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University experts to advise on new strategy to boost Scotland’s cities

2011-12-16 - feature -Scotlands cities

Experts at the University of St Andrews are to be part of a Scottish Government scheme to boost economic growth in the nation’s cities.

Professor Duncan Maclennan, of the Centre for Housing Research at the University of St Andrews, will be advising the government on how to make the cities perform better.

The University of St Andrews is a leading expert in the issues which affect cities.

Professor Maclennan led the Review of Scotland’s cities in 2003 and currently advises the Prime Minister of Australia on future city planning.

He said: “Scotland’s cities are performing better than they did 20 years ago but there is still substantial scope for improvement in strategy and delivery within, around and between the cities.

“Better city performance will benefit all of Scotland, from Dumfries to Dunvegan and the Scottish Government has set out proposals that will help align local energies and national actions.

“St Andrews and Glasgow are two of the leading UK universities researching city related issues.

“From our extensive research collaborations with national and city governments in Europe, North America and Australia, colleagues here are keen to contribute knowledge of good practice and policy that they have observed elsewhere and we wholeheartedly welcome the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre.”

He spoke as Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Minister for Cities Strategy, announced a £5m Cities Investment Fund to support a Scottish Cities Alliance.

The Fund is designed to accelerate the pace of investment in Scotland’s cities by developing programmes which lever in funding from private sources or European funding; inter-city large scale projects and those which encompass the region around a city.

Facilitated by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) it is hoped the Alliance will bring together local authority leaders and private sector experts to attract investment, create jobs and help cities compete internationally.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We want to see cities working together, building on their combined strengths to develop strong investment propositions at a scale which will be attractive to potential investors.

“That is why I am delighted that, as a key element of our Agenda for Cities, the leaders of city local authorities will be in the driving seat, collaborating through a new alliance, supported by the SCDI. The Alliance will help cities determine their shared priorities, backed by resources from our new £5m Cities Investment Fund.

“I am also delighted that St Andrews and Glasgow Universities are together establishing and funding a Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre to support the Alliance.

“This will pool together expertise on cities growth issues, draw on international experience and provide the Alliance with a solid evidence, research and evaluation base.”

Professor Iain Docherty, Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Glasgow, said: “The University of Glasgow warmly welcomes the Scottish Government’s Agenda for Cities and in particular, is delighted to be working with St Andrews on the development of a new Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre that will harness the excellent knowledge and understanding of cities currently held among academics in Scotland.

“The University of Glasgow has a long and distinguished track record of involvement with policy debates in its home city and beyond. Close involvement in the Agenda for Cities is the latest example of this proud tradition of civic engagement.”

The cities involved are Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and their regions.

The local authorities involved are Aberdeen City Council, Dundee City Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council, Highland Council and Stirling Council.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108/ 0771 414 0559.

Ref: (cities 16/12/11)

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