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Boston reinvented itself when its manufacturing industries declined. Should cities that don’t manage this be abandoned?

By James Crabtree   March 2011

Boston rising: the city reinvented itself when its manufacturing industries declined. Should cities that don’t manage this be abandoned?

Few recent proposals to boost growth have gone down as badly as shutting Sunderland. Yet in 2008, the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange was condemned for a publication that appeared to say just that. The idea of encouraging struggling towns to decline further might seem crazy. But behind it lies the work of the American economist Edward Glaeser, whose controversial thinking holds important clues about how to restart Britain’s faltering economy.

Those trying to cobble together a growth plan for the…

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