Based on data from the Urban Audit, the 2007 report on the ‘State of European Cities’ examines four major themes.
Growth and Stagnation of Europe’ s Cities (Expanding or contracting? what factors lie behind the expansion and contraction of Europe’ s cities; which cities in Europe are growing and which are stagnating).
Competitiveness of Cities (Economic performance; typology of urban competitiveness; international hubs; specialized poles; regional poles).
Living in Cities (Unemployment; housing; education; healthy places to live in; urban transport).
Governing Cities (The role of city government; index of city power; does size matter? not all cities are equal; money matters too; local responsibility).
The report stresses, among others:
The employment paradox in European cities: ‘˜The concentration of jobs in cities is even stronger than that of residents, many of Europe’ s main employment centres are within cities and its largest cities are truly economic powerhouses. Yet, as in other parts of the world, the generated wealth does not necessarily translate into corresponding rates of employment among urban citizens’ .
The growing tertiarization of urban economies: ‘˜Urban economies are rapidly becoming service economies. The service sector is by far the most important source of employment in European cities’ .
Innovation and connectivity being the most important drivers of competitiveness: ‘˜A number of drivers of urban competitiveness can be distinguished: innovation, talent (in terms of qualified human resources), entrepreneurship and connectivity being among the most prominent. Research suggests that the precise composition and ‘˜mix’ of these drivers differs considerably between cities and regions in Europe’ .
The power of cities, calculated with respect to a new index which seeks ‘˜to capture the relative “weight’ of citylevel governments within national governance systems (the proportion of public spending they control) and provide an initial indication of the degree of control they may exert of their own income, by including data on local taxation’ .
Download the full report: Regional Policy – Inforegio – Urban Audit