Competitive Cities: Succeeding in the Global Economy

Competitive Cities: Succeeding in the Global Economy

Competitive Cities: Succeeding in the Global Economy

Competitive Cities: Succeeding in the Global Economy


Competitive Citites is an assessment of the way in which 'partnership', a word much used by politicians, has helped to shape the economic futures of four cities on both sides of the Atlantic - Atlanta, Toronto, Birmingham and Rotterdam.


Within one hundred yards of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government there must be a dozen book stores and perhaps a thousand books on what is wrong with government. It is a shame that there aren't more books about how to fix it.

Hazel Duffy has not written another book for the 'What's Wrong' section. She has written a book for the 'How To' section. It is full of lessons and practical ideas for fixing-or at least rethinking-the way governments work in four big, complex, heavily urbanized regions of Europe and North America. This book ranks right up there with Reinventing Government in its usefulness and relevance for people who want to make change in cities. It is not, however, about making bureaucracies work more efficiently, or about restructuring or reorganizing government. It is about the strategies and processes some very different places have employed to try to make themselves both more livable and more competitive in a new global economy. Rather than 'Reinventing government', this book is more about 'Reinventing governance'.

In Atlanta, a city bent on competing better internationally (while at the same time preparing to host a very large international competition!), the critical but not widely understood partnership between business and government is examined for ideas other cities must understand if they are to do more than survive. in the gritty old industrial city of Birmingham, uk, a city council's aggressive economic development strategy offers lessons Detroit, another highly stressed automobile manufacturing center, might profitably examine as it contemplates its own recovery. and in Toronto and Rotterdam, innovation in regional governance and land use planning sets a standard successful cities of the next century must meet if they are to more adequately support their diverse populations, protect their unique environments and assure their economic competitiveness. a premise of this book, therefore, is that the world's cities can learn from each other.

As a former Mayor, I know that to be true. in Seattle we worked at it. in the early eighties we started something called the Intercity Visit. Every

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