Welcome to City Evolutions, a major research project looking at how UK cities have evolved and adapted over time

Understanding city economies has become a topic of growing importance. In an ever more urbanised world, economists and geographers point to the way cities are driving the economies and wealth of their nations. This has led to more recognition from national governments as well as international bodies on the economic role that cities play. For policymakers, ensuring successful city economies is the key to ensuring economic prosperity at a national level.

In the UK it is well known that not all cities have enjoyed economic success in recent years, and many have experienced dramatic decline after the war. After a loss of jobs in manufacturing, replaced by low-paid service jobs, there has been a fundamental shift in the economies of many cities over the last several decades. This research project, funded by the ESRC seeks to understand this economic shift in more detail, and establish how and why some cities have weathered the change better than others.

You can find out more about the research project here

New research

The Evolving Economic Performance of Britain’s Cities: Patterns, Processes and Policy Implications

This booklet summarises the key findings from this long-term project, including shortened versions of other papers available on this website. Covering the evolutionary paths of cities with regards to overall economic growth, productivity, skills, their resilience and resistance to economic shocks, and looking at a history of policymaking in five ...
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Working paper: Peterborough case study

This paper explores the economic evolution of Peterborough in comparison with broader national economic developments.
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Image by Reading Tom

Working Paper: Tees Valley Case Study

This paper explores the economic history of Tees Valley as it compares to the broader national economic structure and change.
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Working Paper: Glasgow Case Study

This paper explores Glasgow's economic history as it compares to the broader national economic structure and change.
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City Evolutions is an ESRC-funded project and partnership of the University of Cambridge, University of Southampton, Aston University, Newcastle University, Cambridge Econometrics & Centre for Cities. This website was developed using the Wordpress theme 'Blogsixteen' and is managed and maintained by University of Cambridge and Centre for Cities