Unleashing the potential of the UK's cities - RSA report - RSA

Unleashing the potential of the UK's cities


  • Democracy and governance
  • Economy

Our cities are magnets for skills and culture, business and growth.

They have long been the wellspring of innovation and progress and the bellwether of economic and societal success. And this is true now more than ever in a world that is 55 percent urban. Cities are the means through which we reach more lives, more quickly, than through any other form of human organisation.

But the UK economy is stalled. The social fabric is frayed. And the planet is depleted. This is not the endowment we would want the next generation to inherit, economically, socially or ecologically. To avoid that fate we will need to act, at scale and speed, to reinvest in all these of these systems.

A great many of the UK’s great cities are hives of activity, hubs of culture, mechanisms of delivery, envied around the world. Yet so much of their potential remains untapped. There is huge scope for them to add dynamism to our economies, cohesiveness to our communities, redemption to our environment. The long-term dividends from doing so are enormous. The practical question is - how it is to be done?

This report seeks to provide practical and implementable answers to that question. It is the culmination of 12 months’ work by the Urban Futures Commission which we had the honour to co-chair. It has drawn on contributions from an outstanding set of fellow Commissioners, partners and staff, in a joint initiative between the RSA and Core Cities UK.

Download the UK Urban Futures Commission report and annexes below:

pdf 9.2 MB

UK Urban Futures Commission

Unlocking the potential of UK cities, to drive economic, social and environmental improvements for people and for the country.

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