Urban Competitiveness and Resilience

Cities are no longer considered autonomous entities due to complex processes on local, regional and global levels affecting their development. It is important to understand the elements of cities that influence these complex processes and their performance at local and regional levels, as well as their position in the global economic network.

Economic networks include foreign investments, global supply chains and international trade, and are becoming increasingly more important to the development of cities. According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), “by positioning industries at the right stage of global value chains, countries may benefit from opportunities offered by global trade, including more jobs, exports, and foreign direct investment (FDI)”. Market access not only enhances the resilience of cities but also brings the capital and technology which is essential for strong, inclusive and transformative technology. The UCR specialization discusses the concept of regional competitiveness and its measurement within the context of theories concerning regional economic growth with the aim to determine the means through which economic development occurs across regions and cities.

The high cost of crisis underpins the need to strengthen the economic resilience of countries and cities. In recent literature and policy debate, resilience has been used as one of the key concepts. However, there is still considerable ambiguity about the meaning, conceptualization and measurement of the concept (Martin and Sunley, 2014). The UCR specialization addresses these and related questions to provide a better understanding of the meaning and explanation of economic resilience, linking it with real world examples and policies.

A solid understanding of economic competition and resilience of cities within the global investment network will help introduce smarter and more effective economic and urban policies.

UCR is also involved in applied research and advisory projects. For details on these activities please refer to the research, training and resources pages where you can find the names of projects and publications.