45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The economic performance of city-regions is closely linked to the performance of the national economy. However, the performance of the national economy can also depend on the performance of one or more major city-regions, that act as growth poles. Because of their sectoral structure and other characteristics, some cities are better equipped to become growth poles than others. This paper studies 46 major city-regions across Europe. The sectoral structure and changes in the sectoral structure of city-regions are studied using data from CE's European Regional Database, itself based on Eurostat's Regio database. The data analysis attempts to explain city-region performance by drawing parallels between sectoral structure and economic performance. The data analysis is supplemented by local anecdotal evidence provided by CE's annual European reporting system 'European Regional Prospects', for example the historical importance of river and seafront activities. The paper goes on to discuss the extent to which the sectoral structure of cities can explain why some city-regions grow faster than others. The data analysis will be used to group cities in 'hard' typologies according to sectoral specialisation. These sectoral typologies are then compared with typologies according to the local, 'softer', evidence provided by CE's regional consultants. This evidence will also be used to draw out the more subtle influences on city-region growth and these will be used to group cities in 'soft' typologies.