“How Europe’s industrial cities bounced back from the brink of ruin.”


Reusing what’s already there, re-skilling people … recycle, remake and regrow … but nowhere is it explained how TIF-driven campaign financing makes it all possible.

How Europe’s industrial cities bounced back from the brink of ruin, by Anne Power (The Conversation)

From Sheffield to Torino, Lille to Leipzig, Belfast to Bilbao, Europe’s industrial cities are no strangers to hard times. Faced with depleted resources, plummeting populations and urban degradation, these cities struggled to round a corner. But somehow, around the turn of the century they recovered and began to flourish. The 2008 bank crash and the eurozone crisis dented their progress, but couldn’t stall it completely.

I have spent the last 20 years seeking to understand how the cities of Europe’s industrial heartlands backed away from the brink of ruin and recaptured their former glory. I discovered a strong common thread of industrial collapse, reinvestment and pulling through in spite of austerity …

 … All these cities rely heavily on small and medium-sized enterprises, many of which survived the industrial crisis. This model of small-scale survival and reinvention has served the “weak market cities” well. Their populations have slowly recovered, jobs have returned and they have found new ways of making and doing which reuses what is already there – starting with their civic infrastructure, and spreading to poorer neighbourhoods. They are re-skilling their people, as well as restoring their homes.

Along the way, the shrinkage in global resources, the urgency of climate change, the potential of green energy illustrates the need for the circular economy – where we only take out what can be restored. Europe’s former industrial cities are developing new ways to recycle, remake and regrow, as well as pioneering renewable technologies. For the world’s smallest continent, these cities are the future.