Summary of A Century of Cities

Urban Economic Change Since 1911

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A Century of Cities summary
Explore the economic policies that contributed to the United Kingdom’s “North-South divide.”


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Paul Swinney and Elli Thomas of the UK-based research and policy institute Center for Cities explore the changing world of work in major cities across the UK since 1911. They highlight the gap between the northern and southern regions of the country, and explore reasons why the South is faring better than the North in the job market. This well-researched report traces the history of several cities, discusses changes in the nature of work and suggests measures the UK government can adopt in order to bridge the gap between the two regions. getAbstract recommends its findings to economists, policy makers and industrialists.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the job market in the UK has changed since 1911
  • How important it is for cities to reinvent their economies and not just replicate the status quo
  • How economic policies can improve job situations in lesser developed UK cities


For a city to fuel its growth in the 21st century, proximity to knowledge has become more important than proximity to resources. Cities that have reinvented their economies by supporting knowledge-based industries are thriving, whereas cities that have only been replacing traditional work with low-skilled...
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About the Authors

Paul Swinney is a senior economist and Elli Thomas is a researcher at Center for Cities, a UK-based research and policy institute dedicated to improving the economic success of cities in the UK.

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