Cities are where we are at our best, and worst; cities are home to many of our proudest achievements, but are also where our biggest challenges are to be faced. Problems – including inequality, crime and violence, environmental degradation – thrive as much as learning and culture. The social challenges facing cities are likely to be exacerbated in the next two years due to the global economic recession, which will lead to rising unemployment, greater demands on public services and tighter public finances. In Europe, where over 70 per cent of the population now live in urban areas, creativity and innovation are central to addressing the challenges cities face. Europe’s cities need entrepreneurship and innovation to secure their long-term economic, cultural and social prosperity.
The report is authored by Geoff Mulgan and Charles Leadbeater, established international experts in social innovation and creativity, and Rushanara Ali, Alessandra Buonfino and Lauren Kahn. It provides a unique resource for anyone working in the field of city policy – policy makers, consultants, public employees, workers in the arts or education sectors, NGOs, or simply private individuals committed to improving city lives.
‘Breakthrough Cities’ was commissioned by the British Council from the Young Foundation.