This paper considers various types of social impact from the economic growth process experienced by several European urban systems, shortly before the spread of the crises still in progress. The collection opens with an essay that transversally analyses several mechanisms that show economic growth and social inequality as connected or disconnected to one other. This line of thought is further developed by reconstructing four cases of more specific study (Barcelona, Copenhagen, Lyon and Monaco) that describe contexts that are similar because they play a certain central economic role in their respective national contexts and hold powerful transnational positions, but which belong to different welfare models. A portrait emerges marked by several common features and many points of differentiation, confirming the initial hypothesis, i.e., the importance of examining development models for cities.
Keywords: Economic competitiveness; social inequality; Eu¬ropean cities