Track 2: More or Less Competitive Cities - Smart Specialization and Diversification Strategies

Assoc. Professor Dieter Kogler, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin

Professor Lin Ye, School of Government, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou China

Professor Karsten Zimmermann, Faculty of Spatial Planning TU Dortmund University

Growth and competitiveness are key goals for many cities and metropolitan city regions. This track will explore the types of policies and projects being undertaken by cities in order to rekindle, retain or increase their competitiveness. City Governments are increasingly focused on taking an active role in economic development. What are the challenges in balancing economic competitiveness with differing agendas, notably environmental and social? To what extent do current socio-economic conditions and evolutionary trajectories determine opportunities and limitations to envisioned smart specialization and diversification strategies? With many cities experiencing the impact of urban austerity emanating from the Global financial crisis, cutting back on staffing and service levels, and increased outsourcing and privatization, how can we ensure that competitive cities are also just and livable cities; in particular those cities at the periphery?

A number of key questions are relevant in this context: