The Political Economy of Sub-National Economic Development
Chapter 7: City-region building
This chapter is concerned with new regionalist city-region building through state and policy interventions such as the Northern Way. It uses the Sheffield City Region as a case study: a British city struggling with the policy discourses of city regional competitiveness. Sheffield’s occupational structure has been transformed over the past 20 years from a high paid employment economy with a plentiful supply of skilled jobs in the steel and engineering industries, to a de-industrialised economy where many of the new jobs created in the service sector tend to be low paid. The chapter shows how the creation of city regions hides qualitative micro-economic and social geographies and specifically glosses over issues such as the quality and sustainability of the employment base and inequality more broadly. The chapter suggests that city-regions reinforce, and have the potential to increase, rather than resolve, uneven development and socio-spatial inequalities.
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