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Despite the uncertainties of Brexit, London continues to be rated as a leading location in Europe and the world for business, knowledge, and talent. But 30 years ago, when London had no citywide government, a transport system in crisis, and no successful track record of continuous large-scale upgrades to the urban fabric, this scenario would have seemed highly unlikely. In this essay we examine how London's unpromising 1980s gave rise to three decades of reinvestment and we explain how the European Investment Bank played an essential catalytic role in successive cycles of London's evolution from an under-governed de-populating national capital into a diverse global centre benefiting from integrated urban systems management.
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About the Author
Professor Greg Clark CBE is an honorary professor at University College London and Chairman of The Business of Cities, an urban intelligence firm that works in more than 100 cities worldwide each year. He holds thought-leadership roles at The Brookings Institution, the Urban Land Institute, and JLL Cities Research Centre, and is a Board Member of Transport for London and the London LEP. He is author of ten books including Global Cities: A Short History (Brookings Press), and London 1991–2021, The Making of a World City. With a PhD from the University of Bristol, Tim Moonen is responsible for the strategic management of The Business of Cities research and advisory projects. He has co-authored more than 50 reports, books and chapters on global city competitiveness, governance and performance. Jake Nunley is a lead researcher at The Business of Cities. He studied at the University of Cambridge and Harvard University.