Have just read a fascinating report on the important role of cities in enabling growth within the private sector.
Written by the Centre for Cities, the report entitled "Private sector cities: a new geography of opportunity" highlights the major challenges faced by the coalition government in creating new jobs within urban centres, estimating that 620,000 extra posts would be required to raise England's lagging cities up to the national average.
It highlights the regional imbalance that has grown during the last decade in terms of job creation. For example, the research found that for every private sector job generated in the north and the midlands between 1998 and 2008, ten were created in London and the south.
It recommends that the government will need to adopt a ‘radical new approach to economic development in order to unlock the potential of our cities and increase private sector growth’, such as:
- making planning rules more supportive of growth and significantly increasing house building
- switching the objectives of built environment policies to improving quality of life for residents instead of subsiding further expansion, as well as a focus on educational attainment and skills development.
- ensuring that local leaders have the power and the incentives to do that too by following through on its commitment to decentralise.
Swansea and Newport may also wish to follow this lead.