Making Competitive Cities

Sako Musterd and Alan Murie (eds.); Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010.mcc
ISBN 978-1-4051-9415-0;  360 p


Making Competitive Cities is one of the outputs of the ACRE research programme. The acronym stands for: Accommodating Creative Knowledge – Competitiveness of European Metropolitan Regions within the Enlarged Union. The programme (2006-2010) was funded under the 6th Research Framework Programme of the European Commission (contract 028270), within priority 7 ‘Citizens and Governance in a knowledge-based society’.

ACRE had its focus on conditions necessary to stimulate creative industries (arts, media, entertainment, architects, publishing) and knowledge-intensive industries (ICT, R&D, finance, law) in urban regions across Europe. Based on a range of theoretical insights and a series of surveys among managers, high-skilled employees and transnational migrants, this book offers significant new insights into the theoretical and practical understanding of the rise of ‘creative knowledge’ cities. The editors consider the developments, experiences and strategies in 13 urban regions across Europe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Birmingham, Budapest, Dublin, Helsinki, Leipzig, Milan, Munich, Poznan, Riga, Sofia and Toulouse. These urban regions are characterised by different pathways they have gone through and represent cities with different economic structures, as well as different cultural, political and welfare state traditions.

One of the crucial findings is that personal networks and relationships play a dominant role in the decision making process of actors in creative and knowledge intensive industries to settle in a specific urban region. ‘Classic’ conditions such as available jobs, tax regimes, accessibility, connectedness, etc. play an important role as well. So-called ‘soft’ conditions (diversity, tolerance) do not play a significant role in the attraction.

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