Urban development key to economic success

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Place making is critical to improving the wellbeing and competiveness of cities and city regions, particularly during a period of fiscal austerity, concludes a new report by the Centre for Housing Research at the University of St Andrews and the Smith Institute.

The report (Investing in Better Places: International Perspectives) brings together some of the world’s leading urban policy experts from the UK, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands. It provides international evidence of the socio-economic benefits of sustained investment in place making and new policy approaches, including a call for an urban ministry for the UK.

The authors seek to provide fresh insights into new and innovative place making policies and call on governments to give higher priority to joined-up investment in urban development.

The report also highlights best practice in cities around the world and discusses how to improve and integrate policies and funding for housing, regeneration, transport, and public services.  It explores different city perspectives to show how to improve both the public realm and make efficiency savings.

The authors discuss new thinking of how city governance and community engagement and offer new thinking on planning, land markets, housing management, transport, funding tools, and sustainability.

Sharon Chisholm, Centre for Housing Research and editor of the monograph, said:

“This book sheds light on the complexities and challenges of place making, but also the opportunities, that place makers confront. It opens up a useful discussions around the importance and efficacy of investment in place infrastructure and the challenges that participants in this field face.”

Paul Hackett, Director Smith Institute, said:

“Place making policies are vital to delivering sustainable jobs and growth, but there is a real risk that investment in the urban fabric will be savagely cutback. As this report shows, such actions would be short sighted and undermine the competitiveness and vitality of our cities”.

Notes to News Editors

  1. The Centre for Housing Research is part of the School of Geography and Geo-sciences at the University of St Andrews. It is a leader in research on homes, neighbourhoods, places and the progress of the people who live in them.  It has an active and diverse research agenda and a significant body of completed reports and publications on social housing, tenure mix, the economics of cities and housing, neighbourhood effects, residential mobility and migration. CHR is the foremost depository of social housing data with projects that have been monitoring the provision of social housing since 1990. Our analysis of social housing trends continues to provide a vital evidence base for the development and refinement of social housing policy in both Scotland and England. (http://ggsrv-cold.st-andrews.ac.uk/chr/)
  2. The Smith Institute is a leading independent think tank which promotes progressive policies for a fairer society. We provide a high-level forum for new thinking and debate on public policy and politics. A PDF version of the report is available from (www.smith-institute.org.uk)
  3. For a copy of the report contact: Nikki Langley-Essen at the Smith Institute on 07816 498 384 or [email protected] or Emma Shea at the University of St Andrews on 01334 462 109.

Issued by the University of St Andrews

Contact: Emma Shea, Communications Manager, on 01334 462 109 or email [email protected]

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