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In this episode of City Talks, Andrew looks at the economic theory of 'agglomeration' – the idea that the productivity of cities increases with size. The conversation explores the reasons why we see this phenomenon, as well as some of the misunderstandings that can arise when trying to measure its impact. Also touched on is the bearing agglomeration has on the Government's Northern Powerhouse initiative, the need to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, and how the vote to leave the European Union might affect urban policy going forward. Joining Andrew are Alexander Lembcke, Economist and Policy Analyst in the OECD’s Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development, and Henry Overman, Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth.

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Ahead of the elections for a Greater Manchester Mayor in May 2017, Alexandra Jones chaired a public event in Manchester Town Hall on what their priorities should be in the first 100 of taking office. The panelists were Andy Burnham MP, Prospective Labour candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester, Prof Francesca Gains, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Manchester, and Clive Memmott, Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

The discussion touched on how the new Mayor can encourage greater participation in local democracy, the challenges following the vote to leave the European Union, and proposals to create a 'cabinet of the North' formed of mayors of northern city regions who will be able to champion and deliver the Northern Powerhouse.
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Ahead of the elections for a Liverpool City Region mayor in May 2017, Alexandra Jones chaired a public event in Liverpool with panelists:  Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, Janet Beer Vice Chancellor, University of Liverpool and Michael Houghton Managing Director Process Industries and Drives, Siemens.

With the Devolution Deal and its accompanying metro mayor firmly underway in the Liverpool city region, this event sought to take the debate forward and ask what the people of the Liverpool city region want from their mayor, what the priorities should be, and  how this can be achieved in the years to come.

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In 2017, the UK will see a number of metro mayors take office in major city regions around the country. For the first time these areas will have the powers and controls to govern themselves and encourage economic growth through strategic transport and planning powers.

In this talk, part of the Centre for Cities City Horizons event series, author of If Mayors Ruled the World Benjamin Barber reflects on how cities and their leaders have come to be of significant global relevance, more so than the nation-state, and reflects on how it is at the city level, that the most pressing global issues - whether surrounding climate change or social inequality - are played out and can be resolved.
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In this month’s episode, Andrew speaks to Paul Cheshirefrom the LSE about his book Urban Economics and Urban Policy,co-authored with Henry Overman and Max Nathan. Paul explains why there hasbeen a resurgence in the study of cities in recent years, how agglomerationeffects have become an accepted part of mainstream economics, and why localgrowth policy should focus on people rather than places. Also touched onis the question of how to deal with inequality between and within cities, the‘almost criminal insanity’ of  the greenbelt stopping new houses being built to take advantage of the £18bn investment inCrossrail, and Paul’s favorite bit of the Communist Manifesto.

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Full audio of our event in Middlesbrough discussing priorities for the new Mayor of Tees Valley, who will be elected in May 2017. Suggestions included action on skills and transport, further accelerating the devolution process, and the need to be a figurehead championing the city region. On the panel were Cllr Sue Jeffrey, Former Chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Leader of Redcar & Cleveland, Prof John Mawson, Director of the Institute for Local Governance, and Rachel Anderson, Head of Policy and Representation at the North East Chamber of Commerce, and the event was chaired by Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities.

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In this month's episode, Andrew talks to Lord Kerslake, former Head of the Home Civil Service, and Jo Casebourne from the Institute for Government about the impact new city region mayors will have on the political landscape of the UK. Andrew and his guests look at the changing role of MPs, and why some Westminster politicians are finding the prospect of being mayor attractive. Also touched on is the importance of mayoral influence as well as the powers handed over in devolution deals, whether there are too many politicians, and what Whitehall and Westminster should do in a more decentralised political environment.

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In this episode, Andrew talks to Robin Hambleton, Professor of City Leadership at the University of the West of England, about his book Leading the Inclusive City. Robin argues that globalisation has created new challenges for city leaders, who have to contend with 'place-less' forces like multinational corporations, and the growth of inequality and environmental damage as a result of urbanisation. In his book, he picks out 17 'innovation stories' from around the world detailing how leaders have responded to these issues. The conversation also touches on the influence of 'neoliberal' ideas on policy, the problems with the deal-based approach to devolution in the UK, the significance of the new Mayors of Bristol and London, and why academics should engage with practitioners and the cities in which they are based.

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Full audio of our City Horizons event with Tristram Hunt MP, held at the People's History Museum in Manchester on 18 April 2016. In his speech, Tristram argued that Labour should embrace political devolution for cities, and suggested three areas where the party could go further than what has been offered by the devolution deals so far: greater fiscal devolution, public service reform, and local civic ownership of utilities. In the Q&A session after the speech, Tristram addressed concerns about local engagement with the devolution process, how to square devolution with redistribution, and the extent to which the programme he has set out is supported by the Labour leadership.

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In this month's episode, Andrew looks at how the politics of cities have changed since the General Election, and what we can expect from the Local Elections on the 5th May. The conversation touches on the influence of national politics on the local campaigns, how party divisions on devolution and austerity might affect the result, and what the impact of new directly-elected mayors will have on the standing of local politics. Joining Andrew are Tom Clarkson, Research Team Leader at ComRes, Jonn Elledge, Editor of CityMetric, and David Kirkby Senior Research Fellow at Bright Blue.

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