Rebuilding the city: a focus for European industrial policy?

David Bailey, Keith Cowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the city offers the potential of dynamic agglomeration economies which can spur the achievement of economic growth and act as an engine that powers the economy, it often appears as a centre of crisis in mature ‘developed’ regions and countries, even before the most recent economic downturn. This paper attempts to reconcile these two seemingly paradoxical observations by bringing in a strategic choice perspective to explain how concentrated strategic decision making in the corporate entities that dominate our cities has diminished the very diversity that Jacobs identified as being essential for cities to flourish and develop. The industrial policy implications for cities are subsequently explored in terms of building new industrial districts, developing high skill ecosystems, and fostering multinational webs of cities, all with the aim of ensuring the conditions exist in cities for creativity and development to flourish, notably a diverse and democratic economic system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-364
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policy studies on 22/7/11, available online:


  • cities
  • industrial policy
  • transnationals
  • strategic choice
  • governance
  • economic development


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