Urban economic growth focus for Policy Scotland lunchtime seminar

Policy Scotland was delighted to host another in its series of University of Glasgow lunchtime seminars with the topic of urban economic growth.

Dr David Waite, Research Fellow with Policy Scotland and Urban Studies, gave a paper entitled For modest explanations of urban economic growth.

The starting point was the emerging narrative around the actual and latent growth potentials of city -regions.  There are attempts to focus on single factors to explain urban growth  – such as the skilled city and the creative city – but , economic geographers suggest that a multiplicity of structures, processes and events sit behind the origin and subsequent cultivation of specific urban growth trajectories.

In his paper David argued that, given the complexity of this challenge, it is wise to retain a sense of modesty in the explanations we put forward.  He also suggested that critical realism provides a useful starting point to seek to advance explanations about trajectories of urban growth. In fact, critical realism,  when thoroughly worked through, and  with a layered ontology at its core – coupled with recent literature providing greater guidance for empirical application – may present many explanatory virtues.

If you would like a copy of the presentation slides please contact David Waite David.Waite@glasgow.ac.uk