Metropolitan and rural regions around the world compete to attract enterprises (private companies, NGOs, parastatals, and government agencies) that offer wellpaying jobs. Economic globalization and new technologies make necessary, and at the same time make possible, new strategies for economic development (ED). Increasingly, these new strategies involve intraregional and inter-regional alliances.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Alliance: An inter-organizational cooperative arrangement designed to advance the long-term interests of all parties. Best described in terms of relationships, as distinct from a sequence of transactions, alliances are characterized by the trust and mutual commitment, and intensive exchange of information. They may be loose, as in trade association committee work, or close, as in a co-production network. All alliances are less formal than e.g., joint ventures, as alliances are not themselves corporate entities.
Localization: Adaptation of products and production to the varied market conditions, cultures, and landscapes of individual locales. Localization is made possible by flexible manufacturing and “mass customization.”
Social Capital: The added potential for economic growth that stems from a population’s propensity to form societies, associations and organizations for business, civic, and recreational purposes.
Economic Development: “A process in which local governments or community-based (neighborhood) organizations engage to stimulate or maintain business activity and/or employment (Blakely and Bradshaw 2002).” Alternatively, the “growth and diversification of business activity that creates jobs, income and wealth, and creates investment that generates municipal revenue to fund facilities and services that maintain and enhance quality of life (Doctor et al. 2004).”
Globalization: The liberalization of cross-border movement of the factors of production. The term is also used to refer to the treaties and organizations that create such liberalization.
Cluster: A collection of manufacturers, suppliers and customers, usually (but not necessarily) in a high-tech or knowledge-based industry. Clusters, via their proximity economies, engender the exchange of knowledge and skills that make alliances possible. At a certain critical mass, clusters generate their own growth and make further economic development of their region self-sustaining.
Technopole: Sometimes written as technopolis. A metropolitan region whose economic growth has stemmed principally from new wealth generated by technological innovation, via technology entrepreneurship and growth in knowledge-intensive employment.
Public-Private Partnership: An alliance in which at least one participant is a government or government agency, and at least one partner is a private enterprise.
Associational Economy: Relationships and exchanges in which shared interests, knowledge transfer, and mutually imparted empowerment assume importance equal to or greater than the monetary value of the transactions.
Regionalization: The growth in the importance of metro regions and larger regions (the Pacific rim, or the Dallas-Monterrey corridor), as changing technologies and sociologies reduce the relevance of existing state and national political boundaries.
Metropolitan Region: A city and its near hinterlands. A metro region may involve two cities and the towns in between (e.g., Austin and San Antonio, or Dallas and Fort Worth), or many cities (Silicon Valley, encompassing Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, etc.). Metro regions may cross state (Philadelphia-Camden) or national (Juarez-El Paso) borders.