Professor Kathy Pain, REP's Director of Research, is attending the 25th Economic Forum in Poland

9 September 2015

Professor Kathy Pain, REP's Director of Research, is attending the 25th Economic Forum in Poland

Professor Kathy Pain is attending the 25th Economic Forum “Towards a Resilient Europe. Strategies for the Future” in Krynica Poland today where she was invited to attend a panel debate entitled “Should we be afraid of the growth of the metropolis?”

Professor Kathy Pain is attending the 25th Economic Forum “Towards a Resilient Europe. Strategies for the Future” in Krynica Poland today, where she has been invited to attend a panel debate entitled “Should we be afraid of the growth of the metropolis?”

It is recognised that the world’s new economic hubs are metropolises which continue to grow in this period of digital revolution. They drive growth, innovation, jobs and prosperity in the surrounding territories and in national economies.

The debate will provide an opportunity to discuss the strengths and challenges of metropolises, and their role in the recovery from economic crisis in Europe, as well as the strategies which can be employed to capitalise on opportunities at a global level.

Kathy contributed to the debate referring to evidence from two relevant research projects[1] which underpin the following points:

Key characteristics of Europe’s major metropolises are their concentration of high value-added advanced services and industries. For too long there has been a policy focus on Europe’s regions, not on its  cities. But it is vibrant cities that make vibrant regions. Cities are the key to a sustainable European economy and to the growth of its lagging regions.

It is vitally important for the EU to recognise that there has been a global shift in advanced services in the past 15 years. London, New York, Hong Kong and Paris remain leading concentrations, so London and Paris are critically important for Europe. But there is a major shift to the Asia Pacific region.

China now has three cities in the global ‘top ten’, not only Hong Kong but also Shanghai and Beijing. Other recent top ten incumbents are Sydney and Dubai.

Warsaw, Prague and Budapest have also improved their concentrations, demonstrating how cities are a key force for balancing future economic development across Europe.

So a first priority for action is the need for EU attention to the different (but complementary) roles and functions of its cities in global business networks. Regional data do not reveal these - policy-makers need to learn from business what their locational drivers and needs are.  

A second priority for action is the challenge posed for coordinated planning to support sustainable transportation and infrastructure investment in physically extensive, complex European metro-regions (‘mega-city regions’).

Territorial cohesion is a key EU priority but, to achieve this, the network relations of cities at different scales need to be taken into account in policy.

[1] Polynet – Sustainable Management of European Polycentric Mega-City Regions, 2003-06 Co-Director with Professor Sir Peter Hall at the Young Foundation, London; Tiger – Territorial Impact of Globalisation for Europe and its Regions, 2010-12 (PI for the UK research team at Reading);

The Polycentric Metropolis: Peter Hall and Kathy Pain

Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World: Edited by Kathy Pain

Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World: Edited by Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme

The European ‘Global Macro-Region’ – Redrawing the world map of globalization: Kathy Pain and Gilles Van Hamme

 

 

 

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