If New York is to the US what London is to the UK, then where are the UK's Chicago's, San Francisco's, or Austin's? I believe that the future of Britain's economic growth lay not in densifying central London, but in developing and supporting economic development in outer London and the country's secondary cities. Indeed, I concur with this article in the call for a comprehensive vision and guide to invest in regional hub cities like Manchester, Leeds, and Cardiff.
A stronger focus on the UK's regions is critical to establish the country as a place for start-up innovation and business growth. New solutions are going to be needed as London's prices continue to threaten entrepreneurs and start-up from planting and growing. Specialisation can be the way forward - Cambridge's focus on pharmaceutical industry and Newcastle's focus on ageing and science suggest that focusing on an offer and crafting a vision around this can encourage investment in those industries. And it seems that other sectors are getting on board with the idea of strong regional focuses.
The Arts Council has recently announced an increase in arts funding for more of England's regions as an effort to improve arts and culture access for more audiences. This is positive news and, hopefully, the first step towards a broader push to distribute economic success and innovation to the UK's regions.
Britain needs more Chicagos, more Bostons and more Frankfurts; devolution combined with cheap money and a strong vision is the recipe for a new generation of civic politicians to take their regions global.