Give our cities power to prosper and all Britain will flourish too | Will Hutton
The countrys great conurbations are, currently, civic pygmies. George Osborne has made a start by giving Manchester more autonomy. Now more must follow
Cities are where the action is; they always were and always will be. Civilisation began in the first cities on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, and today these large conurbations are where the digital revolution is being incubated and driven forward. Economists observe that bringing people together in cities boosts creativity and accelerates economic growth. In the second decade of the 21st century, the city effect is more marked than ever.
Investment in so-called intangible assets everything from computer codes to copyrights and patents is a full 50% higher than investment in tangible assets such as factories and machines and the gap is widening year by year. The crossover point was around 2000 and, on current trends, intangible investment will be running at twice the rate of tangible investment by 2025. It is an economic inflection point to rank alongside the Industrial Revolution and the first machine age.
Source: Guardian Transport