Towns and cities have different roles to play in the economy, and the success of one is often dependent on the other.
Since the Brexit vote, there has been a great deal of policy debate and focus on ‘left-behind’ towns, and whether consecutive governments have focused too much on cities at the expense of smaller places.
But what is overlooked in these debates is the economic relationship between cities and towns, and how this should inform policy.
This report explores the ways that the economies of cities, towns and villages interact. It shows that the impact of cities goes well beyond their boundaries – and that they shape the economies of the places around them.
Cities account for just 9 per cent of land in Britain, but are home to 55 per cent of businesses and 60 per cent of jobs. This has a number of implications for people who don’t live in a city:
The report shows that when a city prospers, nearby towns are also more likely to be successful:
The report argues that these factors should be important considerations for policy debates on industrial strategy, inclusive growth and productivity.
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