Much recent research in Urban Studies has concentrated on the notion of the ‘global city’ but discussion has also covered a larger set of mega cities, with populations in excess of 10 million. This analysis has begged the question of the optimal size for a city – is larger always better?
Smaller Cities explores the advantages and disadvantages of different sized cities, trying to determine their place in the global economy and hierarchy. How can smaller cities gain or retain their competitiveness in a world of large cities? In a globalized world, the nation has perhaps been diminished as an economic actor, with fiscal shortcomings and political gridlock leaving cities more or less on their own in the task of enhancing their competitiveness and improving the economic lives of their residents. This book argues that smaller cities of varying population can be important actors in competitiveness and aims to bring attention to an area often overlooked by researchers. In short, are Pittsburgh, San Diego and Austin less competitive than London and Mumbai?
This volume will be of interest to students, researchers, and city professionals who work in urban economy and urban geography.
1. Introduction to small cities – how to describe/define them? 2. Small cities in a world of Mega-cities 3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of smaller cities? 4. Is size important? 5. Public policy and small cities in North America 6. Public policies and small cities in the European Union 7. Small cities and competitiveness in North America 8. Small cities and competitiveness in Europe 9. Summing it up: options for smaller cities
‘Most scholarly research on cities is focused on the great metropolitan areas of the world system. This book takes a refreshingly different approach by concentrating on small cities and what makes them attractive to large numbers of people. In doing so, the book reveals that these cities are marked by enormous diversity and often display surprisingly robust forms of economic, social and cultural life.’ — Allen J. Scott, Research Professor, UCLA, USA