Mega-city regional cooperation in the United States and Western Europe: A comparative perspective
Globalization and recent changes in governance associated with the shift toward neoliberal policies have impacted local governments on both sides of the Atlantic. Many feel forced to become ever more entrepreneurial in pursuit of jobs and revenues, and increasingly pro-business in terms of their expenditures. On the one hand, urban sprawl beyond the boundaries of individual cities means that metropolitan regions and the larger mega-city regions (MCRs) have assumed increased importance as national engines of growth in a global economy. On the other hand, the long-established autonomy of US local governments and recent national decentralization trends in Western Europe come with politically fragmented landscapes. Within MCRs, there may be an inefficient lack of coordination of policy and spending on economic development such as transportation infrastructure, and wasteful competition among localities using subsidies to attract inward investment by foreign companies.