The Business of Cities: Essay

One important trend in the investigation into the future of cities is the rapidly evolving relationship between cities and business. Cities and commerce have always been inextricably linked, but at least three global trends appear to be changing the bonds between the two:

  • Cities are becoming essential places for businesses to locate in, sell to, and engage with, and are becoming assets for businesses in terms of brand, R&D, and innovation.
  • Businesses are re-organising their relationship with cities in an effort to generate advantage and move with the times. At the same time cities are seeking to become more entrepreneurial in their outlook and strategies.
  • Cities and businesses are learning from one another and forming partnerships. On the one hand businesses are urbanising and re-urbanising. On the other, cities are taking on some of the features of globally trading businesses.

The purpose of this paper is to review and explain the important new agenda arising from the changing relationships between cities and businesses. The paper examines the new dynamics of cities and businesses, looking at six key recent trends which are changing their relationship

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