Europe’s Cities in a Global Economy

In this paper we look at the broad trends, challenges and opportunities facing European cities. We identify which factors are critical to the revitalisation of Europe’s cities in the next phase of globalisation.

Cities have long been vital to trade, innovation, investment and development. Despite the distance-shrinking technologies of the modern world, that is truer today than ever before.

The future for Europe’s urban centres is uncertain. After centuries in which first European cities, and then Western ones, led the world, power is now shifting eastwards and southwards.

New global cities have emerged; Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore first among them, with other cities such as Seoul and Shanghai following fast behind. At the same time, the financial crisis has exposed and exacerbated pre-existing weaknesses in European economies.

Against this background Centre for London and the Global Cities Initiative produced this paper analysing the position of European cities in a changing global context. Prepared as a background document for the The London Conference 2013, this paper applies Ten Traits of Global Fluency to Europe’s urban centres and outlines the challenges and opportunities ahead.


This publication was generously supported by