Roles and economic potential of English medium-sized cities
A discussion paper which considers how differences in the economic role and performance of medium-sized cities in England might be explained.
The research explores the differences between large and medium-sized cities and develops a typology of medium-sized cities as follows: an industrial city, a gateway city, a heritage or tourism city, a university knowledge city, a city in a large or capital city-region, and a regional services city. The research tests this typology by categorising each of the 56 cities covered in the 'State of the English cities' report then comparing the economic performance of each category. Distinguishing characteristics for each of the typologies are set out. The report identifies structural differences in the economic role and performance of English medium-sized cities and addresses the disparities in economic performance between the English regions.
The cities typology framework was commissioned by the OECD for a presentation at a conference in March 2006. Subsequent research for a master’s dissertation was incorporated and the discussion paper produced to stimulate interest and encourage feedback.
The typology was tested in two ways:
- using information from the ‘State of the English cities' database to compare typological groupings across a range of key economic indicators
- by carrying out a small number of interviews with chief executives and other policy officials from local authorities.
Marked structural differences in the economic role and performance of English medium-sized cities were found which in turn reflect and contribute to differences in the economic performance of English cities. There are potential policy implications for the design of regeneration and regional economic policy at a national level and for the importance of effective collaboration between cities and their regions at the local and regional level.
Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures, University of
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Report | Roles and economic potential of English medium-sized cities
04 May 2007, pdf, 1MB