Part Five: Conclusions

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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.

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