Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cities facts of the day

FT has a series on the future of cities. On the economic importance of cities,
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs places 42 global cities among the world’s 100 largest economies... The independent city state is extremely rare: Singapore is today’s most significant example. Even so, some city-regions dominate the economies of their countries: Seoul and Incheon, together, generate 47 per cent of South Korea’s gross domestic product; Rotterdam and Amsterdam, together, generate 40 per cent of the GDP of the Netherlands; Tokyo generates 34 per cent of Japan’s GDP; and London produces 32 per cent of the UK’s.
On the manufacturing squeeze faced by cities,
A 2015 report for the Greater London Authority found that 600 hectares of industrial land was lost in London in the previous seven years... The Greater London Authority says there were 7,420 manufacturing businesses with employees in 2016, or 24,820 including sole traders. Of these, 155 employ more than 100 people... only Ford employs more than 1,000 people in London... New York City had 1m manufacturing jobs in 1950, down to 76,000 by 2010, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). From the 1990s, the city lost 5,000 manufacturing jobs a year but this levelled off and after 2010 rose slightly.
Gentrification and the hollowing out of the urban cores off the less well off should constitute the biggest threat to sustaining the urban growth,
In his latest book, The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida bemoans the divides within the “winner takes all” super-cities of the 21st century... Soaring property values are turning the west’s largest metropolises into walled-off playgrounds of cosmopolitan elites. Mr Florida once celebrated the rise of the creative classes. Now he worries about the backlash of the uncreatives... Perhaps the starkest divide in the Brexit referendum and the US presidential poll of 2016 was between big-city voters and those in the suburbs, smaller towns and countryside. Just as London voted to remain in the EU, so New York opted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democrat... More than half of Moscow’s voters rejected Vladimir Putin in 2012. The Russian president was still re-elected by a landslide. Fewer than one in 10 Parisians voted for Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election last month, against a third of the nation. Similar gaps exist between Istanbul and the rest of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey — and so on.
And even Chinese cities are facing the gentrification problem, with first time buyers being priced out of the big cities.

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