Competition, Supercharged: Cities, Economic Development, and Globalization

Hi Amsterdam Smart City! My most recent blog is up. This week, I share a few thoughts on how globalization has affected the way that Amsterdam and cities in the U.S. interact with competition, both domestically and internationally. I'd love your feedback--particularly on whether or not you agree with my characterization of the dynamic between Dutch cities.

Thanks for reading!

https://www.john-adams.nl/competition-supercharged-cities-economic-development-globalization/

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Herman van den Bosch's picture
Herman van den Bosch

I have been thinking over your typology of cities in the Netherlands and in the US. It is true that competition is not a dominant issue. I feel that differentiation between cities is not the first reason. Probably city administrators chose to collaborate because cities in the Netherlands are rather small from a global perspective. Maybe the Netherlands as a whole are one large metropolitan area.
Secondly, cities are not entities that can be managed top-down. Dutch cities are an incredible complex fabric of small often innovative companies, inventive and self-assured citizens who are acting at a local, national and often international scale, independently from any intervention from the city administration. Don't forget that large corporates are less dominant in the Netherlands than in the US.
Last but not least, quality of life is defined much broader than earning money and material gains. As a consequence, the attractively of Dutch and many other European cities and city life is beyond doubt and will turn out to be one of the best selling point. International competition is nothing to fear; on the contrary, the popularity of the main cities in the Netherlands is approaching a damaging level: Think about towering housing prices and over-crowded streets. Yesterday I read that Amsterdam is promoting the Hague as a major touristic destination!

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