“The material gap between cities and deindustrialized heartlands has grown over decades to become the most troublesome faultline in Western democracies”, that’s how Janan Ganesh commented on the Financial Times the separatist tensions across the European continent. These tensions don’t unfortunately come as a surprise in today’s global economy where the key assets are knowledge and capital. Moreover, knowledge and capital “convene on cities rather than to land and industry”.
Mind the Bridge research (link to Report download) shows that 67% of the European scaleups are located around one or maximum two cities per country. That means that the innovation economy in Europe is heavily concentrated in about 50 main hubs, while all the other cities and municipalities – that have been the backbone of the European economy traditionally – face the risk to be increasingly marginalized.
This growing gap could potentially trigger disaggregation and separatisms.
That’s why we believe that initiatives such as StartupCity Europe Partnership are honestly addressing one of the top political priorities for the future of Europe because we do not believe in two Europes: the Europe of the main tech city hubs on the one hand, and Europe on the other. We believe in a single Europe, where knowledge and capital can be leveraged through networks, and where all the countries and cities should be actively involved and contribute.