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Big ideas of 2014: Boom cities—the “Victorian” growth of British metropolises

Cities, rather than nation states, are proving increasingly adept at meeting the challenges of the 21st century

British cities are expanding rapidly

Britain’s cities, the Economist reported recently, are growing at “almost Victorian speed.” Between 2001 and 2011, the population of Manchester, the Victorian city par excellence, grew by an astonishing 19 per cent. Over the same period, London’s population grew by 12 per cent and Birmingham’s by nearly 10 per cent.

There is a close correlation between the growth of these cities, their ability to attract talent, jobs and investment and…

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