Sustainable Economic Development Of Birmingham Essay

1247 words - 5 pages

The creation of a strong and sustainable economy in any city requires a numerous variation of factors and a careful balance of strategic policies made by the city council, local planners or other vital participants in the building of a successful urban dynamic. With the dramatic decline of the manufacturing sector in many of Britain’s major cities such as Birmingham, a strong and sustainable economy has almost been out of reach. Unemployment and the great suburban decentralisation of residences have caused the heart of major cities in Britain to suffer and decline economically. The predominant question that must be asked is what policies and strategic priorities regarding Birmingham’s economy can be put in place so that regeneration and economic development can thrive once again?
To achieve an answer to the above question we must understand the current and past economic shifts. With the collapse of the manufacturing base, would it be economically viable to rely heavily on the manufacturing industry when so much of it has been lost? Alternatively outsourcing to the service sector and the creative industries perhaps could provide a greater stepping-stone to economic prosperity to Birmingham. In 1991 John Hart stated in a book titled ‘Our Changing Cities’ the need for dense business quarters. When taken into account the age of the book when this opinion was made, perhaps strategic policy which focuses on the service sector is the way in which Birmingham should move forward. This would also combat decentralisation of the economy and instead it would bring the creation of wealth back to the heart of the city.
A modern perspective on the key to economic prosperity is from Buck et al (2005) who stated that with the current improvements in technology advances must be made to utilise revenue from innovative industries. However this view is not necessarily shared by all. In 2004 James Dyson explained to the BBC that in order for a city to progress it must sustain a manufacturing base instead of moving away from it. He uses the example of a modern day developing country such as china, whose economic progression is enormous, with most of the regards going to their extensive engineering and manufacturing industry. However, if this is applied as the predominant way of generating wealth in Birmingham then this may not be as affective. To begin with, the labour pool is far smaller so to keep up the pace with China may be impossible especially as China have already mastered low-cost production. Also Dyson’s view on industry is extremely idealistic. He states the need to return to manufacturing. He mentions past accomplishments made by Britain in accordance to great engineering feats such as the coal mines. However he fails to acknowledge the simple fact that in Britain’s manufacturing base is in decline whilst the growing industries are, service and the creative sectors. Failure to tenure these industries will end chance of Britain and its...

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