Cities, Research, Urban Futures and the Political Response

Claire Craig, Mike Emmerich, Eleri Jones, Gavin Kelly and Nick Pearce

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There’s probably never been a better time for research about cities. Programmes ranging from the three-year Foresight Future of Cities programme to the current work on Urban Transformations and the Urban Living Partnerships (funded by all the UK Research Councils) – as well as research programmes led by thinks tanks and other research bodies – have created a major evidence base and policy proposals about cities to 2050 and have also addressed more pressing local needs around transport, skills and devolution, among other areas. What happens to this research? What happens in government and what might be done to improve the research/ policy-making process? What lessons can we learn from the ways that research has informed policy across other areas of government? Gavin Kelly (former deputy chief of staff Number 10 and now Chief Executive of the Resolution Trust) chairs a discussion with Claire Craig (former deputy Government Office for Science; now Royal Society), Mike Emmerich (MetroDynamics), Eleri Jones (ex-Foresight programme on future of cities), and Nick Pearce (Director of the Institute for Policy Research and former director of the Institute for Public Policy Research).

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