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The distinctive city: pitfalls in the pursuit of differential advantage

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  • Ivan Turok

Abstract

In the face of growing competitive pressures, cities in Britain and elsewhere have been exploring new ways of promoting their distinctiveness in order to increase local prosperity. I analyse the main approaches used for this purpose and consider their underlying rationale. I argue that there is some justification for developing more specialised activities and sources of differential advantage that other cities cannot reproduce. However, many cities appear to be pursuing the same policy formula comprising one or more of the following elements: nascent industries, high-level occupations, signature buildings, and consumer identities. I discuss the limitations of each of these. I conclude with some constructive suggestions for what cities might do to develop more original and distinctive advantages.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 13-30

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Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:41:y:2009:i:1:p:13-30

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Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk

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Cited by:
  1. De Nisco, Alessandro & Warnaby, Gary, 2014. "Urban design and tenant variety influences on consumers' emotions and approach behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 211-217.
  2. Leanne Seeliger & Ivan Turok, 2013. "Towards Sustainable Cities: Extending Resilience with Insights from Vulnerability and Transition Theory," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(5), pages 2108-2128, May.
  3. Martijn J. Burger & Bert van der Knaap & Ronald S. Wall, 2012. "Revealed Competition for Greenfield Investments between European Regions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-063/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Martijn J. Burger & Bert van der Knaap & Ronald S. Wall, 2012. "Revealed Competition for Greenfield Investments between European Regions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-063/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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