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Inventing a city region: From Teesside to Tees Valley to Teescity

Latham, M; (2005) Inventing a city region: From Teesside to Tees Valley to Teescity. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access


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Recent burgeoning interest in city regions (CRs) among academics and policy makers has taken a step-change in the UK in the form of The Northern Way, an economic growth strategy explicitly predicated on eight CRs. This paper looks critically at how the CR approach applies to the Tees Valley, a CR without a dominant core city. What is the CR approach as set out in the Northern Way and does the concept make sense in the particular (polycentric) context of the Tees Valley What is it likely to achieve, what are the pitfalls and what are the practical policies and actions that follow from this The paper begins by analyzing the evolution of the CR as a concept in academic and policy discourse, exploring the role of cities in the global economy, regional competitiveness, territorial cohesion and governance issues. Different forms of CR are considered and also the practical usefulness of the concept. Section 3 examines the Northern Way approach to CRs. Section 4 explores the CR concept in the specific social, cultural, historical, economic, spatial and political context of the Tees Valley. The concept is shown to be an emerging but still slippery and ill-defined area of research, being shaped as much by politically-motivated initiatives such as the Core Cities Working Group and the Northern Way as by academic debate. It is tentatively concluded that the Tees Valley does indeed represent a form of polycentric CR and that conceptualising the area as a CR has several potential benefits: generating meaningful economic analyses, workable governance structures, effective strategic plan-making and a clear shared vision of the future. However, significant barriers to success remain: resistance to the Tees Valley 'brand', current negative perceptions of the area and dispute about the desirability or plausibility of creating a 'core city' for the CR.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Inventing a city region: From Teesside to Tees Valley to Teescity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1569293
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