Phoenix cities

The fall and rise of great industrial cities

This book explores economic, social and environmental transformations in Europe and the USA to inform the regeneration of ‘weak market cities’.

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‘Weak market cities’ across European and America, or ‘core cities’ as they were in their heyday, went from being ‘industrial giants’ dominating their national, and eventually the global, economy, to being ‘devastation zones’. In a single generation three quarters of all manufacturing jobs disappeared, leaving dislocated, impoverished communities, run down city centres and a massive population exodus.

So how did Europeans react? And how different was their response from America’s? This book looks closely at the recovery trajectories of seven European cities from very different regions of the EU. Their dramatic decline, intense recovery efforts and actual progress on the ground underline the significance of public underpinning in times of crisis. Innovative enterprises, new-style city leadership, special neighbourhood programmes and skills development are all explored. The American experience, where cities were largely left ‘to their own devices’, produced a slower, more uncertain recovery trajectory. This book will provide much that is original and promising to all those wanting to understand the ground-level realities of urban change and progress.

Anne Power is Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a visiting senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. She is the author of City survivors (The Policy Press, 2007).

Jörg Plöger completed his PhD at the University of Kiel, Germany, in 2006 and worked on the Weak Market Cities programme at LSE from 2006-09. He is now at the Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development in Dortmund, Germany.

Astrid Winkler obtained an MSc in social psychology at LSE and worked on the CASE Neighbourhood Study before helping Anne Power to set up the Weak Market Cities programme.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.