This original book builds on the author’s research in Phoenix cities to present a vivid story of Europe’s post-industrial cities pre- and post- financial crisis. Using varied case studies the book explores how policy responses to the economic crisis have played out in different European cities, with their contrasting conditions, history and performance generating contrasting reactions. The book compares changes between Northern and Southern European countries, bigger and smaller cities, over the past ten years. Across the continent social cohesion, community investment and social enterprise have gained momentum as Europe’s crowded, resource-constrained cities face up to environmental and social limits faster than other less densely urban countries, such as the US. The author presents a compelling framework to show that Europe’s cities are creating a new industrial economy to combat environmental and social unravelling.
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.
This chapter debates the prospects for European cities. Struggling cities, with a heavy legacy of problems, are doing better than forecast and surviving draconian cuts in external public support. Resource-use is shifting in favour of recycling, reinventing, renewing, remaking the economy in a new and almost unforeseen mould. New breakthroughs in advanced manufacture, which these cities are highly suited to develop, spawn thousands of subsidiary services and products even though they offer few jobs directly within their high-precision industries. A new economy, growing from smaller scale, more flexible, more innovative and bespoke production methods, using 3D printing, advanced engineering and computer technologies, is growing in European and American cities. A lighter, leaner, more creative, more “broken up”, more experimental economy is beginning to grow in Phoenix Cities. Chapter nine illustrates how the three phases of our framework fit together and point to a greener future.
This chapter explains how Europe’s post-war boom fuelled an unsustainable growth, over-scaling of industry and counter-movements of citizens that eventually contributed to industrial collapse in Europe’s densely populated producer cities. As cities became mass-production centres, bigness came to dominate the European way of life. Large-scale government action led to mass housing, motorways, mass goods and services. Full employment led to high immigration, while protest movements grew under the umbrella of state provision. Environmental limits became clear with the oil crisis and decline set in. Chapter Three explains Phase One of the framework for Europe’s industrial cities – explosive growth and collapse.
This chapter introduces the core idea that Europe is an old and crowded continent of dense, productive cities. They have survived the loss of major industries and adapted. Without these cities, Europe cannot survive. This handbook shows how former industrial cities are uncovering new breakthroughs to a different kind of future. Chapter One sets our framework for understanding Europe’s industrial cities in three phases: growth and decline; recovery and new crises; and an alternative “greener” future.
Cities learnt the hard way that over-large industry and over-reliance on the public sector no longer worked, but earlier industrial skills and the over-arching role of government can be marshalled to create a new economy. The proliferation of SMEs becomes the multi-layered back-bone of a new economy when big businesses vanish. Cities slowly recognise the value of SMEs, often spawned by bigger institutions and enterprises (e.g. universities) and often inventing new goods and services. Manufacturing jobs continue to shrink, while new service and Maker enterprises emerge. Advanced manufacture draws on the producer skills of the cities combined with their engineering prowess.
This chapter is about the social economy, social exclusion and inclusion. SMEs not only sustain production and services but also support a renewed social focus with many breakthrough social innovations in what is now called the “Sharing Economy”. However, the skills gap remains a serious challenge for those most damaged by industrial losses – particularly among youth. The concentration of foreigners and ethnic minorities in the poorest neighbourhoods also challenges the European ideal of social cohesion.
This chapter is a voice from America. Leading metropolitan scholars recount the story of America’s urban turnaround in the most unlikely places, the cores of seriously damaged former industrial cities – the growth of innovation districts near the downtown areas, the recovery of some inner neighbourhoods, the reintroduction of public transport, and repopulation of the centre city. The American story powerfully reinforces the European one in spite of extreme levels of poverty and segregation. Our framework broadly applies to change and recovery in America’s former industrial cities.
This chapter sets out how cities and governments responded to the challenge of industrial decline. The role of government, local, national and European, became even more important at this stage and strongly underpinned recovery. Citizens and private enterprise leaders became deeply involved in the rescue attempts. A big turnaround was under way driven by strong city leadership, government backing and the heavy involvement of citizens. Serious efforts were dedicated to restoring poorer neighbourhoods and integrating poorer, particularly minority, communities. By 2008, all the signs were that cities were improving. Chapter Four explores Phase Two of the framework – post-industrial recovery.
This chapter shows how the financial crisis of 2008 called an abrupt halt to the large-scale public re-investment that was moving “Phoenix Cities” forward. However, earlier rescue attempts had laid the foundations for a different, “resource-limited”, energy-constrained, “green” model of recovery, based on recycling existing infrastructure, buildings and skills. Troubled and struggling “weak market” cities are practiced at pulling through and now, while public and private resources shrink, cities learn to “do more with less”, coping on smaller budgets and operating at smaller scales. Chapter Five sets out Phase Three of industrial cities – resource constrained economy.