Report: Growing Cities

By: Matt Griffith and Pete Jefferys  Published: July 2015

England has successful cities with booming labour markets, growing populations and new businesses. However, too often these same cities are failing to build enough new homes to accommodate their success. Unless we devolve powers and budgets to our cities, young workers and families will be priced out. There is a better approach.


Cities will be the engines of our future jobs, new businesses and economic growth. Yet many English cities face the same worrying problem: too often economic success is matched with a failure to build enough new homes.

In 2014, IPPR and Shelter visited and talked to four economically successful mid-sized English cities at the forefront of these housing pressures: York, Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol. At present their growing economies are being held back by chronic housing pressures.

To combat this weakness, these cities need to build many new homes within attractive new communities, but our analysis shows that currently they are falling far short of what is required.

If our most economically buoyant areas cannot deliver the new homes they need, there is little hope of England meeting its housing supply challenge. But conversely, growing cities also represent our greatest hope of doing things better. They can pioneer a new approach.


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