Distinctive city strategies – authentic or formulaic?

In the context of the economic slump and intensified competition for jobs and investment, cities must promote their distinctiveness and develop ‘differential advantages’ that other cities cannot reproduce.

People should not resort to formulaic responses – high tech industries, talent attraction, signature buildings and consumer brand identities. Instead we need constructive suggestions for developing more original advantages in order to increase local prosperity.

These include:

  • an improved evidence base on local capabilities
  • encouraging a culture of experimentation, creativity and learning across the public and private sectors
  • improving the ability of institutions to act in a coordinated way
  • not forgetting the everyday requirements such as effective infrastructure

I have written a paper exploring these ideas in more detail. To read it click here.

It has also been published in Environment and Planning A, Vol. 41 (1) at doi:10.1068/a37379.


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