Anne Power and William Julius Wilson
Published February 2000
In both Britain and the United States, people have been moving away from the inner cities to suburban developments, often leaving behind concentrations of poverty and decaying neighbourhoods. Anne Power's paper focuses on the British situation. As Britain comes to terms with the implications of urban renaissance, a new way must be found of looking at regeneration based on rebuilding urban neighbourhoods. The key points for the future are: limiting suburban land supply and creating higher density in depleted urban neighbourhoods; equalising the incentives to recycle old buildings and used land rather than greenfield sites; improving public transport; managing neighbourhoods to encourage a social mix; and protecting green spaces. William Julius Wilson, looking at the American situation, addresses the rediscovery of 'metropolitan solutions' as answers to the common problems of America's cities and suburbs. This rediscovery reflects the recognition that metropolitan areas constitute the real competitive units in the new economy and that competitiveness requires a healthy urban core; the growing awareness that complex issues such as pollution and traffic congestion cross boundaries and are immune to localised fixes; and the co-existence of persistent joblessness in the central cities and labour shortages in the suburbs.