Planning for the economy – Lynne Miles, ARUP | Lent Term Seminar

Click on the picture to download the PPT presentation.

On Monday, Lynne Miles, Associate director of planning policy and economics at ARUP and Deputy Director of What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth gave a presentation on planning for the economy where she focused on the great disparity between London and other English cities. Click here to download the PPT presentation.

London is over six times bigger than the next biggest city Birmingham. While different indicators suggest greater and lesser differences between London and the rest London and other locations in the Wider South East have markedly better Gross Value Added (GVAA). Perhaps most significantly, the data shows that the gap in GVA has widened since the late 1990s.

Why should we care? She suggested the following key reasons: it’s perceived as unfair (equity argument); the costs of concentration may be too high (efficiency argument); it places huge strain on the cities that are successful relative to other places; in a globalised world, competition may not be between cities of the UK but cities of the world; It may have quality of life implications (both for those that move and those left behind); places can appear to be locked in spirals that we want to address.

Leading her to ask, “is economic planning about closing the gap, or making each place successful on its own terms (and avoiding harm)?” Lynne then set out past and present policy levers for planning the economy noting before asking what works. Here a clear message was the relative success of people-based policies, with firm-based policies also having some success bit where area-based policies were least effective. She moved on to discuss the Government’s nascent Industrial Strategy, expected areas for focus for local industrial strategies and possible mechanisms for delivery.  

Lynne Miles is an Associate Director in Arup’s City Economics team, and a Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic growth. Her specialism is at the interface between economic, transport and planning policy: understanding what drives economic growth and regional economic disparities. Her work covers economic analysis, strategic policy advice, spatial planning and business case development and her clients include national and central government bodies, transport operators, and property developers.

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