Across Europe there is a lively policy and academic debate on what the essential conditions are for the development of new economic activities in city-regions. The focus is on knowledge-intensive and creative industries. Different theories (glocalization, clustering, embeddedness, path dependence, "hard" and "soft" location factors) identify the essential factors. In this article, we review debates and theories on these conditions and specifically focus on the different pathways city-regions follow. This results in a set of hypotheses, which are evaluated with empirical evidence from three city-regions: Amsterdam, Birmingham, and Budapest. In each of these city-regions factors can be identified that inhibit the growth of knowledge-intensive and creative industries as well as enable such development. Rather than moving toward a common type of city-region, it is likely that distinctive economic outcomes will be generated due to strengths and assets inherited from the past.
- path dependence
- knowledge-intensive industries
- creative industries