Measurement of Urban Competitiveness in Lithuania
The theoretical and practical aspects of the measurement of urban competitiveness are analyzed in this article. But, why the measurement of urban (at the same time regional or national) competitiveness is so important? The answer to this question is related to the fact, that if the competitiveness cannot be measured, it cannot be improved. As the cities compete directly among other cities on regional, national and global level, the constant improvement of the urban competitiveness will increase the productivity, visibility, popularity, attractiveness, quality of life etc. of the city and at the same time of the region and the country.While the academic understanding of urban competitiveness is still forming, the factors of urban competitiveness are still being identified, the urban competitiveness levels of analysis are still being modelled in the scientific literature, the competitiveness of a city can be measured in different ways: analyzing one or several factors of urban competitiveness, using theoretical models of urban competitiveness, creating composite indices, etc. As every method has its advantages and disadvantages, scientists seek to find the most reliable, methodologically justified, understandable, convenient to use and objective method, which could be accepted generally and widely used in urban governance.The core factors of urban competitiveness based on sustainable development perspective, the indicator system for measuring urban competitiveness, the stages and the main aspects of the composite index for measurement the urban competitiveness are presented in the article. The theoretical background is empirically tested on the basis of the data of 24 Lithuanian cities from 10 Lithuanian regions during the period of 2007 - 2009. The results of the measurement of urban competitiveness in Lithuanian regions and advantages and disadvantages of the use of urban competitiveness index are presented in the article. The strategic aspects of the improvement of the competitiveness of Lithuanian cities are also provided in the article.The new created Lithuanian urban competitiveness index, presented in the article, is one of the ambitions to promote the methodological background for urban governance and improvement the competitiveness of Lithuanian cities.