Good Growth for Cities 2018

Date of the report

November 2018

Author of the report

PWC and Demos

Purpose of the report

A report from PWC and Demos looks at urban economic wellbeing across the UK. It analyses how places are performing, measured by an index of “good growth” that takes a broader view of what constitutes economic success.The Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index was developed in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis in response to the growing sense that people needed more from their leaders than an improvement in GDP. Factors like health, housing affordability and the environment need to be considered alongside jobs, skills and incomes when we think about good growth.

Ten years on, this year’s Good Growth for Cities Index explores the drivers of long term improvement in good growth across the UK, as well as tracking progress since last year. The analysis shows that over this ten year period, the average city in their index has improved its good growth score significantly, more than recovering from the decline associated with the recession triggered by the global financial crisis.

What SWM likes

PWC calls it ‘good growth,’ we might call it ‘sustainable growth.’ Either way, it is reassuring that both an influential organisation like PWC is keeping track of sustainable growth via its index, and that generally the story is a positive one – sustainable growth is now being considered more in decision making and in implementation on the ground.

PWC’s analysis also includes various sustainability metrics, including environment, health and transport, recognising that growth is not just about becoming richer and improving GDP. The findings of this report supplement the analysis SWM carried out in both 2015 and 2017 as part of our Fit for the Future series, looking at how Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and Combined Authorities are performing on sustainability, embracing a low carbon economy and tackling climate change. Whilst there are some similar results in Fit for the Future and in this analysis by PWC, there are also some interesting differences.

We recognise that in both reports, the West Midlands could perform better. We are committed to supporting our LEPs (for example through the development of their energy strategies) and the West Midlands Combined Authority to ensure our region is leading the way in good and sustainable growth.

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Good Growth for Cities 2018