used as an important reference of urban competitiveness (Begg 1999; Deas and Giordano 2001). However, different external environments present different development opportunities for various cities and thus affect their urban performance differently. While a city may not be able to control its external environment, it may benefit from a favorable environment if it takes the right actions to make full use of the opportunities presented to them. Many studies have been conducted on the economic linkages between Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta (PRD). Scholars have used the model of “front shop and back factory” to describe the economic relationship between Hong Kong and the PRD (Chan 1998; Sit 1989; Wu 1997). The economic integration has been driven by businessmen and residents (Shen 2003). Scholars also found that fierce competition in ports and airports in the GPRD region has become a major problem of regional governance (Hu and Chan 2002; Song 2002). The central government of China and governments in Hong Kong, Guangdong and Shenzhen have been playing a more active role in regional cooperation since 1997 especially after 2001. Yang (2004) found that institution- based economic integration has been emerging since the early 2000s.

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