A vision for urban growth and recovery

Research commissioned by the City Regions Board of the Local Government Association for England and Wales and completed by Cambridge Econometrics analysed the consequences of Covid-19 for urban economies, and set out a new vision for urban growth and recovery.

The report draws on evidence, forecasts and interviews with urban councils to analyse the impacts of COVID-19, current economic challenges and opportunities, and sets out a new vision for urban growth and recovery.

Key findings:

  1. Urban areas suffered from higher Covid-19 caseloads.
  2. Urban areas had significant risk factors for Covid-19 including:
    • lower health and higher rate of pre-existing conditions
    • at-risk jobs
    • higher public transport use
    • housing overcrowding
    • larger BAME populations
  3. Many urban areas have relatively low levels and growth of productivity and earnings, entrenched income inequality and housing need. Added to these are the challenges of climate change, accelerating digital transformation of the workplace, the contraction of retail and the need to replace obsolescent commercial floorspace that is not fit for purpose in a post Covid world.
  4. Urban areas and partnerships can provide the strategic and integrated solutions to economic recovery, growth, inclusion and sustainability that the UK needs.
  5. This can be achieved through an integrated programme that delivers recovery and growth that creates successful places in an inclusive and sustainable manner.
Alex Frost Senior Economist [email protected]