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John R. Bryson

This chapter explores the relationships between work and firms in the context of city-region economies. The concern is to identify drivers of change as they apply to the experience of work. These drivers can be traced back to the emergence of capitalism, but their impacts alter as macro-economic processes are transformed. In 2017, labour markets experienced a particular moment of revolutionary transformation as mobile technologies, combined with developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, create new jobs, often forms of precarious employment, as well as transforming existing work. The application of mobile technologies to work has led to the emergence of the gig economy and gig jobs which are challenging existing forms of work while AI is destroying some jobs. The chapter explores the changing relationship between work and organisation as new ways of organising production emerge in response to process and technological innovations.

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Lauren Andres and John R. Bryson

The focus of this chapter is on city-regions located in a context of ‘regeneration economies’ or in other words areas that are experiencing an ongoing process of recovery, adaptation or in-depth transformation. This process of transformation is occurring in all city-regions, but with different drivers, both exogenous and endogenous, and with variations in intensity and impacts. There is no such thing as a representative or standard city-region. Every city-region is a distinct, even unique, bundle of assets or resources including subjective ones such as reputation, heritage and stories that are told of that place. In addition, every city-region has different degrees of local, national and international connectivity. At the centre of the analysis of city-regions is heterogeneity and a complex interplay between place, space and a concatenation of spatial and sometimes aspatial processes. The chapter reviews ongoing debates on city-regions with a focus on exploring city-regions as regeneration economies.

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John R. Bryson and Lauren Andres

This chapter calls for a research focus that emphasises understanding the city-region regeneration economy plexus. There are perhaps two alternative approaches to understanding city-regions. First, are approaches that begin with theorising global production networks and the ways they are strategically coupled with regional economies. This approach highlights global processes first and regional processes second. Second, are approaches that begin with understanding city-regions. These studies position regions within the context of global flows but much of the research focuses is on understanding city-region processes and their impacts at a variety of spatial scales. Research tends to adopt a micro (people/firms), meso (regional including agglomerations or clusters) or macro (global interactions) approach. What is absent is a concern with the development of a more integrated or systematic approach to understanding city-region regeneration economies. This is an ambitious and provocative research agenda, but it is one that will go some way towards unravelling the dynamics of the city-region regeneration economy plexus.

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John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels