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In this month's episode, Andrew talks to Dr Thomas Kemeny, co-author of the book The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies, about the insights to be gained from comparing the diverging economies of Los Angeles and the Bay Area in California. In the 1970s, the two city regions were performing at a similar level, but since then the latter has become home to one of the most productive clusters in the world (Silicon Valley), while the former has not kept up with other cities in the United States. Kemeny discusses how the book tries to explain this divergence, making use of several disciplines and sources of evidence. The conversation touches on the changing fortunes of LA's film industry, whether the Bay Area will remain at the 'cutting edge' of new ideas, and the role of networks in encouraging innovation. It ends with a discussion of the importance of cities understanding their place in the global economy, and how our understanding of economic development has changed in recent years.

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With new mayors of major English city regions on the horizon, Alexandra Jones finds out about how the institution works in the US and what lessons can be drawn and applied in the UK. In the first part she speaks to Dr Benjamin Barber, author of If Mayors Ruled The World and convener of the Global Parliament of Mayors (which has its inaugural meeting in the Hague this weekend). The conversation touches on the need for a change of attitude on the part of central government towards cities, how the mayoral institution encourages pragmatism, and what Bernie Sanders was like as Mayor of Burlington in Vermont.

In the second part, Alexandra speaks to Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence in Rhode Island, about how he's trying to reinvent the city's post-industrial economy and the kinds of qualities successful mayors have. The conversation touches on how to reform the way local government can raise revenue, why he is uninterested in ideological debate, and the need for mayors to have strong executive powers and be bold in their approach to tacking the challenges faced by their cities.
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In this episode of City Talks, Andrew asks why the seemingly simple solution to the housing crisis in cities – namely building more homes – is so difficult in practice. The discussion looks at the obstacles to developing 'brownfield' sites in built-up areas, whether wariness over building on the green belt is ebbing, and the impact devolution and new metro mayors may have on planning decisions in city regions. Also touched on is how First Past The Post encourages NIMBYism, the potential of 'factory-made' housing, and why we should stop associating the green belt with the Chilterns.

Joining Andrew are John Dickie, Director of Strategy & Policy at London First, Kathleen Kelly, Assistant Director of Policy and Research at the National Housing Federation, and Marc Vlessing, Founder and CEO of Pocket Living Ltd.
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Full audio of our event in the Library of Birmingham discussing priorities for the new Mayor of the West Midlands, who will be elected in May 2017. The discussion touched on the need to build consensus across the rivalries in the region, how the Mayor can gain more powers to deliver for their electorate, and how to improve awareness of the office ahead of the vote.

On the panel were Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Marc Reeves, Editor of the Birmingham Mail, and Gill Bentley, Lecturer in Urban and Regional Economic Development at the University of Birmingham. The event was chaired by Andrew Carter, Deputy Chief Executive of Centre for Cities.

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Full audio of our event in Sheffield discussing priorities for the new Mayor of the City Region, who will be elected in May 2017. The discussion touched on the need for the Mayor to secure a "quick win" in order to demonstrate they can deliver to voters, the need to address low pay in the region, and the impact of Brexit on current local growth plans.

On the panel were Lord Blunkett, Former MP for Sheffield Brightside and leader of the city council, Dr Craig Berry, Deputy Director of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield, and June Smith, Membership and External Affairs Manager at EEF Yorkshire and Humber. The event was chaired by Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities.
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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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