Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Do capital cities have a competitive disadvantage?

Today I simply have a question after reading an interesting article.

Emma Vandore of reported on MIPIM, the annual real estate trade show in Cannes, in an article called, "Mayors urged to loosen ties with national governments". She reported that city leaders, 80 city mayors to be exact, were told "leadership at the city level was becoming increasingly important not just because there was less money coming from deficit-battling central governments, but also because national borders were becoming less relevant." The message is that mayors and their cities need to increasingly look to themselves for ideas and leadership rather than national governments.

IF this international gathering of civic and real estate professionals is correct in saying that dependency on national governments is no longer feasible in today's globalized and highly competitive world, what does that mean for capital cities, especially single-function capitals like Ottawa, Washington DC, and Canberra, who are inherently dependent on the national government? Does that mean we are at a competitive disadvantage? Or does that mean we need to alter how capital cities relate to national governments? 

Kevin Bourne

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