Megatrends in the West Midlands: Urban Responses to Pandemics and Economic Shocks

In this piece, Liam O’Farrell draws from a range of case studies to explore how cities have responded to and been shaped by pandemics and economic shocks.   It is part of larger project looking at Megatrends in the West Midlands. Megatrends are major movements or patterns or trends that are having a transformative impact on … Continue reading “Megatrends in the West Midlands: Urban Responses to Pandemics and Economic Shocks”

Housing and Spatial Justice – Insights From Three European Cities

Liam O’Farrell considers spatial justice and housing, comparing the UK and its European counterparts. Overcoming common urban social issues Mitigating the segregation of marginalised groups is highly dependent on local context. Nevertheless, comparing a major British city with peers elsewhere in Europe suggests that devolution of decision-making powers and financial resources, along with a commitment … Continue reading “Housing and Spatial Justice – Insights From Three European Cities”

The Case for a Just Devolution

Liam O’Farrell discusses the idea of ‘Just Devolution’, whereby devolution is driven not by demands to stimulate growth but to create a more just society. Find out more about the Just City Project. Devolution is currently front and centre in British politics. There have been comparisons of the relative performance of the devolved governments in … Continue reading “The Case for a Just Devolution”

Creating More Just Cities by Supporting Social Housing Tenants Into Work

This blog is based on a recent submission from the Just City project to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility, available here. Liam discusses the many challenges faced by those living in social housing in relation to employment, social infrastructure, language and skills deficiencies, and what actions we can take to help … Continue reading “Creating More Just Cities by Supporting Social Housing Tenants Into Work”

Has COVID-19 Changed the Terrain of Engagement?

Liam O’Farrell considers the impact of Covid-19 on civic engagement: Will the pandemic make authorities more interested in digital public consultation? This blog is based on a report called “States of participation: International Best Practice in Civic Engagement“. Given that Covid-19 has only recently become part of our lives, there has not yet been a … Continue reading “Has COVID-19 Changed the Terrain of Engagement?”

Is Birmingham a Just City?

The story of Birmingham’s post-industrial decline in the twentieth century is well known. However, any visitor to the city centre today can’t help but notice its urban renaissance in the twenty-first. From the revitalised New Street station to the glass tower blocks at Snow Hill, major regeneration projects are visually transforming the city. Many of … Continue reading “Is Birmingham a Just City?”

New Report Released: Governance and Urban Development in Birmingham

For the past three years, an interdisciplinary (and international) team of geographers, political scientists and urban planners working across the universities of Birmingham and Zurich has been studying Birmingham’s urban development, governance, and social and economic trends from the year 2000 to present. Now, as our research project draws to a close, we have reached … Continue reading “New Report Released: Governance and Urban Development in Birmingham”

How Iceland Is Using Digital to Increase Public Participation in Politics

There are a few countries that immediately spring to mind when thinking about e-government, or the digital transformation of public services and using the internet to alter the relationship between the citizen and the state. Estonia is the poster child for this movement, with its digital voting platforms, e-residency for businesses and innovative information-sharing systems … Continue reading “How Iceland Is Using Digital to Increase Public Participation in Politics”

Devolution in the UK: A Look at Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

  Previous blogs in this devolution series have considered the political and economic benefits of devolving decision-making power and looked at the situation in England, with the new combined authorities and the office of the Mayor of London. The countries of the Celtic fringe of the UK – namely Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – also … Continue reading “Devolution in the UK: A Look at Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”

What is the Extent of Devolution in England?

Across the UK there is a range of devolution models in operation. This blog will consider the form that devolution takes among the new combined authorities in England and the Greater London Authority in the capital. It is part of a series of blog looking at devolution and follows on from a previous blog asking … Continue reading “What is the Extent of Devolution in England?”