The competitiveness of cities and regions is becoming an increasingly important issue as they develop strategies to rebound from the recession. Adding to their dilemma is the emergence of global competitors which changes the playing field. Now small cities must decide whether to go it alone, or collaborate with regional partners to present a more relevant value proposition. A recent article in The New Statesman, considered these realities in regard to the competitiveness of cities and regions in England.
A report by Ernst & Young observes, “Cities are engaged in intense competition for resources in the form of the talented people and capital to drive innovation. And because people are increasingly mobile they will migrate to cities that are the most aligned in what they offer in terms of brand, strategy, investment, services and culture. Achieving this depends on city leaders ensuring that the four environments that co-exist within a city - urban, business, social and cultural - are supportive to attracting and retaining innovative companies, talented people and crucial foreign direct investment.”
"Competition among cities is like a bicycle; if you don't pedal you'll fall off," says the Urban Land Institute. The competitiveness of our cities on the global stage is crucial to the UK's recovery. But should all cities be competing all of the time? And at what point should cities collaborate rather than compete?”
Over the years, I have observed many cities that should put aside their long held animosity, petty politics and myopic views of neighboring cities and adopt a more regionalized approach to their branding and economic development. But then again, that might bust up some old “clubs”!