Cities, rather than nation states, are proving increasingly adept at meeting the challenges of the 21st centuryby Jonathan Derbyshire / December 12, 2013 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2014 issue of Prospect Magazine
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 the contribution they make to the country’s economic wellbeing. Everyone knows that London is an economic dynamo, but other big cities are too. Between them, eight urban areas —Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield—deliver 27 per cent of England’s wealth.