Review of Scotland's Cities - The Analysis

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Review of Scotland's Cities - The Analysis

1 CITIES, CHANGES AND CHALLENGES

1.1 WHY GEOGRAPHY MATTERS

1.1.1 Recognising Connected Variety

As a nation we have much regard for our history. But we also have to be aware of our geography, not just the location of one place with respect to the next, but the variety of places that comprise Scotland. Our location relative to Europe, our northerly position within the UK and the spatial pattern of our cities have shaped our history and will influence our future. The variety of place within Scotland both contributes to the diversity of what we do by way of work and leisure and shapes the perceptions of those who wish to visit and invest in our country.

Scotland is highly urbanised, with some 82% of the population living in settlements of over 3,000 people; a figure which is broadly comparable with other Western European countries. Unlike some other highly urbanised countries, for instance the Netherlands, the inheritance of geography and history has also provided a large rural hinterland, so Scotland is both highly urbanised and has a low overall population density. A successful Scotland has to embrace both these truths, to emphasise the connections, commonalities and complementarities of different kinds of places, of different parts of Scotland.

Cities are our major points of economic activity and social interaction. They often do not have sharp edges, other than municipal boundaries, and are linked to their hinterlands by myriad interactions. Around the City of Glasgow, for example, there are those who commute to the city on a daily basis from towns, villages and countryside as far as 40 or 50 miles away. The shopping status of Glasgow attracts weekly and monthly trips from similar and wider ranges. These interactions are moderated by the presence of towns lying between city and country. Even quite small towns, whilst exporting daily commuters to larger cities, may attract their own daily ebb and flow of workers and shoppers from the surrounding countryside.

To make the best strategic decisions for Scotland's future, as well as ensuring the effective delivery of policies and services, we require a full understanding of the geographies of how we live. To achieve our overall aims it is important to understand how Scotland functions as a set of connected places.

The crucial areas of economic activity are the labour market, commuting thresholds, the housing market area and the geographic range of accessible shopping choices. At the same time, people perceive areas defined by community, neighbours, leisure and other activities. In different ways, individuals recognise multiple geographies for their activities: the home, the street, the neighbourhood, the city and the wider region. Those responsible for designing and delivering policies and services have to understand these patterns and priorities and acknowledge the importance of place.

Place also affects economic behaviours and social outcomes. As individuals and households we do not exist in splendid isolation. Some individuals make lifestyle choices whereby they have little connection with their neighbourhood or their neighbours. But most households are conscious of the place they live in and their wellbeing is affected by it. A place involves the built environment and it, at best, may encourage social interaction and a sense of security or, at worst, reinforce isolation and insecurity. It also means neighbours, and they may, for example, be supportive or they may generate damaging peer group effects for children and teenagers. Place also means access to particular social and economic networks which may influence social status as well as information about jobs and homes. What we do as individuals is embedded in places. Places don't have to limit us, but as we shape them, so do they shape us.

1.1.2 Why we need to do something

The Executive has then an interest in 'place-making' and 'place-management'. Recognising patterns of people in places, and how they interact - the functioning geographies of our economies, societies and political systems - is important, not just locally but in terms of how Scotland develops.

The importance of geography in our economic and social development has been reflected in town planning policies, such as the creation of the New Towns, social policies such as Housing Action Areas and local economic measures as part of regional policies, task forces and other measures for special areas. Not all of these past measures were successful. They were well intentioned but not always well informed. They tended to assume virtues in state decision making about the location and nature of investment, and discounted not only market views and possibilities, but also the views of service users. These approaches are no longer compatible with the citizen centred objectives and enabling policies that the Executive wishes to pursue.

Equally there is widespread recognition at local, national and international levels that the 'market only' approaches to economic related policies that prevailed for much of the last two decades were deficient in two respects. First, they were prepared to tolerate unacceptable gaps in opportunity and wellbeing, many of them geographically concentrated. Secondly, these outcomes discounted the erosion in the capabilities of individuals and communities subject to income and job losses.

Economic policy was constructed as if the economy existed on the head of a pin. Area policies were regarded as being essentially about distributional issues, and geographic change, largely about displacement. The same view assumes that the costs of locational change for households are minimal; the 'get on your bike' approach to economic policy! That period of policy management largely removed issues about location from policy thinking and action. Planning was first demonised and then de-emphasised when it needed to be redirected and refashioned to deal with the market failures which surround both growth and decline processes.

The Scottish Parliament came into being on a rising wave of national awareness, but at a time of reduced spatial awareness in policy making and delivery. We need to rediscover our sense of how to create places and manage territories, in ways which serve individual and national interest to the fullest effect.

Some argue for a new emphasis on cities in national development, simply because cities are a large part of our economy and society. The more subtle argument is that the geography of our economy and society matters in shaping future prospects and that, as a hangover of last century thinking, we are currently underestimating and inhibiting the significance of cities for Scotland.

1.2 WHY SCOTLAND'S CITIES MATTER

1.2.1 Scale

The simple scale argument has some merit. Our cities, even if viewed as the economically artificial entities defined by municipal boundaries, do comprise the largest chunks of Scotland's economic and social activity. The review has identified the crucial role played by Scotland's cities in the overall economic and social vitality of the country:

  • around two thirds of Scotland's population live in the five city-regions;
  • 40% of employee jobs are located in the five city authorities;
  • cities are important centres of wealth creation. Edinburgh and Glasgow alone generate nearly a 1/3rd of Scottish GDP;
  • cities are important centres for retailing - Glasgow is the most important retail centre in the UK outside London;
  • cities are the source of much of our innovation and creativity;
  • cities contain the majority of our prestigious educational institutions;
  • cities contain a disproportionate share of high value employment. The average wage in our 3 largest cities range from between 4% and 18% higher than average wages in Scotland as a whole;
  • cities are home to a disproportionate share of both Scotland's working age people and of it's most highly qualified;
  • cities are important centres for culture, the arts and tourism.

And the cities are likely to play an even more central role in the future:

  • in 2000/01, 50% of new Scottish inward investment, chose to locate in the five cities;
  • Since 1995, 40% of new Scottish jobs have been in Edinburgh and Glasgow;
  • cities are the engine rooms for some of Scotland's most dynamic business sectors: the financial sector, biotechnology, software development, the oil & gas sector;
  • emerging evidence of individual enterprises re-locating from peripheral to city centre sites suggests that the new creative, high human capital, sectors are particularly attracted to city centre locations;
  • our city centres are becoming more attractive places to live: and have recorded increased numbers of households in the 1990's.

But the cities also exhibit problems of a unique scale and intensity:

  • over 2/3rds of the most deprived 10% of postcode sectors and nearly half of the most deprived 20% of postcode sectors are located in three of our cities;
  • residents of Glasgow and Dundee are in worse health than any other part of Scotland;
  • three of the five cities and their regions are experiencing population loss;
  • Scotland as a whole is ageing, so making it even harder for our cities to attract and retain the young people they need to power their economy and their cultural life;
  • problems of traffic congestion are particularly intense in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen;
  • cities pose sizeable environmental challenges, both with respect to resource inputs and waste outputs, though the scale of cities also makes it easier to promote sustainability through measures such as recycling and public transport.

Simply because of scale, it is clear that if our cities are successful, Scotland will be successful too, but if our cities stagnate, the rest of Scotland will suffer. There are however two other sets of arguments which emphasise the significance of our cities; they relate to geographic spread and to distinctive city characteristics.

1.2.2 Wider Reach: the City and the Region

If we were to look at a high resolution photo of Scotland taken from space after sunset we would see all too clearly the human geography of Scotland. Each point of light would represent a neighbourhood and each larger glow a suburb, town or city. We would see both how places are connected and separated. We would also see that the continuous and dense areas are quite complex in shape and extensive in area. Underlying all of this are the connections between places, for work, for shopping, for commuting. There would usually be no sharp boundaries.

It is unsurprising therefore, that there is considerable confusion regarding how we label different kinds of settlement, let alone how we define their boundaries. Neighbourhoods, towns, cities and city-regions are not always obvious natural entities. Rather these terms are used as a short-hand means of describing the geography of key human systems.

Our official conception of 'city' is somewhat fuzzy. Towns such as Perth and Elgin commonly use the title of 'city' as a survival from earlier history. Dundee acquired city status by Letters Patent in 1899, and Inverness and Stirling, both major and growing settlements, have recently been created cities by Letters Patent. By contrast, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are titled cities by common usage rather than legal enactment. Settlement 'title' is not the issue in this review, but rather how settlement scale, density and function affect Scotland's development.

Our key concern is the functional area: the commuting area, the shopping area, the housing market area, the environmental footprint. There is much merit in designing and delivering policy to be able to identify and work within such areas, which may of course change over time. The big systems influencing jobs and wellbeing seem to operate at levels below that of Scotland as a whole, but at the same time reach well beyond any single local authority. For example, the Edinburgh housing market, as defined by consumer behaviour, reaches from Hawick to Pittenweem and from Dunbar to Bathgate. We have to think about key systems in Scotland at this city-region level.

This Review has highlighted that the Executive could develop a better understanding of the geographic spread of the markets and functional systems in which it intervenes.

What is it that typifies a 'city'?

Over the last year the Executive has made major progress in articulating and then consulting upon the development of frameworks for better structure planning and has drawn attention to the potential importance of the city-regions. In recent months the Executive has published a research report indicating possible ways of defining city-regions and likely city-region patterns for the four largest cities in Scotland. The research, which considered housing market areas, travel to work areas, strategic transport links, and retail catchments, found that although the existing Structure Plan areas appear to cover the most important linkages for Dundee and Aberdeen, the influence of Glasgow and Edinburgh extends well beyond the current Structure Plan areas. For Glasgow, in addition to the existing Glasgow and Clyde Valley Structure Plan area, there are strong links with North Ayrshire and Stirling. For Edinburgh, there are strong links with Fife and Scottish Borders. The functional areas of both these cities has expanded considerably in the last decade.

Functional and formal boundaries cannot always be closely matched. However, the Review Team has heard much evidence from local authority officials that financing and co-ordination fragmentation are frustrating the key actions required for integrated change. Although there was little demand for another tier of government within Scotland, almost everybody was seeking better governance of these cross-area systems and opportunities.

Cities matter then, not only because of the scale of activity, but because they also act as the key hubs of the largest functional economies, housing markets, shopping systems etc. within the nation. Scale and range are clearly important but there is a further important aspect of 'cityness' that we have to explore. Are there aspects of city density and scale that transform the opportunities and problems we face as a nation?

1.2.3 Cityness: Distinctive City Roles

What is it that typifies a 'city'? A number of key, inter-related issues are involved:

  • population scale, both of the core and hinterland, has a positive effect on both the number and variety of private and public goods and services provided within a place;
  • the co-location of these different activities may promote beneficial synergies between them, impacting both demand and production/cost influences (broadly referred to as agglomeration economies);
  • large scale combined with pressures for access to specific, often central, locations implies high land values and, in consequence, dense development (and a dominance of the built environment over the natural);
  • density of land uses and population means high levels of interaction between adjacent land uses and land users; this means that the actions of households and firms often have significant implications for neighbours and others (cities are rich in both positive and negative spillovers or externalities);
  • proximity offers opportunities for both economic and social interactions;
  • development of interactive networks of contacts and the capacity to develop localised forms of social capital;
  • diverse economic and service activities alongside interactions which foster the development of trust and knowledge may facilitate creative behaviour when trust and co-operation are required for innovation;
  • cities may be innovation centres;
  • large population scale often means also diversity of interest, age and ethnic groups and this can contribute to social and cultural creativity, however, large scale without interaction may also facilitate anti-social behaviour, crime and loneliness; and
  • large populations combined with income differences and housing market processes can lead to the sharp separation of different income groups, and where discrimination is allowed to prevail, also of religious and ethnic groups; but large scale also gives different choices to similar income households.

Compared to smaller settlements we would expect cities to be more diverse, more innovative, more internally differentiated and more dominated by the built environment. It is clear from the bullet points above that 'city', whether core city or city-region, offers a number of positive and negative attributes, and to achieve our objectives they have to be managed.

It is also clear from the above why a short term, 'free-market' policy will fail in cities and unnecessarily erode national competitiveness and cohesion:

  • firstly, the proximity and repeated interaction of different activities and household types means that spillover effects are a fundamental and not incidental aspect of city living and this implies the need for collective or community action;
  • secondly, it is clear that economic and social behaviour are not separated but that economic progress is embedded in local social arrangements: social patterns influence cohesion and exclusion and they in turn may influence trust, flexibility and innovation as well as the quality of governance. They shape more or less low transaction cost societies, influencing co-operation, innovation and change. The interaction of the business and science communities in our cities was important a century ago and it is still vital today. Alternatively, the probability of a teenager succeeding in school or the job market will be heavily influenced by the behaviour of their local peer group; that peer group will be very different on a sink estate from more socially mixed locations; and
  • thirdly, it is clear that where things are, where they are located, makes a difference to how a city will develop. For example, if some overall level of unemployment is dispersed across a city then it is less likely to have negative, reinforcing effects on local neighbourhood change, than if it is concentrated into a small number of areas. Such concentrations are likely to generate higher unemployment rates and higher rates of property vacancy and land abandonment.

This argument leads to two conclusions. Firstly, we need a better informed developmental view on how our cities are changing. We need to get away from the inheritance of policy thinking that ignores market failures and social interactions. This approach denied the real nature of cities, viewing policy interventions as mere palliatives for the 'problematic inner city'. We need a more integrated view of the city, the city-region and the nation.

Secondly, the absence of such a growth-oriented view in recent decades may well have needlessly damaged the wellbeing not only of the cities but also the nation. We should, whilst continuing to acknowledge the real problems in our cities, shift our perception from cities as places of inevitable decay, decline and disadvantage and also recognise their competitive, creative and transformational capacities.

This is a challenge for the cities too. They have to stop presenting themselves as the victims of global change and recognise that they have to promote their creativity and raise their flexibility. Places have a capacity to create change. There is a great paradox in all of this, and it is that if we want to understand how to succeed in the global economy we have to be more effective locally; competing with 'them' out 'there' means that we have to be better 'here'.

We have in Scotland two cities of European significance (the European Union included only Glasgow and Edinburgh as Scotland's 'cities' in their 1999 Urban Audit). Both are changing in positive ways, both enjoying elements of renaissance for more than a decade, and possibly two. We also have two other established, smaller functional cities that have had contrasting fortunes over the last quarter of a century. Now we have two further smaller designated cities, which really have the functional characteristics of larger towns.

The Executive would benefit from recognising the scale, reach and transformational roles of larger settlements. This reflects the new emphasis the Executive has set out on achieving higher level integrated outcomes in relation to prosperity, inequality and the environment.

1.3 CITY INTERESTS FOR THE EXECUTIVE

The success of Scotland as a nation will depend in part on how effective Executive policies are in targeting and addressing city problems and opportunities. It will also depend on the extent to which cities themselves are allowed to be, and seek to be, creative, so that change is not always led from 'outside' or 'above'.

The Executive has then a number of clear policy interests in the cities. Firstly, there is the pervasive and difficult question of how the locational structure of activities and policies can best achieve the national interest. Secondly, there is an inevitable interest in imbalances in growth and decline and in inequalities of income, opportunity and environment between different cities as well as within each one. Thirdly, there is the need to identify the monopolies, market failures and organisational inefficiencies in providing market and public services for city residents and businesses.

The Executive recognises that much, but not all, city activity is best provided by market-led systems. Evidence suggests, however, that government has a role to play in city development, to give businesses and households a clearer geographic framework to work in to reduce risks and uncertainties.

The Executive is evolving a new approach to city issues. That approach has a number of key facets. First, the broad thrust of much city policy is to enable city markets to work more effectively, and this is to recognise markets as a tool rather than an ideology. Second, it is important to promote subsidiarity in public decision making, so that power and decisions are devolved to the most local levels consistent with efficient management. This means key city roles for local government and communities within their areas.

The importance of mixed public-private, multi-level government partnerships is now widely recognised in delivering regeneration programmes, but it may also have to apply to wider city-region strategies and policy-making (and this report discusses these issues in Chapter 8). However, good strategy and effective policy-making also require central governments to play their part, enabling more local agencies to perform effectively.

The review has identified a number of important issues for the Executive if it wishes to develop effective, coherent approaches to the development of cities and city-regions.

1.3.1 Leading a new understanding

In the Review, it was clear that cities and others were looking to the Executive to develop a more coherent framework for planning city, area and neighbourhood policies. There was also some criticism that, whilst recognising that important reserved powers in taxation and benefits rested at Westminster, the Executive could do more to shape the city implications of reserved power changes. For instance, there is a widespread perception in Scotland that the tax powers changes in the 2001 budget to help disadvantaged city areas had received little consideration in Scotland and had emerged from English city pressures and perceptions. Local authorities and community groups in Scotland wish to see the Executive engage in shaping these changes to Scottish conditions. In short, the Executive is perceived as requiring a coherent integrated framework for city action, which integrates up to Westminster and Europe as well as down to cities and communities.

Any new framework would need to be based on comprehensive and accurate information. The experience of conducting this review emphasised that much basic information about our cities and city-regions has to be revealed by detective work rather than sophisticated databases or smart mapping. It could be argued that there needs to be a coherent strategy for managing and analysing spatial data. This would contribute to an improvement in the understanding of where policies impact and what they achieve.

The Executive could think about cities as a whole more often, though we often think about bits of them in isolation. Some areas of public policy have adopted explicit spatial strategies prioritising activities and resources according to need - Communities Scotland and the National Health Service post-Arbuthnott. Often this is a response to the geography of deprivation. Other areas are much less explicit - enterprise, education, higher education, transport, arts and culture. Ambiguity about the role of cities, tension between top-down and bottom-up approaches and lack of consistency of geographical actions are commonplace.

1.3.2 Confronting Fixities, Making Strategies

In the medium term, the emphasis of government is rightly on achieving more effective programme and service delivery, and this requires monitoring information. However in the long term and in contexts of change it is also vital that information and analysis are used to inform strategic choices. Strategic choices will be at the nub of how effective the Executive will be in shaping Scotland in the longer term. These decisions are inherently difficult, not just politically and financially, but also technically.

The, often unrecognised, challenge for modern governments is that they have to make the 'fixed' decisions in a world in which competition, change and flexibility are essential for success. Faced with that hail of change, government can facilitate more flexible systems and markets, most obviously in the areas of education, skills and the labour market. But other important decisions are inevitably fixed once they are made. Physical infrastructure is the most obvious example: once built, costly roads, sewers, cables and homes cannot be relocated if demand shifts. These are expensive, fixed assets.

We cannot provide new infrastructure everywhere. In consequence government has an obligation to understand where the best opportunities for change seem to be, accepting that some mistakes are inevitable. This, as argued below, requires informed, shared vision about where to develop and clear investment priorities to reflect these beliefs. Failure to take this approach will leave a fragmented geography of potentially missed opportunities with no scale and momentum: condemning households and firms to operate in a geography driven by a tyranny of small decisions.

It would be wrong for territorial management by the Executive to consist only of encouragement to more and better partnerships at lower governance levels and more effective targeting of mainstream Executive resources on poorer areas. Both are needed, but so also are major strategic infrastructure decisions. This review makes clear that we need both a new role and content for planning in the flexible economy. The Review of Strategic Planning suggests the way forward.

The Executive should continue setting out the broad framework for Scotland, and it must do so in consultation with cities, city-regions and other territorial interests. There has to be, at that level, a shared vision for Scotland. But at the city and city-region level, it is local government that has to lead the vision process: local subsidiarity and creativity are important. Of course, national and locally driven visions for our city-regions and cities have to converge if resources are to be most effectively deployed. This convergence requires a two-way dialogue. In recent years it has been commonplace for the Executive, and or its agencies, to be represented as delivery partners on city-wide and local partnerships and thus contribute to local vision formation, and this approach should continue. However such approaches are rarely used at the city-region level and there is no regular discussion of strategy between cities/city-regions and the Executive about the nation's overall economic and social development strategies. Shared vision will require new channels for city-regions to review, plan, act and negotiate with government if top-down and bottom-up alignment is to take place. The key issue for the Executive is how cities and city-regions can contribute to the delivery of national objectives and aims.

1.3.3 Linking Executive Efforts Locally

It is not enough that strategic visions are aligned, but there must also be effective integration of programmes and policies at the point of delivery. It is not enough to have the Executive, department by department (or silo by silo) link with local and community initiatives. Delivery has to be locally integrated.

Arguably it has been the laudable, strong commitment of the last few years to pursue more cross-sectoral policies, to achieve more complex or higher level goals, which has brought the Scottish Executive into rethinking the role of 'place'. Changing approaches to 'area regeneration' illustrate this well. In particular there is a new willingness to choreograph different sectoral policies in different ways, so that broader objectives can be achieved. 'Joined-up' action must occur at the local scale of local authorities and communities. Integrated delivery is achieved in homes, streets, neighbourhoods and cities. Improving Executive policy delivery in Scotland requires more effective local delivery.

The Executive has promoted Community Planning as a framework for integrating strategies and delivery across different sectors, activities and levels. However there is still work to do to achieve effective Community Planning and to link community to land-use plans, and indeed align community planning with a range of territorial interests.

1.3.4 Resourcing Localities

The Executive influences resources available within cities and city-regions in a number of ways. Most important of these is the support provided through mainstream programmes of expenditure, often channelled through agencies such as Scottish Enterprise, Communities Scotland and the Health Boards. The Review noted the need for such patterns of expenditure to be available in the public domain at different spatial scales. Finance for local government, either to provide revenue subsidies or to fund or facilitate capital investment, is also of great significance. Everyone involved could be clearer about both the geographic impacts and the outputs and outcomes of local government spending. Although the review looked at a wide range of issues, including finance for example, it does not make specific recommendations on reform of local government finance, organisation or boundaries.

Understanding, strategy, delivery and resources have to be the key concerns in improving the territorial management of Scotland, not just for the cities and the city-regions but for smaller towns and dispersed rural areas as well. When we are seeking to improve the functioning of our cities, the issue is not then simply about increasing local government budgets. It is about understanding what we are doing, and why. It is about aligning Executive interests and resources, including those of agencies and quangos, with more local interests and budgets. It is about ensuring that regulation and planning are consistent with spending policies. It involves good local government and governance structures, capable staff and adequate information systems. Finally, it requires the Executive and the Parliament to perhaps take a broader and longer view of how Scotland can develop than it has done to date.

1.4 WHAT CITIES DO WE WANT AND WHY

What kinds of cities does Scotland and the Executive want? Without identifying specific visions for the future, the Review Team identified some very general guidelines for the kinds of cities that we should be aiming for.

What cities do we want?

We need to raise productivity and competitiveness in our cities, to develop skills and science capacities; the vision has to embrace cities creating change, ready to change. We need to remove infrastructure constraints to facilitate development and movement; the vision has to be of well connected cities, and cities with a capacity to expand to raise Scottish population and potential.

Within these cities the vision has to be of better and better for all homes and stronger communities that are supportive and secure. Closing the gaps within and between the cities should be pursued, but in a way that fosters rather than reduces environmental justice and sustainability.

All of this, more affluent, more just and more sustainable cities are possible. To achieve this, good governance, with more room for 'voice' as well as 'vision' may need a re-invigoration of local forms of democracy.

And for those involved in the policy process at all levels, our aim should be to have the best city and territorial management approaches, first in Britain, and then in the European Union.

1.5 THE ROLE AND SHAPE OF THE REPORT

We need a view of Scotland, that is a geographic view, that is a forward view, a vision. But we also need to start forward, to connect, to manage policy and to deliver local change that meets the nation's needs. As we do so there is a lot to build on. The chapters that follow make clear how UK Government and Executive policies over the last decade have had a marked positive effect on our cities and that some of the organisational infrastructure for city policy inherited from the Scottish Office is effective and works well. Over the last few years urban policymakers and practitioners throughout the UK have heard much of the reflections of the Urban Task Force, albeit that it focused only on English city experience in its analysis and recommendations. However there is much independent research evidence that suggests that Scotland's cities have been change leaders in urban regeneration and renaissance and that we have an inheritance of experience to build on.

The Executive has already begun to develop a modern synthesis of approaches to territorial or local management within Scotland. This review, in conjunction with the recent views of structure planning and neighbourhood renewal and rural policy thinking, will do much to expand the mosaic of geographic thinking for Scotland.

This introduction has already explained why the review focuses on the major concentrations of population, the cities, and their relations with their key functional hinterlands and the broad relations between these cities. It takes the wider view, and it also takes the longer view. The review is intended as a starting point for debate as well as a mechanism for identifying some immediate actions that already command wide support. The review also recognises different time periods for action, as not everything is physically or financially possible in short periods of time. It is vital to make a start on some of these long-term issues and we signal immediate, medium and long term actions.

The review is not simply a re-run of every Scottish issue in a city context. Rather we try to focus on the issues which have a particular salience for cities as opposed to other forms of settlement. We do not set out to lobby for cities and their resources, that is for others to do. This is not a costed plan for the cities but an identification and exploration of issues which the Executive has to face in fulfilling broader goals. It is likely to require action by local government, community organisations, the private sector and citizens as well as Executive spending and regulation.

The report of the Review Team considers in the subsequent chapters some of the key issues confronting Scotland's cities. In sequence, successive chapters examine:

  • The broad patterns of demographic change in Scotland's cities
  • Economic change and cities as places to work and learn
  • Our cities as places to live, homes and neighbourhoods
  • Lively cities, to visit, shop and relax
  • Connections in our cities
  • Justice and sustainability in city environments
  • Delivering change: governance, planning, and finance
  • A summary of the key conclusions.