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By Hazel Duffy

Aggressive Citites is an overview of how during which `partnership', a notice a lot utilized by politicians, has helped to form the commercial futures of 4 towns on each side of the Atlantic - Atlanta, Toronto, Birmingham and Rotterdam.

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Additional resources for Competitive Cities: Succeeding in the Global Economy

Example text

During the 1980s, however, areas—often amounting to sub-regions—which had been hit by industrial decline in the wealthier states became eligible for assistance. Especially from 1988, cities started to creep into the funding ring. Plans which ‘integrated operations’ in economic development were presented by cities as diverse as Birmingham and Oporto to the Fund administrators in Brussels for consideration. But they had to be supported by their governments. Although cities and their regions can and do lobby over the heads of their governments, support will always be required from that source, a fact that SIMULATING THE MODEL CITY 21 needs to be remembered amidst much talk about ‘Europe of the regions’, suggesting that regions can almost go it alone.

But the social and racial tensions in cities are not confined to the poor. Canadian and European governments provide a safety net in terms of benefits for the poorest of their populations. Competition for jobs, accentuated by the loss of mostly well-paid blue-collar jobs in manufacturing, however, is being construed SIMULATING THE MODEL CITY 23 as caused by immigrants. 24 In Frankfurt, for example, conditions of full employment virtually guaranteed high living standards for mainly white workers and their families.

Atlanta’s growth has been remarkable even by the standards of the sunbelt southern states. Net in-migration over the last 20 years totalled over 600 000 people. New jobs run parallel with the influx of people, hence the attraction of the area. 5 times that of 1960. 3 The heady figures should not obscure some more worrying aspects of the Atlanta story. Crime, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, the four most visible signs of urban decline, have hardly been addressed. Public education standards are poor, not only in the city proper but also in many suburban districts.

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