sábado, 7 de noviembre de 2015

Knowledge is Power. The role of the cities

Just 10 years ago, cities were seen as vital contributors to the global economy. That's no longer true. Today, cities are the global economy. More than 50% of the world's population live in cities and the 40 largest cities, or mega-regions, account for two thirds of the world's output,according Professor Richard Florida, an urban studies theorist at the University of Toronto.

A report published by the independent research consultancy, the Work Foundation, at its Ideopolis conference in July, says the last 10 years of economic growth in the UK tell a story of the knowledge economy, and one which has played out in our cities. With every new job in other industries being matched by 12 new jobs in knowledge-intensive industries between 1995 and 2005, the cities attracting these industries are the ones that have boomed.
In our Future of cities web special, we aim to explain how the expansion in cities of knowledge-intensive industries, from financial services to hi-tech manufacturing, has reshaped the UK economy. We show how successful cities have attracted skilled workers, affluent consumers and thriving cultural centres. And we demonstrate the importance of political mechanisms in providing strong but measured city leadership.
Yet cities are similar to any industry that globalises: they create winners and losers. At the same conference, the foundation published a league table of the productivity of 56 UK cities revealing wide and growing disparities between "resurgent" cities and those that appear to be "stuck".
So we also examine the challenges and opportunities facing our cities, carry competing Labour and Conservative visions for the future of our cities, and ask urban experts how cities can compete but also collaborate so as to thrive in the global economy.