Phelps, N.A., McNeill, D. and Parsons, N.
In search of European edge urban identity: Trans-European networking among edge urban municipalities.
European Urban and Regional Studies, 9, (3), .
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Transnational networking has come to the fore as a strategy for coping with the increasingly stringent fiscal climate in which European municipalities have had to operate in the last two to three decades. New funding streams for policy development and implementation have emerged with the Commission's financing of trans-European local authority networks. In this paper we consider the formation of a shared European identity and the nature and content of interauthority networking activities, drawing upon the example of one newly formed network - the edge cities network. Here we make use of original empirical material drawn from three case-study edge city municipalities - Croydon, Getafe and Noisy-le-Grand. We find that a weak form of shared European edge urban identity has developed to date, and that the direct and indirect benefits of networking are not all that they might be. There is some evidence that longstanding national traditions of interorganizational working and administrative arrangements have exerted an influence on the networking activities of at least one of these edge urban municipalities. In this respect, transnational networking meshes with aspects of local entrepreneurial coalition building which are often imbued with a sense of interlocality competition for private and public investment.
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