Core Cities is an association of ten cities in the UK: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield. Altogether, Core Cities and their surrounding regions (including Belfast) account for around one quarter of the UK population and economy. Given their size and assets, Core Cities have the potential to boost national growth. However, unlike second-tier cities in most other large OECD countries, Core Cities have low levels of productivity by national and international standards. With the right policies and sufficient investment in public transport, housing, skills and other key policy areas, Core Cities could become centres of economic activity that pull their regions and the entire UK to higher productivity levels. This report unpacks the productivity puzzle in the UK and offers policy recommendations for the local and national level to achieve higher productivity and more inclusive growth.
Urbanisation is an important condition for economic development but must be managed effectively if cities are to realise their potential as engines of national growth. A challenge is often found in aligning policies; while a wide range of national policies affect urban development, they are rarely looked at through an “urban lens”. The OECD Urban Policy Reviews series provides a comprehensive assessment of policies that affect urban areas in a given country. The series follows a consistent methodology across countries, which features cross-national comparisons and recommendations on the integration of sectoral policies into urban development policy, planning and management. This includes analysis of how national spatial planning for urban areas, along with specific sectoral policies, directly and indirectly impact urban development, and how issues of governance (from inter-governmental fiscal relationships to various institutional, fiscal and policy tools) aim at fostering co-ordinated urban development among different levels of government and different administrations at the central level. The series aims to support the New Urban Agenda, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and other global urban agendas, through effective development and implementation of national urban policies.