Published: 14th Apr 2015

On the back of an ever increasing devolution of powers, cities are getting a good press. A buzzy narrative portrays them as beacons of innovation, creativity and general wellbeing. However, there is a less indulgently supported and quieter story, in which the same cities are also crucibles of poverty and inequality. Poverty and inequality sit uneasily alongside this positive city ‘boosterist’ narrative. In the global competitive battle to retain and gain capital investment and attract incoming talented people (‘creative class’),  poverty and rising inequality are a hard sell! They are inconvenient truths – to be avoided in the global beauty show. This is regrettable, but understandable, given the pressures cities are under to attract investment and the best talent. After all from Bishtek to Bangkok to Birmingham, this is the game to be played. Amid the buzzy narrative around cities, we must question the ‘progress’ of agglomeration being advocated. What is less … (To read the full article, subscribe below)