Thursday, June 09, 2005

Growth and decline of cities and regions

A new piece of research by Ruth Lupton and Anne Power of the LSE: larger cities and metropolitan conurbations in Britain (except London) are almost all declining. The strongest growers according to the 2001 census were more rural and mixed rural and urban areas, as well as London. Smaller cities also tended to gain population.

I guess this could be a problem for the delivery of services (health, telecommunications, utilities etc. etc.) as it tends to be more cost-effective to provide services in areas which are more densely populated. I was reading a paper by Anthony Townsend yesterday on broadband usage in South Korea. South Korea has the highest broadband take-up in the world at the moment. One of the factors for this is the fact that most cities are very densely populated and so it was possible to serve many people with the same infrastructure. I wonder what are the implications for the UK if the trend is towards decentralisation?


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