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The Role of Cities & City Regions in EU Regional Programmes: Experiences from NE England Kevin Richardson

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Cities & City Regions in EU Regional Programmes: Experiences from NE England Kevin Richardson"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Cities & City Regions in EU Regional Programmes: Experiences from NE England Kevin Richardson

2 Why Cities and City Regions? Cities and city regions as the better geographical base of functioning economies Strong evidence of coloration between size and growth (Katz, Parkinson) / The most competitive regions also have the most competitive cities….…few or no examples of successful regions with unsuccessful cities at their core Efficient exploitation of comparative endogenous assets (built environment, universities, communication, people, firms, institutions of governance) Delivering benefits of agglomeration within knowledge intensive business services, cultural & creative Industries …access to labour supply, suppliers, knowledge, specialisation, quality of public goods, int. & ext. connectivity Most environmentally efficient solutions But……..greatest concentrations of multiple deprivation; and emergence of two speed economies …and depopulation / suburban flight / demographic change

3 Community Strategic Guidelines Cities, and urban areas in general, are the home of most jobs, businesses and higher education institutions and are key to achieving social cohesion. European cities and metropolitan areas tend to attract the highly skilled, often creating a virtuous circle that stimulates innovation and business adding to their attractiveness to new talent. ……account should be taken of the specific problems facing urban areas, such as unemployment and social exclusion (including the problem of the working poor), high and rising crime rates, increased congestion and the existence of pockets of deprivation within city boundaries. See also Communication to the Council and Parliament Cohesion Policy and cities: the urban contribution to growth and jobs in the regions. COM(2006) 385 final,

4 Article 37 ERDF Regulations At the initiative of the Member State, the operational programmes financed by the ERDF may also contain….. … the list of cities chosen for addressing urban issues and the procedures for sub- delegation to urban authorities, possibly by means of a global grant; …but how many Member States have actually listed the cities?

5 North East England Regional Competitiveness Programme ….the economics are still likely to result in the core of the city regions being the locus of greatest opportunity and most development. Partners therefore considered the case for a specific Sustainable Urban Development Priority, to which could be devoted up to 20% of overall Programme resources. Nevertheless, partners concluded against such an approach. Arguments advanced against a dedicated Sustainable Urban Development priority included A) that it would be very difficult to ensure visibility of a maximum EU contribution of £7m per annum B) a concern that a dedicated urban focus might marginalise rural communities

6 Problems Member States interpretation of CSG, via NSRF to individual Operational Programmes No distinction between urban areas - cities only one partner amongst many others / Managing aspirations of rural areas, formal industrial and coastal towns, suburban areas etc Political & administrative boundaries do not often coincide with that of city and the real economy Reform of formal and informal boundaries of local governance Administrative capacity of risk averse local government

7 Tactics for Cities: Build networks with relevant contacts in other major cities Politicians and senior executives need to play leading role in shaping regional policy … insisting on Article 11 representation Develop a whole city partnership approach within regional structures Collate meaningful data which shows both need and opportunity, building better understanding with neighbouring districts of complementary and competing roles Build administrative & financial capacity & seek Article 42 status Work with EIB, central government and regional development agencies to prioritise JESSICA for integrated urban development Prepare the best projects !

8 The Spatial Implications of Innovation Connectors

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