As shown in this chart, skills and knowledge are already having a significant impact on economic growth and are changing the nature of economic activity amongst cities. Over the past decade, a global shift toward a knowledge-based economy has accelerated dramatically. Superior talent – embodied in higher education, training, skills, creativity, aptitude, innovation capacity, and the cultural and social skills of the workforce – is rapidly becoming the key driver of economic growth and activity. For instance, Figure above shows the growing importance of higher-quality skills and education in economic development between 1999 and 2007, which includes the economic slowdown of 2001 to 2002. Using data on over 350 regions in the OECD countries, the figure shows that this shift to new reality or new economy is linked to higher education of the workforce (which acts as a proxy for traditional measurement of human capital) Increasing contribution of the knowledge- and skills-intensive sectors to overall economic activity; and Corresponding rise in the levels of prosperity, driving the dramatic rise in the middle classes around the world. As economies around the world compete for talent and knowledge, there is a tidal wave of change that is taking place in the global economic system: the ‘bricks-and-mortar’ economic growth of the past is now becoming replaced by the ‘brains and aptitude’ economy of the future. Our data also suggest that the trend toward more skills and knowledge-intensive growth resists recessionary shocks. This conclusion is further supported by evidence from the latest recession, during which higher-skilled workers had lower unemployment rates. For example, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2009, the unemployment rate for workers with less than a high-school diploma rose from 9 percent to 14.6 percent. The unemployment rate for high-school graduates rose from 5.7 percent to 9.7 percent, while the unemployment rate for those with a completed third-level education and higher increased from 2.6 percent to 4.6 percent – a much smaller rise in absolute terms
The new model of the talent, skills, knowledge, creativity and innovation enabled economy is especially salient for cities which already act as focal points of economic activity and are therefore poised to benefit from the new economy. Globally, almost 50 percent of the total output and jobs of many nations is found in their largest city. For example, Seoul accounts for almost half of South Korea’s GDP; Budapest (Hungary) and Brussels (Belgium) each for approximately 45% of their respective incomes. Guangzhou and Brussels have GDP shares of their national economies that are 5 and 4.4 times higher, respectively, than their share of national populations. Based on GDP per capita adjusted for the cost of living, the top 100 cities worldwide accounted for roughly 25 percent of the world’s GDP in 2005. By 2008 this had increased to over 30 percent In addition, cities around the world are already home to the majority of highly-educated and highly-skilled citizens and are acting as major attractors of internationally mobile workers, in other words, human capital. For example, the Institute for Business Value analysis of the UN data shows that worldwide, there is a strong positive relationship between the degree of regional urbanization and the region attractiveness to internationally mobile human capital . Furthermore, economists and urban planners now know that urban density acts to increase productivity of the workforce and to spread knowledge. (FOR DETAILS SEE APPENDIX, SLIDE 49). Sources: OECD Territorial Reviews: Competitive Cities in the Global Economy. http://www.oecd.org/document/2/0,3343,en_2649_33735_37801602_1_1_1_1,00.html UN Habitat. “State of the world’s cities 2010-2011. Urban trends – Wealth of Cities”, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, March 2010. http://www.unhabitat.org/documents/SOWC10/R6.pdf. PWC http://www.pwc.com/ru/en/press-releases/2009/Emerging-market-city-economies-set-to-rise.jhtml, last accessed April 30, 2010. Institute for Business Value analysis of data from the UN Human Development Report, 2009, http://esa.un.org/migration/index.asp?panel1=2 last accessed April 20,2010.
Increasing global competition for creating an optimal mix of people in the city economy will drive an acute competition for skills, talent and knowledge among regions and cities. Diverse skills, aptitudes and experience, along with different types of available education and training, are becoming crucial contributors to economic growth. In the graph above, we define the degree of diversification of the economy as a combination of: The share of creative professionals in the overall labor force (persons who “regularly have wide discretion in their jobs to use accumulated knowledge to develop, design and deliver new products and services” (Cortright, J. City Vitals, CEOs for Cities, 2006 page 10); The share of ‘young and restless’ workers (‘Young, well-educated workers [who] are among the most mobile people in the nation”, ibid, page 12), and The share of the traded sectors talent (“the percentage of all workers outside of health services, education and government who have a four-year degree or higher education” ibid, page 14). Over time, improved knowledge and diversification of the workforce mean better competitiveness and lead to growth in knowledge intensity. Data for the 50 largest U.S. cities suggests that a more diverse base of citizens, together with knowledge and creativity-intensive sectors, is associated with higher per capita income. According to the IBV forecasts based on the UN data, the next twenty years will see doubling of the stock of highly educated migrants around the world. While most of this change is likely to take place in the mature economies of Europe and North America, by 2020, Asian economies alone (one of the few regions in the world where net demand for foreign skills slightly declined in 1990 to 2000) are expected to attract over 17.5 million new educated migrants – an increase of 77 percent over 2010. A mobile pool of highly skilled workers already exists and is on the move within mature economies – 35 percent of migrants to mature economies have a college/ university degree. Existing data indicates that these workers, unlike past waves of lesser-skilled migrants, do not chase the possibility of opportunity. Instead, they elect to follow specific jobs and make their decisions on location based on complex criteria, including considerations of financial and career returns, as well as quality of life. For cities that succeed in attracting, retaining, creating and enabling higher skills and talent base, this translates into the potential for higher tax revenues and fees that can help address current fiscal constraints. But it also implies increased demand by citizens for new services that reflect the expanding role of middle and upper-middle classes.
The management and operation of transport systems have an important influence on the economy of cities. Well-managed, easily accessible public transportation attracts migrant workers into cities, brings commuters to and from work, and moves goods from where they are produced to where they are consumed. Congestion negatively impacts the quality of life in a city by decreasing personal and business productivity, lowering air quality and creating noise pollution. Congestion is one of the main urban transportation problems faced by almost all cities and incurs significant costs almost all cities and incurs significant costs, ranging from 1.5 to 4 per cent of GDP (see chart). In the United States, congestion in urban areas results in annual costs of 4.2 billion hours of wasted time and $87 billion from wasted fuel and lost productivity. It also affects public safety - globally more than 1.2 million people are killed in transport accidents and there are 50 million road accidents. Urban transport pressures are intensifying. For example, car ownership in Sao Paulo is increasing at the rate of 1,000 cars a day and traffic is growing four times faster than the population in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. China’s cities have the fastest growing automobile populations in the world.
International research indicates that the levels and quality of human capital – education, skills, creative and innovation capacity of a city -- are tied to the overall levels of public safety in both mature economies and rapidly developing economies. For example, a recent study based on Brazilian data shows that within urban populations, higher individual education and higher average level of education in the area of residence increase the demand for public safety. In addition, improved public safety improves the business and investment environment. Cities with lower crime and better emergency services will find it easier to attract and retain a diverse and higher quality skilled workforce. They will also be better at enabling workers to be productive by attracting an innovation-enabling ecosystem. For example, in the US, cities with higher crime rates tend to have a lower proportion of employment in high technology services. The deterrent effects of crime and poor public safety on foreign direct investment and domestic entrepreneurship, especially in highly skills-intensive sectors, such as internationally traded services, have been also documented in rapidly developing economies. The chart on this slide shows the importance of efficient and effective public safety for business location decisions - How cities respond to threats to public safety, such as violence and terrorism, are of utmost importance for business location decisions – 37% of respondents said that they have avoided investments in certain territories because of the political violence.
Improving healthcare in cities is an urgent priority. Healthcare demand continues to grow, as urban areas worldwide gain 67 million people a year. But health and well-being are not just crucial components of a city’s overall survival and attractiveness. They are fundamental to the quality and productivity of a workforce – especially a workforce that must do more than show up to work, but must be able to think and innovate at peak capacity at all times in order help the city grow. As the chart on this slide shows, a health index calculated from UN data positively correlates with a higher quality workforce, quality of life and economic development.
Growth for cities in the twenty-first century will increasingly be driven by people – the skills and knowledge of a highly educated, innovative workforce – and by the ability of citizens and city economies to absorb, commercialize and extend innovation. Cities that want to thrive will need to plan, invest and work to improve their core systems with this in mind. But how do cities begin to make such improvements, especially in times of extreme financial constraints? There are five basic steps and consistent guiding principles to help direct them.
City leaders need to decide what their city should be – determine its brand This process should naturally start from identifying the high level objective – For example, this should involve identifying the future city ‘brand’ in terms of economic and social competitiveness by: • Identifying the city’s differentiating strengths that will attract skills, knowledge and creativity. • Creating a strategy that emphasizes these strengths while building on existent potential already developed in the economy. • Prioritize investments in core systems: transport; government services and education; public safety and health; as well as energy, environmental sustainability, urban planning and design in line with the strategy.
With the growing importance of higher skills, talent and knowledge in determining economic growth and activity, it is critical that cities create a skills, creativity and innovation enabling environment. Such an environment manages to: Attract internationally mobile talent by enhancing quality of life services in line with changes in demand. Cities that offer the right environment will be able to attract skills, knowledge and creativity and experience a ‘pull’ of talented and skilled people migrating to these cities (Luis, 2009). • Create a domestic talent base by offering education services and training, and investing in education infrastructure. Cities that invest in people through education and training will have a higher quality stock of skills, talent and knowledge, improving their chances for achieving greater prosperity in the future. There is, for example, a strong positive relationship between enrolment in higher/tertiary education and the level of prosperity achieved. Investment in formal education is a key factor explaining differences in economic performance between countries. Estimates of the gain in income from an additional year of education range from 5% to 15% (Deutsche Bank Research). Benhabib & Spiegel found empirical evidence to suggest a link between education, R&D, technology adoption and growth. • Enable better opportunities for deploying skills and abilities to help citizens realize their potential by using better deployment of data collection and analytics on changes in the labor force and skills supply and demand. In addition to enabling skills and talent, cities will require business and entrepreneurial investment to increase their economies capacity to generate, absorb and commercialize innovation and creativity. • Retain the existing base of talent to reduce potential “brain drain.” In an international competition for skills, knowledge and innovation, successful cities will experience net in-migration while less successful cities will experience outward migration of skilled people. For example, in the UK London and the South East experience large inflows of graduates while some cities in the North of England find it more difficult to retain their graduates. Cities that are unable to retain talent, skills and innovation are experiencing a human capital ‘push’ away from the city (Luis, 2009). Other examples include old industrial cities in the U.S. ‘’Rust Belt’’, where the decline associated with a de-industrialising economy has resulted in people leaving.
The attraction of talent and knowledge-based business has a number of implications for how services are delivered and the city functions. Talented people are demanding citizens, who treasure autonomy and the ability to shape their own lives. This has implications for how services are delivered. Moreover, they want to live in cities that are clean, green, walkable and offer access to travel. In general, highly skilled and educated workers require that services, supplied by cities are Tailored to their specific needs (diversified types of services and delivery modes, such as not just café/restaurant model of catering, but café/restaurant/delivery/pre-order customization etc) Individualized to reflect specific taste preferences and working arrangements (e.g. access to a 24 hour public services assistance for workers on flex time, access to business services for individuals combining several job/entrepreneurship projects) Green and clean in addition to being reliable – for example, IBM Eco-efficiency Jam 2010 has identified a new trend in the modern workforce, Employee 2.0, who are digitally enabled and networked, but also require their workplace and living space to be environmentally sustainable. This new generation of workers does not just expect electricity supply and utilities to be cost-effective and reliable, but also green, eco-efficient and clean. Efficient in addition to being accessible: highly educated and highly skilled workers recognize the significant premium their work commands in the modern workplace. They often combine entrepreneurial endeavours with traditional employment and therefore expect city services to be on-time, on-demand, and cost efficient. Thus, to succeed in the future, cities will need to Optimize their services around the citizen • Begin to shift from standardized, uniform services to a model for the delivery of tailored services that meet individual needs. • Create digital linkage across city core systems and the analysis and actions triggered by patterns in the data. • Develop a clear and transparent system of user fees and charges that reflects the real costs of providing citizen-centric services, thus encouraging both more direct demand for services management by the citizens and lower costs burden on public finances.
Cities must employ systems thinking in all aspects of planning and management • Consider problems, solutions and the value that improvements will create in the context of related and interconnected city systems, not just within the confines of one area of operation. Citizen-centric provision of services will increase overall systems complexity of city services. This implies that going forward, cities will need to introduce continuous, realtime assessments of their core services, new investments and solutions across multiple modes and nodes of delivery. For example, consider this map of Shanghai – which shows city development and growth over 15 years. Black area mark city boundaries in 1988, red areas - 2002. This shows several trends in urban development relating to the importance of deploying systems thinking. Firstly, it shows the scope of the systems and the rate of physical growth which require that all systems and aspects of planning and managements are reflected in the strategic thinking about the future of city services. • Cities need to identify, map and appeal to constituencies essential to the success of city improvements, especially those that may be outside traditional city systems bounds. The new workforce of the future is both highly mobile geographically, but also across different working/living/investing locations. These workers are expecting not only their living arrangements to be closely interconnected with their working environment, but they also expect social mobility and services portability. These new workers are, therefore, represent a new constituency of voters and consumers of public services, no longer separable by their work vs living destinations. In addition, growth of cities physically as the map shows means that over short period of time, constituencies that might be traditionally viewed as being outside the scope of city services today can be incorporated into the city systems. • Focus on system behaviors instead of singular events and examine multiple approaches to changing system behaviors. As various services form a holistic system of services with multiple points of shared resources, demand and systems interactions, the entire system performance must take precedent over individual events. Often, most effective solutions to specific bottlenecks in provision of one service can be found in examining the system of services as a whole. Once again, example of cities like Shanghai are illustrative here. Behavioural aspects of the services provisions in the case of a rapidly expanding city, like Shanghai might be more stable over time than geographic considerations that underpin traditional planning. • Fully leverage the value of data, data analytics and systems thinking across systems by making information widely accessible to citizens. Systemic approach to analysis of services performance is reliant on realtime data collection, analytics and communications. This data is now both, increasingly demanded by citizens (for example, new employees require information about their own workplace and household performance in terms of eco-efficiency), and provides new opportunities for private and public sector services provision (with iTunes-for-data type of models of delivery and analysis offering a new and exciting business opportunity in the future). The unifying nature of data, its invariability across the geography of the city, can act as the major point through which the ever-expanding and changing system of services can interact meaningfully with its customers on the scale of change that is exemplified by world’s leading growth cities, like Shanghai. Image: Source: Boselli (2010) – OECD presentation “La ville est vivante”, Seminar organised by La fabrique de la cité Hamburg, 6-8 April 2010
Clearly, the transition from standardized services to citizen-centric services cannot be achieved overnight. The transition to the provision more citizen-centric services across a city’s core systems places new demands and pressures on a city and requires a deeper understanding of both the needs and patterns of behavior within a city. This requirement can be satisfied by leveraging the vast amounts of real world data collected in cities representing the behaviors of a city’s people and systems, and use it to develop more efficient citizen-centric services and continually enhance services. (According to The Economist, mankind created 150 exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data in 2005. In 2010, it is expected that this number will reach 1,200 exabytes. Source: “The data deluge”, The Economist , February 27, 2010) Technological advances mean that aspects of the operation and development that city managers have previously been unable to measure – and therefore unable to influence – are increasingly being digitized. This instrumentation creates brand new data points about, for example, the efficiency of a city’s water or transport systems. In addition to being instrumented, different parts of a city’s systems can be interconnected, so that information flows between them. With the greater digitization and interconnection of a city’s core systems, the newly gained information can be used for intelligent and informed decision making.
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