CRESR Seminar: English urban policy and the return to the city

Start date: 
Wed, 20/11/2013
Closing date: 
Wed, 20/11/2013
Owen 1037
Event contact: 
Ian Wilson & Will Eadson

Alasdair Rae - University of Sheffield


In recent years, English cities have witnessed a reversal of their historically declining populations, particularly in central areas. Decades of loss have been replaced by a return to the city which is, in part, a result of urban policies developed by the New Labour government of 1997 to 2010. With the availability of small area data from the 2011 Census it is now possible to examine the spatial distribution of this ‘reurbanization’. Drawing on a paper recently published in Cities, this presentation takes as its starting point the historic Urban White Paper of 2000 and uses new Census data for a group of key English cities in order to understand the scale of this return to the city. The results show that there was a population explosion within the central parts of some English cities, most notably in Manchester, but also that the fortunes of the very poorest residents have changed very little over time. The talk concludes with a consideration of whether anything has been learned and whether the experience of the English core cities represents a 'successful' urban policy.

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