5. Capitalising on Position

Policies for Competitive Capital and non-Capital Cities

  1. Sako Musterd4 and
  2. Zoltán Kovács5
  1. Julie Brown1,
  2. Declan Redmond2 and
  3. Marc Pradel i Miquel3

Published Online: 5 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118554579.ch5

Place-making and Policies for Competitive Cities

Place-making and Policies for Competitive Cities

How to Cite

Brown, J., Redmond, D. and Miquel, M. P. i. (2013) Capitalising on Position, in Place-making and Policies for Competitive Cities (eds S. Musterd and Z. Kovács), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118554579.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  2. 5

    Institute of Geography, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Author Information

  1. 1

    School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, UK

  2. 2

    School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, Ireland

  3. 3

    Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Barcelona, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 28 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470675038

Online ISBN: 9781118554579



  • political systems;
  • historical pathways;
  • centralisation;
  • governance


Capital cities can envisage different approaches and types of policies than cities that are not capitals. This is mainly because of their different roles in national urban systems, and the ways these are recognised by the policy-makers in federal and regional states. Cities without capital functions may be competing with other cities in the same sphere of influence, often also within a state or region. However, cities with capital functions (national capitals, state capitals, or capitals of autonomous regions) are more likely to have some distinctive functions that affect their position in relation to economic development, and it is important to develop policy strategies that take account of these. Cities that are shaped by their role as capitals should compare themselves with other capitals rather than be complacent and possibly experience deterioration in their position. However, policy-makers should also be aware of differences within capital and non-capital city types. Even historic capitals can miss the boat if they do not take the right action.