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Centre for Cities
56 minutes | 14 days ago
City Talks: Policies, politics and personalities in this year’s mayoral elections
On 6 May, around 20 million people in England will be voting to elect a metro mayor to lead on making important decisions at the local level in their city region. While the position of Mayor of London has existed since 2000, this year, Greater Manchester voters will be electing their metro mayor for the second time round and it will be the first election of its kind taking place in West Yorkshire. What’s the current state of play in these three places? Which candidates are making waves? What challenges will they face post-election? For this episode of City Talks, Andrew Carter is joined by Francesca Gains, Professor of Public Policy and Academic Co-Director of Policy@Manchester at the University of Manchester, Rob Parsons, Political Editor of The Yorkshire Post and Richard Brown, Interim Director at Centre for London, to get a sense of the state of play in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and London.
13 minutes | a month ago
City Minutes: How to build back better from Covid-19
As the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme progresses policy makers should be planning how to repair the economic damage done by the pandemic and build back better. Centre for Cities’ latest research, in partnership with HSBC UK, examines how and where jobs were created following the last Financial Crisis to inform thinking about what is likely to happen post-Covid-19. It found that the jobs crisis is bigger than realised and the economy will need to create almost ten million new private sector jobs just to reverse the damage done in the past year. To discuss the paper in more detail, Andrew Carter is joined by Centre for Cities’ Senior Analyst Kathrin Enenkel and Researcher Tom Sells.
54 minutes | 2 months ago
City Talks: Jason Segedy and Kenan Fikri on America’s Legacy Cities
America’s Legacy Cities, which include the likes of Akron, Cleveland and Detroit, grew fast and large in the first half of the 20th Century, then underwent social and economic decline post World War II. These industrial cities share a common history, not dissimilar to the industrial cities of the North of England. For this episode of City Talks, Chief Executive Andrew Carter is joined by Jason Segedy, Director of Planning and Urban Development for the City of Akron, Ohio and the Economic Innovation Group’s (EIG) first Legacy Cities Fellow, and Kenan Fikri, Director of Research and Policy Development at the EIG. Together, they discuss the origins and aims of the Legacy Cities Programme, providing insight into the shared histories of America’s industrial heartland, as well as debating policy responses to the challenges and opportunities that these cities currently face. The Economic Innovation Group’s Legacy Cities Series is a collection of research and commentary on America’s older industrial cities. Kenan is the co-author of the Economic Innovation Group’s briefing Uplifting America’s Left Behind Places: A Roadmap for a More Equitable Economy. Jason also writes a personal blog: Notes from the Underground. This episode is part of the Centre for Cities City Talks series. Please rate, review and share the episode if you enjoyed it.
9 minutes | 2 months ago
City Minutes: How realistic is a 15 minute city?
Coined in Paris, the idea of the 15 minute city is that people can access all the services and amenities they need in their daily lives within a 15 minute journey by foot or by bike. It’s a concept that has grown in popularity over the last 12 months in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and shifts towards remote working. Will Covid-19 make the 15 minute city a reality? For this episode of City Minutes, Director of Policy and Research Paul Swinney joins Andrew Carter to unpack the merits and challenges posed by the idea of the 15-minute city, which he also discusses in his latest blog.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
City Talks: Giles Wilkes on designing a successful industrial strategy
For several years’ governments have promised an Industrial Strategy to address the UK’s sluggish productivity, address regional inequality and prepare the UK economy for its post-Brexit future. However, no government has yet provided a comprehensive proposal on how this would transform the economy and create a more prosperous country. To discuss the role of the Government in economic planning, how it develops industrial strategy, and the challenges that it faces Andrew Carter is joined by Giles Wilkes, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government, Specialist Partner at Flint Global and former Special Advisor to Theresa May and Vince Cable. Giles is the author of the Institute for Government’s new paper How to design a successful industrial strategy.
58 minutes | 4 months ago
City Talks: Tony Travers on the Mayor of London
Twenty years ago, London became the first city in the UK to establish a directly elected mayor, marking the beginning of two decades of local government transformation. Since then the three Mayors of London have shaped the capital, and set a precedent for the creation of similar positions in other English cities. To discuss the office of Mayor of London – its origins, powers, limitations and future – Andrew Carter is joined by Professor Tony Travers, Visiting Professor in LSE Department of Government, Director of LSE London and co-author of London's Mayor at 20: Governing a Global City in the 21st Century.
0 minutes | 5 months ago
City Talks: Pat Ritchie on the biggest challenges for Newcastle
The pandemic has hit the UK's biggest cities hardest. In Newcastle's centre, overall footfall is currently at 43 per cent of what it was before Covid. This recovered to only 80 per cent when restrictions were relaxed over the summer — mainly because those who could do so continued to work from home. This week, Andrew Carter is joined by Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council, Chair of Core Cities Chief Executives Group and Chair of the Government Property Agency. Pat and Andrew discuss the biggest challenges for Newcastle, including how the city has been impacted by Covid-19 and what the council is doing to respond. They also explore how the future for Newcastle might look in the context of city devolution, levelling up, and building back better. Finally, Pat responds to the Government's announcement on the planning algorithm and reflects on how councils and central government have been working together on Covid.
11 minutes | 5 months ago
City Minutes: How has the pandemic affected air quality in cities?
Covid-19 restrictions have pushed concern about air quality down the political agenda. Many councils that had been planning to introduce measures to reduce air pollution levels in their cities have postponed or cancelled them. Despite this, after an initial drop in air pollution this year it has since been rising again. As a result, NO2 levels have now hit or exceeded pre-pandemic levels in around 80% of places studied according to new research by Centre for Cities and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. To discuss this issue in more detail, Andrew Carter is joined by the authors of the new research Centre for Cities’ Valentine Quinio and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air’s Hubert Thieriot.
57 minutes | 6 months ago
City Talks: Ben Wilson on the history of cities - humankind's greatest invention
For thousands of years people have been drawn to cities for trade, learning, religion, power and entertainment. From Ancient Uruk and Rome through to modern megacities such as New York and Shanghai, cities have shaped the way people interact and driven human progress forward. To discuss in more detail how cities have shaped history, bestselling writer and author of a new book Metropolis: A History of the City, Humankind's Greatest Invention, Ben Wilson, joins Andrew Carter for this episode of City Talks. He argues that with over half the world's population now living in cities, and cosmopolitanism under attack from nationalist sentiment, it has never been more important to understand cities and the role they have played in making us who we are.
10 minutes | 6 months ago
City Minutes: How important is getting an EU trade deal to Britain’s cities?
At the end of next month, the UK will leave the Brexit transition period and, if a trade deal with the EU is not agreed, will begin trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms. The EU currently is the largest export market for every single city and large town in Britain and so trading under these terms would be damaging to local economies, particularly those in Northern England that are more reliant on trade with the bloc. For this episode of City Minutes Researcher Tom Sells joins Andrew Carter to discuss his new analysis of the export profiles and key trading partners of Britain’s cities, and what the future could hold for their economies as we exit the transition period.
12 minutes | 6 months ago
City Minutes: Reforming business rates
Business rates are one of the most important taxes for local government, yet our current system has come under huge scrutiny in recent years. The tax has been blamed for the struggles of retailers, the death of the high street and for exacerbating the country’s economic divides. How should the business rates system be reformed? For this episode of City Minutes Andrew Carter is joined by Centre for Cities' Senior Analyst Kathrin Enenkel and Researcher Tom Sells to discuss their new work setting out the problems with the current system and how they should be fixed.
50 minutes | 6 months ago
City Talks: Sir John Armitt on the future of UK infrastructure
From HS2 to Northern Powerhouse Rail to a proposed Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge, improving the infrastructure that links us together is a key cornerstone of the Government’s levelling up agenda. What role does infrastructure play in creating economic growth? How should local political leaders be involved in commissioning projects in their areas? And have the huge changes brought about by Covid-19 changed the UK’s future infrastructure priorities? To discuss these issues, and more, Andrew Carter is joined by Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission and former Chief Executive of Network Rail. He is also the author of the independent Armitt Review of long-term infrastructure planning in the UK.
69 minutes | 7 months ago
City Talks: Politicians on levelling up during the Covid-19 pandemic
Covid-19 has made the job of levelling up the UK much harder than it was a year ago. While the Government grapples with the economic and public health effects of the pandemic, many of the policies planned to grow cities’ and towns’ economies – from the devolution white paper to the Green Book review – have been postponed. So what does the future hold for the levelling up agenda and the people and places it was intended to help? To get a sense of this Andrew Carter spoke to local and national politicians from the two main political parties: Bridget Phillipson MP, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Councillor Abi Brown, Conservative Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council Councillor Peter Lamb, Labour Leader of Crawley Borough Council Ben Bradley MP, Conservative MP for Mansfield
12 minutes | 7 months ago
City Minutes: Levelling up local government in England
Reform of England’s local government system is long overdue. There are currently 349 local and combined authorities with overlapping responsibilities and competing interests. This bureaucratic and complex system makes long-term strategic decision making difficult and holds back the places that need to be levelled up. In his latest report Centre for Cities’ Policy Officer Simon Jeffrey proposed redrawing the English political map, replacing the 348 existing authorities with 69 unitary or combined ones with greater powers and resources and whose political boundaries match the economic geography in which people live and work. For this episode of City Minutes, he joins Andrew Carter to discuss his proposals in more detail.
11 minutes | 8 months ago
City Minutes: The impact of Eat Out to Help Out on cities
The Government launched the Eat Out To Help Out scheme to support the hospitality sector and encourage people to return to restaurants and cafes. More than 64 million meals were sold as part of the scheme, but it had mixed successes in city and town centres up and down the country. Using footfall and spend data from the Centre for Cities High Streets Recovery Tracker, Researchers Valentine Quinio and Lahari Ramuni join Chief Executive Andrew Carter to evaluate the scheme and to make recommendations for what should replace it.
56 minutes | 8 months ago
City Talks: Debbie Weekes-Bernard on race, ethnicity and devolved policy making
The killing of George Floyd in the US, the Black Lives Matter protests and Covid-19 have shone a spotlight on many of the systemic injustices that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people still face. From interactions with the police to structural inequalities in our public services and many statues' problematic legacies, cities - where people from different backgrounds come together - are frequently the places where this is experienced most acutely. This week, London's Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility, Community Engagement Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard joins Andrew Carter to discuss her role in this key year, the effect of Black Lives Matter on her work and the the role that devolved policy makers should play in making cities' fairer places for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people.
47 minutes | 8 months ago
Dafni Papoutsaki on the links between internal migration and social mobility
For lots of young people, leaving their hometowns to head to university or build a career is an important rite of passage. Many people still head to London in search of those streets paved with gold but, in recent years, other cities such as Manchester and Glasgow have also drawn in increasing numbers of people. However, as a new paper from the Social Mobility Commission - Moving Out to Move On - shows, those who choose to move to prosperous cities such as London are usually more from privileged backgrounds and have university degrees. Meanwhile, people from less privileged backgrounds are less likely to move altogether - and those that do tend to move to less economically successful areas and, as a result, have fewer opportunities open to them, even after they move. To discuss this issue in more detail, Andrew Carter is joined by Dr Dafni Papoutsaki, Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies and co-author of the Social Mobility Commission's new report.
9 minutes | a year ago
City Minutes: Cities Outlook 2020 — Air quality in UK cities
Cities Outlook 2020 takes an in-depth look at air pollution. Our research finds that poor air quality tends to be worse in urban areas, affecting the health of residents and workers and killing thousands each year. Senior Analyst Kathrin Enenkel and Researcher Valentine Quinio join Andrew Carter to discuss the main findings and recommendations from the report and to call for urgent action from local and national government to clean up the air we breathe.
56 minutes | a year ago
City Talks: How to spread tech innovation with Mark Muro
Since the UK general election, there has been much discussion about using R&D as an instrument to level-up the country. But policymakers are grappling with exactly how to support more innovation-led growth in the North and Midlands. Chief Executive Andrew Carter is joined by Mark Muro, Senior Fellow and Policy Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution and co-author of a recent paper, The case for growth centers: How to spread tech innovation across America. Mark and Andrew discuss the proposals to transform a handful of places in the US into self-sustaining ‘growth centres’, and how this might be replicated in the UK context.
48 minutes | a year ago
City Talks: Urban warfare with Raquel Rolnik
Sao Paulo University’s Professor Raquel Rolnik joins Andrew Carter to discuss her book, Urban Warfare: Housing Under the Empire of Finance. Using examples from across the globe, she argues that our cities have been commercialised and charts how the financial crisis and wider urban politics have left millions homeless and in financial desperation across the world. Professor Rolnik’s work has been informed by her appointment as the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing in 2008, just as the financial crisis hit. Prior to this, inadequate housing was largely limited to developing countries but the crash provoked situations of precarious housing conditions in many richer countries, including the UK.
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