Policies to Enhance the Physical Urban Environment for Competitiveness: A New Partnership between Public and Private Sectors
Globalisation and subsequent competition among cities have triggered a profound change in the mode of the governance of cities. It is often described as a shift from a managerial mode of governance, which had been primarily concerned with provision of social welfare services and control of private activities, to that of entrepreneurialism, strongly characterised by a pro-economic growth strategic approach. Subsequently, attractiveness has been increasingly regarded as a key factor for urban policies, since attractive cities are competitive and able to attract newly-emerging businesses and highly-skilled workforces that are the driving force in the global economy. Today, enhancing urban attractiveness is high on the agenda of urban policy in many OECD countries. A city?s attractiveness is determined by a wide range of elements. The OECD report “Competitive Cities: A New Entrepreneurial Paradigm in Spatial Development” (OECD, 2007) analysed various elements contributing to urban attractiveness (e.g. flagship redevelopment, cultural facilities, international events, etc.). Among various findings, it emphasises that it is important for a city to enhance its distinctiveness by identifying and building up urban assets that are unique to the city. In particular, many cities have recognised that attractive physical environment of cities can enhance their uniqueness and distinctiveness.
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