Published: 15th Jul 2009

Here’s a conundrum: help your town or city survive the recession and create new jobs and opportunities. Do it with fewer resources and, while you’re about it, see if you can eliminate poverty.One answer may be a rediscovery of interventionist municipalism. This is a throwback – or maybe the faintest echo of a throwback – to the civic activism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where cities laid down roads and sewers, put up buildings, and housed the workers.Nottingham, for example, has £212m invested in various banks. Apart from the £42m frozen in Iceland, much of that could be used more actively to invest strategically in business growth and in the infrastructure required for a successful city. It requires a change of mindset about fiduciary duties and risk assessment, but why not?That kind of rethinking will be required because councils are about to be squeezed. Some commentators expect … (To read the full article, subscribe below)