The Post-Crash City – theories, policies, and prospects **for urban communities in the wake of the global financial crisis*

*a symposium, University of Manchester, **September 24-25, 2010* **

*The event is hosted by the University of Manchester and supported by the
Hallsworth Fund, the Institute for Political and Economic Governance (IPEG),
and the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Change (CRESC).***

The financial crisis of 2007-2009 is the biggest shock to have hit the
global economy since the Great Depression.

The collapse and government takeover or rescue of leading international
financial institutions in the US and Europe pointed to a systemic failure of
‘sophisticated self-regulating markets’ which was an essential component of
the Greenspan doctrine of fiscal laissez-faire that underpinned not only US
economic policy but that of the international financial community as whole.

But if the events of recent years point to a global crisis in the operation
of the international finance system, the crisis has a much longer history
and much wider implications than the investment-banking sector.

At the heart of this broader crisis of global capitalism are cities, and the
billions of people who now live and work in them.

Nearly all US sub-prime mortgage loans were sold to low-income urban and
suburban householders. High levels of business failures and unemployment are
compounding an already difficult situation for city administrations that
face record levels of debt and heavily reduced tax revenues. Federal and
national governments appear to lack the will or the resources to ‘bail out
the cities’ in the way they have the banks and ‘strategically important’

As national governments gear up for a sustained period of major retrenchment
which will impact heavily on public services and those dependent on public
sector jobs and contracts in the world’s towns and cities, this symposium
will explore whether we are entering a new phase in the governance and
political life of cities in which both state-centric and market-centric
models are seen as inadequate to the challenges that cities and their
populations face in the decades ahead.

The symposium will therefore focus on three key themes:

·         What impact has the global financial crisis had particularly on
‘second tier’ cities and urban regions such as Manchester and the North-West
of England?

·         How is the crisis of private capital investment and public sector
spending cuts affecting the governance and economic viability of cities?

·         What are the actually existing alternatives to market-based urban
governance in different national contexts and what are the prospects for a
wider diffusion of alternative models in the core economies of the United
Kingdom and the United States?

This event will take place at the Chancellors Hotel and Conference centre on
the 24th and 25th September. If you would like to attend this conference
there are a limited number of places and these will be allocated on a first
come, first served basis, so please complete the attached registration form
and forward back to If you require
accommodation then please let me know and I will be happy to make some

Best wishes

Stacey Vigars
Centre Secretary
Centre for Research in Socio-Cultural Change
University of Manchester
178 Waterloo Place
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Tel: 0161 275 8985
Fax: 0161 275 8986

About: Robert Grimm

All over Europe, cities are faced with the challenge of using cultural resources to re-position their city in an increasingly culturally and economically diversified European space. Related to this is a clear recognition of the growing importance of cultural resources for economic and community development. This produces new opportunities and challenges for local cultural planning and management. In order to fully exploit the innovative and supportive role of culture in European urban development, it will be necessary to develop a new socially and culturally sensitive professionalism, able to cross the boundaries between the arts, design, urban and spatial planning, public policy and the market, artistic creativity and cultural management. The MA in European Urban Cultures offers a specialist programme aimed at graduate students from Europe and elsewhere with undergraduate degrees in subject areas such as the social sciences; cultural and leisure studies; art, design and architecture; urban theory and planning; cultural marketing and management. The course is also targeted at professionals and administrators eager for the latest experiences, ideas and insights in urban cultural policy.