Sustainable cities: conceptualising a cosmopolitan cities index

Nada Kakabadse, Katerina Nicolopoulou, Ouarda Dsouli, Nadeem Khan, Nikolai Mouraviev

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Urban population has grown from 746m in 1950 to 3.9bn in 2014 (54%) and is expected to account for 66% of the world’s population by 2050 (United Nations, 2014). Whilst cities can effectively develop their infrastructure, their continued sustainability depends upon people who adopt a cosmopolitan mindset, which is also a prerequisite for economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship. Macomber (2013) asserts that governments require the private sector to make effective use of resources in order to add value by innovation. A number of cities around the world are currently evidencing an increase in enterprise and business development activities despite the global economic downturn. In metropolitan areas where facilitating structures (such as free economic zones for the development of business enterprise) are put in place in order to ensure sustainable development, entrepreneurship grows as a significant pathway towards advancing those cities’ economies in terms of job creation, income generation and innovation. Not only these tools counter economic crisis, but they also ensure swift adaptability to ever changing contextual environment and, ultimately, foster economic growth in large metropolitan areas, such as London, Berlin, Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore. This unique competitiveness, which is a distinct feature of a cosmopolitan city, can be viewed as a critical trait that ensures cities' sustainable development. Nonetheless, a unique mindset would have to be adopted by in order to develop business activities in the context of a cosmopolitan city.

The paper aims to investigate the dynamics contributing to sustainability of a cosmopolitan city. Drawing on literature assessment and the results of the qualitative study that took place in Dubai in 2013-14, the paper takes a stance that sustainability depends on people who adopt a cosmopolitan mindset, which is a prerequisite for economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation. The paper elucidates a ‘cosmopolitan disposition’, i.e., a set of factors that shape a cosmopolitan mindset and characterise its nature, which has a direct and significant impact on the success of entrepreneurs and their ability to engage in sustainable enterprise and innovation.
In metropolitan areas where facilitating structures (such as free economic zones for the development of business enterprise) are put in place in order to ensure sustainable development, entrepreneurship grows as a significant pathway towards advancing those cities’ economies in terms of job creation, income generation and innovation. A unique mindset would have to be adopted by an entrepreneur in order to develop business activities in the context of a cosmopolitan city.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015
EventBocconi University ABIS annual colloquium: Global Sustainability Strategy: new models and approaches to achieving sustainable living - Milan, Italy
Duration: 19 Oct 2015 → …

Conference

ConferenceBocconi University ABIS annual colloquium: Global Sustainability Strategy: new models and approaches to achieving sustainable living
CountryItaly
CityMilan
Period19/10/15 → …

Keywords

  • sustainable city
  • sustainablity
  • cosmopolitan cities
  • entrepreneurship

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  • Cite this

    Kakabadse, N., Nicolopoulou, K., Dsouli, O., Khan, N., & Mouraviev, N. (2015). Sustainable cities: conceptualising a cosmopolitan cities index. Paper presented at Bocconi University ABIS annual colloquium: Global Sustainability Strategy: new models and approaches to achieving sustainable living, Milan, Italy.