The UK is a nation of two-track cities divided into those that have achieved dynamic economic growth over the past ten years and those who have not according to a new report out from the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR).
Maintaining growth, creating opportunities for all and encouraging the skills, knowledge and innovation needed to create dynamic cities was emphasised strongly within the paper. It suggests that cities lead the national economy, opposed to vice versa. There is a small mention on transport in the report, along similar lines to the IPPR’s agglomeration report published a couple of months back (See previous blog posting), the general gist being that better transport helps increase economic flows;
“Transport improvements and inter-urban cooperation can increase the economic benefits derived from proximity and density. Reducing travel times and increasing the frequency of transport services can produce agglomeration economies that can increase productivity in the city economy. This is particularly relevant for regional clusters of small or medium-sized cities and large towns, or where there is no dominant urban core”
Two Track Cities: The challenge of sustaining growth and building opportunity (July, 2007) p.11
Transport is an important aspect of keeping cities vibrant and it is encouraging to see that it is being included within a wider report on the issue of city economic development, albeit a small paragraph. Eddington views appear to have filtered into policy development to a reasonable degree giving hope that the UK can catch up on its infrastructure deficit in future years. Government response to this report has been rather defensive, but applause should be given to the IPPR for highlighting how equal economic development for all UK cities can be successfully secured.