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CITIES 'NEED HELP OF BUSINESS FOR SUCCESSFUL REGENERATION'

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If the renaissance of Britain's cities is to be more than just a yuppie fad, the private sector must favour the cit...
If the renaissance of Britain's cities is to be more than just a yuppie fad, the private sector must favour the city and opt for the high street rather than the suburban mall, according to The Financial Times (p10).

In the first of a series on urban regeneration, The FT examines the long-term prospects of the government's plans for the UK's towns and cities.

Change may come slowly. In a survey compiled in the mid-1990s, companies put a city-centre location bottom on a list of 17 factors influencing their choice of premises.

Michael Parkinson, director of the European Institute for Urban Affairs at Liverpool's John Moores University, says there was a wave of 'civic entrepreneurialism' in European cities in the mid-1980s. This included successful public-private partnerships in cities such as Hamburg.

He says continental cities remain ahead on design, transport and culture but the UK leads on schemes to combat social exclusion.

He sees mixed prospects for British cities - the best bits getting better while the worse get worst. He stresses the need for leadership and is an enthusiastic convert to elected city mayors.

For cities, he added: 'I expect the next 20 years to be better than the last 20. The pendulum is swinging towards seeing them as assets rather than liabilities.'

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