Cities will be important not only from the quantitative point of view, but they will also provide a growing leadership role as nodes that articulate and organize the global economy. In today's global economy, the real competition exists not among countries, but among cities and regions as these have a greater capacity to provide competitive advantages to the businesses and quality of life for the inhabitants.

The progressive dissolution of international trade barriers, quicker access to information, improvements in transportation and communication systems are all key developments that will have a tremendous impact on the future shape of our cities. Cities today are exposed to international competition, thus, they need to compete not only locally and regionally as in the past, but globally as well.  This circunstance will greatly affect the urbanism trends of cities in the 21st century.

The free market is an excellent instrument to regulate the economy, and to stimulate the creativity and productivity of companies. However, it is not an efficient mechanism for the organization of the new city-regions. To define their future, cities and their regions need a strong vision, creative leadership, responsive governance, a mature civil society and a collective commitment to inter-institutional collaboration.