Fundamental trends such as climate change, technological advances and the shift in economic powers globally are changing the playing field for cities worldwide. As the challenges facing cities in the 21st century magnify, the role and importance of urban leaders and urban leadership can hardly be underestimated. Successful cities of the future need to face new challenges and capture the opportunities which arise through the impact of local and global megatrends. A new form of leadership is required to boost a city’s capabilities and organizing capacities to design, and execute, innovative strategies for sustainable competitiveness.
In many places around the world, responsibilities are being devolved from the national to the regional and local levels, heightening the pressures to achieve results, negotiate deals, guide actors inside and outside organizations and find new ways of solving complex problems locally. More and more we see city leadership looking for new ways on how to make urban leadership happen on the ground.
We often recognise good urban leadership when we see it, but what is actually involved? Who are the urban leaders, and how do they act? Which processes, strategies and tactics are becoming more important? And how are different types of leaders impacting the future of cities? These are the issues explored in our latest global study, which PwC has conducted jointly with the European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (Euricur).
Based on the growing body of literature in urban leadership including previous joint studies by PwC and Euricur on Innovative strategies for delivering sustainable competitiveness (iUrban), this report zooms into the nuances, practices and evolving challenges of urban leadership in the 21st century.