chapter  6
25 Pages

Case studies of successful and unsuccessful competitiveness enhancement

Introduction In previous chapters we have demonstrated that a city’s relative competitiveness is not fi xed in time, that it can and does rise and fall, and that city leaders do have options and opportunities when designing a strategic-economic plan for future development. Urban competitiveness is not just affected by exogenous shocks like the stock market crash of 1987 but also by the purposeful decisions taken by mayors and their administrations. Michael Bloomberg in New York, Richard Daley in Chicago, and Valentino Castellani in Turin are just three examples of mayors who have taken action that has taken their city from a condition of stagnation or of aimless marking of time and propelled their city forward. There are, of course, many more who could have been named. Anne Power, Jörg Plöger, and Astrid Winkler (2010) confi rmed the necessary partnership between economic actors and forces, and active and imaginative mayors, in their study of “weak market cities.” They found there to be a consistent set of conditions for such an urban resurgence: new partnership agencies; land reclaiming and physical design; sprawl containment; transportation; neighborhood renewal; social inclusion; jobs, enterprise, and skills; and civic leadership and community participation. They examined seven EU cities and six in the United States – we will include some of these cities and their conditions in our treatment of success and failure in this chapter.