Urenio Watch Watch: Cities

UK Cities Outlook 2011

Over the next few years, cities will need to grapple with the challenges and opportunities of managing very tight budgets and the increased responsibilites associated with localism. At the same time cities will need to respond to on-going processes of economic change, and find ways to effectively support growth and job creation in the private sector.

Cities Outlook 2011, from UK’s Centre for Cities, highlights the strengths and vulnerabilities of different city economies in this context. It identifies those cities that are better placed to recover and grow over the next year, and those that will continue to struggle.

In Cities Outlook 2011, the Centre for Cities identifies the cities best placed for a private sector-led recovery.

Five cities to watch: Milton Keynes, Reading, Aberdeen, Leeds and Bristol. These places will be better-insulated from the economic impact of the spending squeeze, and have high potential to create private sector jobs. They have lower vulnerability to public sector job losses and spending cuts, and given the right powers and freedoms could make an even bigger contribution to the national economic recovery.

The performance of our largest cities will remain crucial, with 11 of Britain’ s major cities (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield) providing more than one in three (37%) of Britain’ s private sector jobs.

The report also identifies five vulnerable cities which may not feel the full benefits of national economic recovery for some time: Sunderland, Liverpool, Birkenhead, Swansea and Newport. These places will be affected more by Government spending cuts, given they have low skill levels and levels of business activity, more people employed in the public sector, and more people claiming unemployment benefits.

Lynn Ferguson, IBM Director for Local Government, said:

Cities Outlook 2011 highlights some of the specific challenges confronting cities today. Leaders will need to act decisively and collaboratively within their cities to achieve competitive advantage and drive economic growth.

The ‘Smartest Cities’ will be those that have an integrated view of the information associated with city systems such as energy, transport, healthcare and water. Those that do will be best placed to deliver improvements in the quality of public services and in the creation of attractive locations for people and business alike.

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