I'm drawn to this article because it offers a valuable piece of regeneration insight, gathered from the recent Brookings Institution recent report on global cities and metro economic typologies. The article notes that cities around the world can learn lessons from 'knowledge capitals' or cities with high levels of university research and innovation businesses. A key lesson is understanding that pursuing outside investors for unlocking economic growth is unwise and unlikely to be sustainable.
Instead, the article suggests that social cohesion and citizen engagement are critical to driving economic growth and regeneration. This to me is the most valuable lesson as it recognises the importance of local investment and input and cohesion across different communities to enable regeneration. Indeed, economic growth that does not include local communities can often marginalise people and diminish a sense of common purpose. I agree with this article that cities aiming to improve their economies should strengthen their own communities to create an environment conducive to growth.
This is valuable learning for communities and cities across the UK and elsewhere as they look to draw up priorities and refine strategies for regeneration. Renaisi's extensive history in regeneration and community engagement concurs with this lesson. Whether it be through the New Deal for Communities project in EC1 or more recent work with the DCLG, our work has shown that cities can prosper when social cohesion and citizen engagement is strongest. I hope this is something cities continue to learn from.
Rather than simply chase for outside investors to boost the local economy, these cities have learned to grow within.