Neoliberal urbanism as ‘Strategic Coupling’ to global chains: Port infrastructure and the role of economic impact studies
This paper identifies and delineates a variant of neoliberal urbanism that grounds city-region economic development on the ability to gain financial and public support for large-scale infrastructure projects advancing particular forms of capital accumulation. More specifically, the focus is on the effort of city-regions to strategically exploit and expand geographic and physical assets to capture economic benefits associated with global value chains through the expansion of maritime ports. This development strategy requires sizable public investments in port infrastructure. In order to justify and convince the public and political officials of the wisdom of such investments, port officials commission economic impact studies. These are designed to demonstrate how the public investments will pay off in terms of economic development. This paper will critically examine this feature of the urban development strategy and its role in advancing a particular neoliberal development agenda. The analysis is placed in the larger context of actual existing neoliberalism, the shifting economic prospects of cities and regions, the rise of logistics and transportation, and inter-port competition for containerized cargo.
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Jaffee, David, "Neoliberal urbanism as ‘Strategic Coupling’ to global chains: Port infrastructure and the role of economic impact studies" (2019). UNF Faculty Publications. 966.