This paper provides an overview and synthesis of debates pertaining to the development of city-regions and their applicability to the UK space economy. The purpose is to make links to advance both international academic debates and realpolitik policy knowledge concerns. The paper, firstly, traces the multifarious and at times disconnected academic discussions around the concepts of regionalism, city-regionalism and localism in the UK. Secondly, it considers the contemporary academic debates on the city-region, focusing in particular on those applicable to the current UK policy context. Given that city-regions are increasingly seen as the principal (and often unquestioned) consolidating spatial scale for economic and social development, the paper, thirdly, probes on the silent and missing aspects of the prescribed city-region approach, connecting and contributing in turn to concerns with building inclusive-growth.
Published: January 2016