Chapter 16

Attractiveness of Territories and Territorial Intelligence: Indicators1

16.1. Introduction

Globalization, a phenomenon supposed to break down borders and make distances disappear, brings attention back to the idea of “territory”, not as an element of cultural differentiation but as an element of competitive differentiation. Globalization has resulted in a polarization of economic activities into agglomerations, districts, or clusters, depending on the theoretical angle taken in discussing the matter. Globalization is not, therefore, a sort of homogenization but results in the creation of competition between territories. This new factor means that territories must be “attractive”, and competitive intelligence (CI) can be used to help them achieve this goal.

The time when simply raising awareness of a territory was sufficient to make it attractive is now past. It is difficult, if not foolish, to attempt to “sell” a territory before increasing its visibility and readability, making it economically, socially, and territorially coherent [CAM 05]. Before this, CI, and territorial intelligence (TI) in particular, has an essential role to play in showing that an attractive territory is a reasoned construct regrouping competitive actors to respond to the complexification of the international environment and to the concerns of the “society of knowledge”.

The notion of territory, in the economic sense of the term, has been interpreted in extremely varied ways during different periods, ...

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