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Failing Cities

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Failing Cities Research Programme
Seminar 14th December London

Like most other organisations, Think Tanks and Research Centres we are committed to the economic development, future well being and prosperity of our urban areas and cities. Our cities are the economic powerhouse of our national economy and their future prosperity is vital to support overall national economic development. The post war period from 1945 onwards contained extensive polices and programmes such as slum clearance, town centre re-development and a new towns programme allaimed at rebuilding our towns and creating better homes and communities and this had some success in producing better places to live and work. However, in this age of growing prosperity it became clear in the late 1960s and 1970s that there was a growing urban problem with large areas of deprivation and urban malaise. Some academics observed at the time that there was the ‘rediscovery of poverty’ and the discovery of an ‘urban problem’. Key action research reports of the time pointed to growing urban problems in many of our urban areas and cities. The Shelter Neighbourhood Action Project in the Granby Area of Liverpool ‘Another Chance for Cities’ published its report in 1973 and called from greater assistance to support inner city communities. The Final Report of the Liverpool Inner Areas Study ‘Change or Decay’ from 1978 was also influential in this matter and as its title suggested, it concluded that unless substantial policies were introduced to support deprived urban communities that ultimately they would bear witness to an long period of decline and decay.

However, it was the Final Report of the Community Development Programme in 1978 – ‘The Costs of Industrial Change’, that provided a defining moment in urban development theory. This Report reasoned that the urban and economic malaise witnessed in the United Kingdom in our towns and cities is the direct result of global economic restructuring and unless the forces of globalisation can be controlled to suit a national and regional economy then ultimately this trend would merely continue. As the report put it in 1978:

‘These declining areas have little chance of being regenerated again. There is so little mobile industry at present that successful policy is nothing more than a utopian dream….Until polices are implemented which seriously challenge the rights of industry and capital to move freely about the country (and not to mention the world) without regard for the welfare of workers and existing communities – who end up carrying the costs under the present system, the problems and inequalities generated by uneven capitalist development will persist’

Whilst this was written in 1978, 33 years later and after significant regeneration programmes aimed at our deprived towns and cities this point is just as apt for policy makers and communities alike. Many urban areas have been the subject of countless urban regeneration policies and programmes and they continue to lag behind the national economy. Also, within deprived towns and cities, there are neighbourhoods which seem to be in continual decline against the city-regional average position and as such are even more deprived when placed within a national context. We have no political point or position to support as such with our work here but we are interested to explore measure however radical and innovative, that can bring a brighter future to our deprived towns and cities.

The Failing Cities Research programme is hold in a Policy Seminar on the 14th December in London to launch its Research Programme. The cost to attend is £90 plus VAT and if you wish to attend please email info@rantrad.com

Key themes that the Failing Cities Research Programme will be looking at include:

Can we ever successful regenerate deprived economies and urban areas?

Has previous urban regeneration policy had any noticeable changes?

Should our policy be concerned with urban management s opposed to urban regeneration?

Is the Counterfactual position regarding the evaluation of urban regeneration programmes a suitable yardstick for assessment?

How is this issue dealt with in other similar economies such as the United States and Germany?

If you would like to contribute to the Research Programme with a paper or idea, no matter how big or small pleas just get in touch at info@rantrad.com

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The University of Hertfordshire has confirmed its attendance at the Future Cities International Symposia in London on the 15/16 Dec .
30th May @ 11:50
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The Oxford University Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics has confirmed its attendance at the Future Cities Dec
30th May @ 11:50
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The Oxford University Centre for the Environment has confirmed its attendance at Future Cities in London on the 15/16 December .
30th May @ 11:49
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Green Templeton College Oxford has confirmed its attendance at the Future Cities International Symposia in London on the 15/16 Dec .
30th May @ 11:49
NhoodJournal
St Edmund Hall Oxford has confirmed its attendance at the Future Cities International Symposia in London on the 15/16 December .

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