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Manchester was the only UK economy to grow at a rate comparable to London in the decade before the recession. © Sakhan Photography Collection

How do you make a city work? We all know that London is an economic powerhouse and that other cities are too. Between them, eight urban areas—Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield—generate a significant proportion of the UK’s GDP. But these “second tier” cities could be doing even better. One of them, Manchester, is leading the way in showing how.

One solution to urban…

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