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On ‘competitive’ cities and trickle down geography

POSTED ON September 15th  - POSTED IN Blog, Uncategorized
Or are they? Is some of their growth extracted from the rest of the economy? Source: World Bank

Or are they? Is some of their growth extracted from the rest of the economy? Source: World Bank

There’s a long article in The Guardian from 2014 by four academics, Ewald Engelen, Sukhdev Johal, Angelo Salento and Karel Williams, entitled How to Build a Fairer City. The purpose of this blog is not so much to dissect this article in detail, but to point to it. Because it’s important for our competitiveness investigations. Its introduction is framed like this:

“The central argument is that we can move towards a fairer city by reframing our problems and rethinking our solutions in two ways:

1. Break with the dominant old problem of the competitive city, which competes economically against other cities and sponsors internal competition for limited opportunities.

2. Stop fixating on redistributive policies which will not deliver fairness, and start thinking about reorganising policies which build a grounded economy in the areas which are not exposed to competition.

The global obsession of our age is competing everywhere with everyone for everything. In the mainstream imaginary, every city has to chase competitive success in a league table where it secures prosperity by getting ahead of others.”

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