Fundamental changes such as climate change, technological advances, increasing societal demands, shifting power from national to local levels and the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis are changing the playing field of cities worldwide. While many cities in emerging and advanced economies continue to thrive, it is uncertain whether such growth can be sustained overtime. This is particularly the case as urban development objectives shift from pure wealth creation towards more complex and demanding well-being objectives.
How to sustain a city’s growth over time without endangering its foundations (such as economic diversity, people and the environment) is now one of the most relevant urban development challenges. Even when much has to do with external-to-the-city macroeconomic and political developments, cities are not just passive receivers of their external contexts – they can also shape their own development.
The present study provides insight on these issues by analysing in depth a number of innovative urban development strategies aiming at sustaining a city’s development and competitive position over time.