‘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.
This chapter describes how the three larger industrial cities of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philadelphia responded to the urban crisis. It explains that programmes of renewal evolved in US cities over the long period of urban decline, often driven by extreme racial problems and a gradual recognition that suburban sprawl was itself a problem. Partnerships between the public, private, and community sectors have emerged to drive change. The chapter also considers the recovery prospects of three smaller U.S. cities: Louisville, Chattanooga, and Akron.
This chapter discusses the measurement of the recovery of the seven weak market cities featured in this volume. It explains that urban recovery is the progress of overcoming the problems associated with economic restructuring and industrial decline, such as population loss, job losses, urban decay, and increasing social deprivation, and that it is the outcome of complex interaction of different factors. The chapter evaluates whether the recovery in the selected cities was real and if it could be supported by measurable evidence. It provides the overall ranking of the seven cities on quantitative and qualitative measures.
This chapter examines the collapse of Belfast, Northern Ireland as a major industrial city during the period from 1970 to 2000 and describes its recovery efforts. The legacy of Direct Rule left local authorities with weak local-government structures. Although gradual progress is being made in reconciling the communities, segregation along religious and socioeconomic lines continues. Regeneration and reconciliation have so far worked as twin processes in building forward momentum. But political uncertainties and interruptions in the process of devolution have sapped some of the initial energy.
This chapter examines the collapse of Leipzig, Germany as a major industrial city during the period from 1970 to 2000 and describes its recovery efforts. It suggests that Leipzig has undergone a dramatic transformation since Germany’s reunification, while dealing with significant problems, such as its shrinking population and steep manufacturing-job losses. However, many challenges remain, including budget deficits, the need to retain a viable economic base with growth in sectors such as research and development, and the uncertain future for the Stadtumbau Ost urban-regeneration programme.
This chapter compares the recovery of American weak market cities with those in Europe. It provides a general overview of urban-development phases in the old industrial U.S. cities that struggled with industrial decline and urban crisis. These include Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Louisville, Chattanooga, and Akron. The chapter explains how these cities developed into industrial giants and how they were subsequently hit by industrial decline.
This chapter examines the collapse of Bremen, Germany as a major industrial city during the period from 1970 to 2000, and describes its recovery efforts. It suggests that Bremen seems to have undergone the most significant recovery of all the cities featured in this book. The city has halted population decline and shown recent improvements in employment. However, there are several factors that call into question how the city will fare in the future, including the consolidation of public finances, dealing with increasing social polarisation, and guaranteeing the long-term durability of the innovation strategy.
This chapter examines the collapse of Bilbao, Spain as a major industrial city during the period from 1970 to 2000, and describes its recovery efforts. The recovery of Bilbao has been facilitated by a combination of determined public-sector leadership and an existing entrepreneurial culture. This enabled the design of interventions and special agencies to confront the symptoms of the crisis. Another beneficial factor for the city’s recovery is the strong regional and local cultural identity.
This chapter examines the rapid rise to dominance of the seven European cities and discusses their historical importance. It explains that these cities played many different, intrinsically transforming industrial tasks over the period of Europe’s greatest manufacturing growth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and came to dominate national economies as a result of their prolific output. The chapter discusses how these cities lost their core economic rationale, prominence, and political weight over the thirty-year period up to 2000.
This chapter discusses the lessons that can be learned by European cities from the recovery of U.S. cities from urban crisis and industrial decline. The core lesson seems to be that change is possible by working at problems, adopting a long-term approach, and pursuing what works. However, there are three factors that make the recovery of U.S. weak market cities particularly problematic. These include the lack of historic and deeply embedded urban infrastructure and culture, the different cycles of rapid immigration into U.S. cities that created many human and social tensions from which people sought to escape, and the fragile systems of social and public support for cities.