Two: Divided and united Europe

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The chapter explains the bitter 20th Century European experience of two World Wars which made industrial cities vital to survival. The legacy of WW2 created a strong proactive social and public policy focus. This led to public investment in infrastructure, the building of welfare states and mass housing. The experience of deep, long-run conflict, followed by the Cold War, reinforced the value of economic cooperation, social cohesion and public underpinning. The idea that war should never happen again on European soil lead directly to the creation of the European Common Market and the European Union. World wars, the Cold War, eventual collapse of the “Iron Curtain”, and the common market, have strongly shaped, shaken and reinforced the role of Europe’s many ex-industrial cities.

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