Cities across the world provoke strong and contrasting responses. They are diverse and dynamic, yet complex and costly. Research by LJMU’s European Institute of Urban Affairs (EIUA) has demonstrated the crucial contribution of cities to the UK’s economic performance and welfare and has placed cities at the heart of economic policy making in the UK.
The Institute’s work at local, national and international level has underlining themes: the value of cities, their contribution to economic competitiveness, and the potential for the regeneration of declining cities to increase their economic contribution in the future. Its work has ensured that these themes have influenced the development of new policy initiatives nationally and internationally.
Five major pieces of work emerging from the EIUA in the past decade have influenced government policy, stimulated debate, improved public understanding of urban issues and challenged conventional wisdom about cities.
Its ‘State of English Cities’ report (2006) was the basis for much of the urban policy that then emerged from government such as Local Strategic Partnerships, Local and Multi-Area Agreements and City Regional Pilots. It became and remains, the authoritative guide to the performance of UK cities and is widely used by policymakers.
Put simply, this is game-changing material and it is in everyone's interests to now act upon it.
The COMPETE research (2007), funded by the UK Government and the European Commission and designed and led by the EIUA, highlighted the importance of involving higher education institutions in urban growth policies and facilitated greater networking between English and European cities.
Two credit crunch reports (2009-10) argued for continued investment in cities which the then Government took on board and which led to an injection of funding into stalled urban regeneration schemes.
A major EIUA report (2012) analysing the economic performance and prospects of 155 European cities underpins the current Government’s new urban programme ‘Unlocking Growth in Cities’ and directly influenced the City Deals initiative launched in 2011 and extended in 2013. These provide for a greater delegation of powers to local government and apply to 28 major English cities with a combined population of circa 18 million.
This is really excellent work and breaks new ground. I am very impressed by the impact it has already had in the UK.