Urenio Watch Watch: Cities

Liveanomics – Urban liveability and economic growth

Liveanomics: Urban liveability and economic growth is the second of two Economist Intelligence Unit reports, commissioned by Philips, which examine the issue of liveability in cities. The first report in the series addressed what city residents want from their cities, and how city leaders can deliver on citizens’ requirements. This second report examines the role of business within cities.

Economist research drew on two main initiatives. In September 2010, the researchers conducted a survey of urban professionals around the world. In total, 575 respondents took part, representing cities in Asia (30%), North America (30%), Western Europe (30%) and the rest of the world (10%). To supplement the survey results, the researchers conducted in-depth interviews with business and civic leaders and other experts in urban affairs. Sarah Murray was the author of the report, and David Gow contributed. Iain Scott and Chris Webber were the editors.

Among the key findings of the research are:

  • Jobs take precedence over liveability when people are choosing where to locate
  • Deliver the housing needed to meet demand
  • Open the door to foreign investment
  • Enlist the help of the commercial sector
  • Focus on the basics of urban life ‘“ transport, roads, houses, schools and safety

Iain Scott, editor of the report, discusses the findings of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s research with Mark Kleinman, assistant director of economic and business policy and Greater London Authority. The discussion took place at an Economist Conferences event, “Creating tomorrow’s liveable cities”, in London in January 2011.

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