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Scenarios for European Metropolitan Regions: Winners and Losers in a Globalized World

  • Roberta CapelloEmail author
  • Ugo Fratesi
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)

Abstract

Cities are highlighted in traditional theories to be the most efficient drivers of economic growth. Considered as sort of collective agents, implicitly or explicitly defining specific development trajectories, cities compete in the global economy for their attractiveness, building on their historical strengths and identifying opportunities for diversification and enlargement of their specializations by strengthening their know-how and knowledge base. Therefore, cities pro-act, and react, to economic volatility, by anticipating expectations on future economic trends and by absorbing the economic effects once they take place. This is true for both virtuous as well as declining cycles of development. The reasons for their static and dynamic efficiency lie in three main elements: the physical size, source of economies of scale; the functional specialisation in advanced value-added functions, source of creativity, learning, and knowledge; the urban system (or the network of cities) in which cities lie, where advantages of scale can easily be exploited avoiding hyper-concentration of production and residential activities. In the age of globalisation like the one we are going through nowadays, cities are areas able to grasp advantages of international competition from outside Europe, and they are expected to be the drivers of growth. In this paper, the aim is to analyse – with a prospective approach – the economic performance that European cities will manifest under different assumptions on the globalisation patterns that may develop in the future. With respect to the present literature, this paper contributes in two new directions: firstly, the aim is to highlight empirically the different actions and reactions that cities of different size, different functional specialisation and located in regions with different settlement structures have in front of a world economic integration; secondly, the aim is to analyse how cities act and react to alternative globalisation patterns, to different quality of competition from outside Europe, which may be sources of different opportunities and threats for different urban areas.

Keywords

European metropolitan regions Globalization scenarios Urban systems MASST model 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Building, Environment, Science and Technology (BEST)Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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