Urban Policies, Spatial Re-balancing and City-Regions Conference
|Starts:||10:30 20 May 2015|
|Ends:||16:00 20 May 2015|
|What is it:||Conferences|
|Organiser:||Manchester Urban Institute|
Britain’s experience with policy to address spatial inequality in cities extends over a period of nearly 50 years. While much has been learnt over that time about the principles that underlie successful policy intervention, challenges remain in many cities. The recent surge of interest in city-regions is connected in part to the continuing challenge presented by the unbalanced spatial patterning of development across the UK. Recognition of the potential for new city-regional governance structures to correct spatial imbalances in Britain’s economy has been important, but there are continuing issues confronting urban policy:
- There is evidence that social polarisation has increased within some major cities, even where economic circumstances have improved.
- There is concern over the fortunes of smaller ex-industrial places such as Stoke, the Colne Valley, seaside towns, cul-de-sac towns, continuing to struggle with a legacy of long-term economic decline and attendant social problems.
- Inter-regional economic disparities, linked to the London-centric nature of decision-making and the concentration of economic power in the capital, have been thrown into sharper focus by proposals for further devolution to Scotland.
- Major infrastructure investment can have transformative effects, but may further reinforce agglomerative growth in London and the South East at the expense of other regions.
- There is a growing crisis about housing shortages (but almost entirely in London and the South East), and housing affordability is a concern across the country.
Responding to these issues raises further challenges. Different places have variable capacity to respond, to harness opportunities or combat existing problems. Whilst central government prioritises economic growth, there is a need to consider the social and environmental consequences of new development – not only in cities but in their wider hinterlands. Debate is now beginning to emerge about alternative approaches to urban development, some of which challenge established thinking about spatial agglomeration models of growth and the need to facilitate further growth in the London region.
As new investment linked to infrastructure and the knowledge economy begin to impact on cities like Manchester, and as innovation around city-regional governance continues via more reforms to local government finance and the planned election of a mayor, Greater Manchester provides an interesting case through which to explore how best to manage the spatial patterning of development and address socio-spatial inequalities.
This conference is free to attend but please register via Eventbrite: http://urbanpolicies.eventbrite.co.uk
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Co-organised by cities@manchester and the Centre for Urban Policy Studies (CUPS).
For further information, including speakers and programme, please visit the cities@manchester webpage: http://www.cities.manchester.ac.uk/about/news/
Travel and Contact Information
Humanities Bridgeford Street