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Utilities are part of the broader urban infrastructure and are crucial to both economic development and social welfare and wellbeing of urban citizens. In respect of the former, Kessides (1993) states that infrastructure is often referred to as an unpaid factor of production since its availability leads to higher returns obtainable for other factors such as capital and labour. As such the relationship between infrastructure including utilities, productivity, economic development and urban competitiveness is self evident. Without sufficient access to basic resources such as power and water, the ability for real time long distance communication and control functions and rapid travel, freight and shipping facilities, modern manufacturing and business activity would be rendered impossible. Similarly access to amenities not only enhances quality of life of local residents but also contributes to higher productivity of the workforce and enhances urban competitiveness in terms of supporting both inward investment and talent as a place to work and live. In the words of Graham (2000) it is the synergetic effect of the different infrastructure networks that creates the necessary technical and social environment that provides the basis for modern living and production activities. In terms of global competition various studies have shown the role of infrastructure capacity in the success of both established and emerging global cities (Keivani et al., 2003; Graham, 1999; Sennett et al., 2002; Wong, 1999).
KeywordsCorporate Social Responsibility Urban Development Small Firm Private Firm Street Lighting
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