Challenges to cities in the foreseeable future
Introduction The emergence of cities from policy structures that were dominated by national and sub-national governments during the past quarter century has confronted them with a wide array of exciting opportunities and foreboding threats to existing activities. These add up to a set of challenges for city leaders that can put them on a new, higher level of economic signifi cance or, conversely, they can ease the city into a path of secular decline. As we will see in Chapter 7 , cities do both enhance their competitiveness and allow it to deteriorate and these movements can be substantial over a decade. These movements usually come as the consequence of an external shock such as major technological change or increased openness of the national economy to goods and services made elsewhere or some major economic destabilizing event. Others occur as barely perceptible secular change that is not appreciated until it is too late to respond effectively. Many of the manufacturing centers of the US Industrial Heartland and the centuries-old industrial regions of Europe are silent witness to the power of this phenomenon.