Chapter 4: City infrastructure provision and geographical inequalities in the UK’s centralised state
The construction of the UK’s distinctive “modern infrastructural ideal” is outlined marked by its highly centralised, top-down and national framework of urban managerialism, Keynesian welfarism and spatial Keynesianism. The fragmentation of city infrastructure provision under “splintering urbanism” is explained in relation to urban entrepreneurialism, liberalisation, privatisation and financialisation. Focusing upon the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the national and city prioritisation of infrastructure as a focus for economic recovery, growth and modernisation is set out. National and local statecraft and restructuring is being driven by austerity, limited decentralisation and the new informal governance of deal-making and deals. The financialising process is being shaped by the city statecraft of national and local government alongside financial actors and mediated by the UK’s highly centralised and risk-averse governance structures. The geographies of recent infrastructure investment are detailed, marked by a spatially skewed national and London global city-region orientation and uneven patchwork of collective provision.
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