The economic crisis has turned into a social crisis and local economic policy is failing. Poverty, inequality, affordability of housing, low wages, insecure work are now ingrained in our cities. We need a new radical urbanism so that we address these issues and deliver better social outcomes at scale.
However, there is an irony. There is no shortage of wealth in our cities. Whilst a few people and areas enjoy the huge benefits of economic success, many people and areas do not. Take a walk from any city centre. Once you leave the global chain stores, buzzy restaurants, glorious public spaces, new urban living and high end retail, you will get to the district centres. In these places, there is a different story. You cannot always see the poverty and despair, as many areas have undergone a physical regeneration, but the signs are there. Speak to people or an NGO and the daily hardship of surviving on low wages, youth unemployment and increasing housing costs, become evident. This is not acceptable. The future has to be about making existing and new wealth work better for local people and communities.