CBRE has released Our Cities, Knowledge for the Future, a thought-provoking project on how British cities might look and feel by 2040.
The research examines what will make a successful city through a collection of insights on diversity, culture and sport, the economy, sustainability, governance, health, transport and placemaking. In doing so it identifies innovation, culture, and governance as being crucial to the success of British cities.
Innovation – cities are usually at the centre of innovation and technological advancement. Southampton is no exception to this with its top-class universities and skilled workforce graduates. According to the UK Powerhouse Report, Southampton’s year-on-year employment growth in H1 2018 was 1.9%, 2nd behind Leeds. In the six years to 2016 high-tech employee numbers grew 25%.
Culture – city culture is a generator of success because it provides a higher quality of life and richer exchange of ideas. Businesses need to understand how the cultural offer of a city might evolve, how a city can stay edgy and relevant in cultural terms, and how investors can spot where the momentum is.
Governance – cities are growing, at least in population terms if not in spatial extent, and they’re getting more complex. Businesses must identify the quality of city governance and understand how to engage with it; and the quality of that governance is connected to its skill in being able to engage effectively with the private sector.
James Brounger, south central managing director CBRE comments: “In our recent report on Technology Hotspots, Southampton ranked fifth in the “Super Cluster” category ahead of both Cambridge and Bristol, with high-tech employment continuing to grow above the UK national average.
“We don’t believe that the British city of the 2040s will be radically different from how it is now, although possibly cleaner, greener and safer. One of the best guides to how fast our cities might change in the 20 years from now is to look at the change in our cities from 20 years ago. The cities that do best will be the ones that focus on vibrant innovation, a rich culture and strong governance.”