Author Archives: Patrick Willcocks

How Greater Manchester overtook the West Midlands

This is a simple and short post. All the discussions recently about how Greater Manchester is enhancing its joint working yet further compared to the slow but tentative progress on joint working in the West Midlands started me thinking – well how have these two powerhouses been doing in recent years. The graph below is […]

How should Birmingham react to a Global Report on Climate Change

Has it happened to you? You realised you have missed an important document in your field? Well it happened to me when I was listening to Albert Bore giving his Brussels speech in October 2014  on how cities and regions can lead in the response to climate change. Now I don’t think this is a […]

Our Cities need our Universities

There was a welcome report last week from the City Growth Commission on the importance of Universities for the UK’s largest Metros and what Universities and Cities  could do to increase their importance and linkages to their local economies. The link to the  ‘UniverCities: The Knowledge to Power UK Metros report‘ is here. Let me say […]

EU OpenDays 2014 – 12th European week of Regions and Cities

Just got back from this annual event and thought I would briefly summarise my experiences and thoughts. Well the sessions are mainly about EU Structural funds or as they are generally known now as ESIF. The trouble was for this year we are right at the end of one period and right at the beginning […]

Fascinating Event coming up: The Cross Innovation Conference October16th/17th

This event which has both great European speakers but also a hands on Blender event will look at how the Creative Industries can assist other sectors to Innovate. To book your place go to

Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone: An Innovative Financing Experiment

Over many years there has been much debate about greater freedoms and flexibilities around cities financing of major urban regeneration projects. This is a current debate with the work of the City Growth Commission in its recent publication ‘Connected Cities: The Link to Growth ‘ which calls for wide ranging empowerment of English cities. One of […]

City of Colours – Birmingham

A few images from the great City of Colours Street Art Festival in Birmingham held last weekend.  Well worth a wander round Digbeth!

Is Greater Birmingham connected and contributing to the debate on the future of English Cities

Today another important report has been published on the role of cities in the English economy by the City Growth Commission. The report titled Connected Cities: The link to growth argues that investment in infrastructure in UK has historically been low compared to our competitor countries and argues that a focussed approach on investment in […]

Innovation Districts: A new concept with applicability to Birmingham

I went to a really interesting talk recently in London given by Bruce Katz  (@bruce_katz) from the Brookings Institute hosted by the Centre for London. He talked about his report ‘The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in the USA co written with Julie Wagner (@wagnerjk).   These Innovation Districts are urban centres where innovative […]

Cities and Regions at EU Open Days

This is just a short post to let you know about a fantastic event that happens every year in Brussels – EU Open Days – where cities and regions and a range of experts get to talk about how they are investing EU structural funds but also to consider deeper things like the review of […]

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Professeur-Chercheur à l’ESSEC, Conférencière, Consultante


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Urbanism, Smart Cities, Innovation, Climate Change, Creativity and National and European Policy


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