The term competitiveness is recurrently used to quantify and qualify the integration degree of nations, regions and cities in the stage of globalization. The competitiveness of a country is defined as the nation’s ability to grow successfully and increase its participation in international trade. This ability depends on three basic elements: i) microeconomic performance of firms; ii) formulation and implementation of clear and explicit public policy for commercial exchange promotion, and iii) existence of an urban system capable of supporting the location of productive investment.
Urban and regional competitiveness is the degree in which a city or a region, compared to others that engage in a competition, is capable of attracting productive investment, which is expressed by means of employment and income increases, and at the same time, expands and consolidates its cultural amenities, recreational attractions, social cohesion, governance and an adequate environment for its population (GUCP, 2005). This concept means, in the first place, that competitiveness is a relative term, because it compares the performance or actions across different territories. In the second place, it quantifies and qualifies the ability of a territory not only to attract investment, that may be public or private, but also to retain its population by offering labor opportunities, quality of life, and even to become a destination of internal and international migration flows.
The effects of competition among cities are expressed through three main variables: i) a change in local productivity; ii) a transformation in the urban labor market, and iii) variations in the life conditions of residents. A fundamental element that determines the productivity growth is technological progress, which generates increasing efficiency in the use of productive factors. On the other side, the urban labor market is the most important of all the urban markets because it defines if people has or not employment and at which salary. The improvement in the life conditions is expressed on: i) more quantity and quality of collective needs; ii) increase in physical accessibility and in integral mobility; iii) better participation in decision-making processes, and iv) increases in the conscience of environmental affairs towards a sustainable development.
The objective of this forum is to discuss these effects of competition between cities, emphasizing the dynamics of the labor market and local actions for the relationship between competitiveness and sustainable development.
In the case of employment, topics include: i) the city as producer of human capital, through its universities and training centers; ii) the use of workforce in the city, in terms of the characteristics and the dynamism of the urban labor markets, and iii) the attraction of workforce and human capital, that is to say the role of labor migration on the urban labor markets.
Sustainable development discussions cover the following themes: i) management strategies and policies directed towards economic efficiency and sustainability; ii) actions against urban inequality; iii) relationships among economy, ecology and equity, and iv) the role of design, planning and technological progress in urban sustainability.
The final product of the forum will be the publication of an edited volume that includes the presented papers.
Thursday, 28 August 2014
Reception and registration of participants
Manuel Ordorica (El Colegio de México)
Enrique Cabrero (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología)
Silvia Giorguli (El Colegio de México)
Peter Kresl (Bucknell University)
Session One: Issues on urban competitiveness
Moderator: Gustavo Garza (El Colegio de México)
Peter Kresl (Bucknell University)
Human capital, sustainability and the smaller city
Valentin Ibarra (El Colegio de México)
A regional input-output model for central Mexico
Winnie Mitullah (University of Nairobi)
Access and mobility for sustainable development in Nairobi: dilemma or negligence?
Isela Orihuela (Instituto Mora)
Human capital for innovation and urban competitiveness in Mexico
Session Two: City and employment
Moderator: Manuel Ángel Castillo (El Colegio de México)
Jianfa Shen (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Population change and labor supply: challenges of an ageing population in Hong Kong
Alejandra Trejo (El Colegio de México) and Paola Domínguez (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social)
Localization and concentration in urban labor markets in the metropolitan areas of central Mexico
Joan Trullen (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Urban competitiveness and inclusive growth: the case of Barcelona, 1986-2011
Jaime Sobrino (El Colegio de México)
Economic change and industrial location in Mexico at inter-urban level
Friday, 29 August 2014
Session Three: Urban sustainability
Moderator: Martha Schteingart (El Colegio de México)
Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay and Marco Alberio (Université du Québec)
Neighbourhoods, employment and sustainable development in urban economies: between spatial and social aspects, crossed reflections on France, Italy and Québec
Leo van den Berg (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
The Phoenix project in Dortmund: an integrated approach for sustainable competitiveness
María Perevochtchikova (El Colegio de México)
Payment for environmental services in urban periphery: ways toward sustainability?
Yang Xiaolan (Central University of Finance and Economics, China)
Sustainable competitiveness: a comparing results from Chinese cities