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Regeneration: what can we learn from Europe? Max Nathan, Senior Researcher Centre for Cities at ippr Think 07, 2 May 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Regeneration: what can we learn from Europe? Max Nathan, Senior Researcher Centre for Cities at ippr Think 07, 2 May 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regeneration: what can we learn from Europe? Max Nathan, Senior Researcher Centre for Cities at ippr Think 07, 2 May 2007

2 The Centre for Cities What? An independent urban research unit based at ippr. Core sponsor is Lord Sainsbury Why? Taking a fresh look at how UK cities function, focusing on economic drivers When? Launched March Goes independent in 2008 Where? London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sunderland, Derby, Barnsley, Doncaster, Thurrock, Milton Keynes, Dundee … so far

3 About this presentation Should we learn from Europe? How should we learn? An example: city centre living What else can we learn?

4 Should we learn from Europe? Yes. The best European cities tend to perform better than American counterparts: higher growth vs segregation, social exclusion, sprawl But UK urban policy borrows heavily from the US: clusters, city growth strategies, welfare reform, mixed communities And US policy gurus play an important role in the UK

5 Should we learn from Europe? (2) The British view of European cities: urban paradise -loft living, trams, café culture, iconic buildings … UK government: inferiority complex? Cheerleading for British cities, or fretting about their underperformance -Core Cities have turned the corner (ODPM 2004) -Core Cities lag behind their European competitors (ODPM 2004)

6 How should we learn? Are British cities actually doing worse? Its hard to tell -GDP per capita: London is 23 rd in Europe, other Core Cities are a long way behind (Barclays Bank, 2001) -GVA per capita: almost all big British cities outperform the European (and UK) average (ONS, 2001) Serious problems with the data: data holes, no standard definition of a city, differences between data suppliers

7 How should we learn? (2) Borrowing policies should be more straightforward Policy concept: feasible, suitable, achievable Policy context: fit, history No single European City model: differences driven by national economic trends, policy systems, location Danger of lofts and latté

8 Key finding 4: Direct impacts

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10 City centre living Whats going on? rapid population growth, investment in economy, housing, infrastructure Whats the attraction? Proximity and buzz -Liverpool: 54% want to be central, 35% like urban life (CSR, 2004) Whos there: young, single people who dont stay long. Students, young professionals and low-income groups Problems: over-supply of small flats, lack of services, conveyor belt effect as people move to popular suburbs

11 Barcelona vs. Britain City centre living is a partial success: weve imported the buildings, but not the lifestyles Why is city centre living not more widespread? Lifestyle differences between UK and e.g. Spain: -Shopping – Britons do supermarkets, Spaniards use small shops -Build – Britons prefer old buildings, Spaniards prefer new-build -Perceptions of flats – Britons aspire to houses, but in Spain flat- living is the norm -Family life – Spaniards are happy to bring up children in flats -Second homes – in Spain owning second homes is the norm for many middle class / wealthy households. In the UK, still rare

12 What else can we learn? Metropolitan governance works well in e.g. France, Italy. But can take years to bed in. Can the UK stick it out? City leadership – strong, visible, elected leadership pays off in e.g. Paris, Berlin. Whats the best model for the UK? Connectivity – integrated, well-funded urban transport in e.g. Berlin, Amsterdam. What can we learn from these cities, and from e.g. TfL in London?

13 What else can we learn? (2) Public space – cities like Barcelona and Valencia build high quality public spaces, let local people co-create them. How can we fine-tune public spaces in the UK? Urban innovation – cities like Helsinki, Stuttgart seem to drive forward innovative activity. What are the key features, and what transfers to the UK?

14 Questions?


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