Chapter 5How Cities Compete to Attract Midsize and Large Multinational Companies

In the last chapter, we described the processes that midsize and large multinational companies (MNCs) use to identify, evaluate, and choose locations to invest in. Now we need to turn to the place sellers: cities and metropolitan government organizations that use their understanding of the place buyers to prepare the best case for becoming the preferred and chosen urban location.

A city needs to organize a leadership group to work out plans for attracting companies, investors, and skilled workers to the city. The leadership group needs, with the help of community leaders, to define what kind of city they want it to be and determine what would satisfy the citizens and deliver growth, prosperity, and the good life.

The city must examine its main strengths and weaknesses, as well as its main opportunities and threats. Above this, it must be honest with itself and only pursue what is reasonable and feasible. This will help it choose worthwhile company targets and not waste its time and resources in pursuing improbable ones.

Consider the case of Chicago. Chicago wasted a great deal of time, money, and reputation going after the 2016 Summers Olympics. After the Wall Street financial crisis of 2008, the United States had lost a lot of its glamour as a global hot spot for the world's biggest city event. President Barack Obama was a Chicagoan, which did not help matters. It probably was a negative factor ...

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