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Building Better Cities: Delivering Growth and Opportunities

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Building Better Cities: Delivering Growth and Opportunities

OUR INDIVIDUAL CITIES: RECOGNISING DISTINCTIVENESS

Our cities are as different as they are important. Their differences reflect their history, geography, people and economies. There is much we are getting right, but there are also major and very different challenges in each of our cities.

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The Cities Review's audit of the "health" of cities reminds us how much we are collectively getting right:

  • Since the mid-1990s, all our cities can point to significant sectors and areas of growth; and almost all have been performing well, in terms of household growth, economic growth, and inward investment;
  • Scotland's cities have performed well in UK terms;
  • Glasgow has experienced a higher rate of job formation than any city;
  • Dundee and Inverness have developed new knowledge industries, complementing traditional sectors;
  • Edinburgh and Aberdeen are near full employment;
  • Many of the problems reflect success - traffic congestion and house price inflation;
  • A key challenge is to manage that success, and where possible spread the benefits of growth more widely;
  • Inverness has an increasing role as "capital" of the Highlands and Islands.

Nonetheless, all of the five cities have complex problems and opportunities. They exhibit problems of a unique intensity:

  • They are home to the majority of Scotland's most deprived communities;
  • Residents of Glasgow and Dundee are in worse health than those of any other part of Scotland;
  • Aberdeen and Dundee are experiencing significant population loss;
  • Problems of traffic congestion are particularly intense in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen;
  • Cities pose sizeable environmental challenges, both with respect to resource inputs and waste outputs, but also represent opportunities to enhance waste management, recycling etc.

Even a brief summary of the achievements and challenges in our cities makes clear that each of Scotland's cities is different. Each is facing its own unique challenges in its own distinctive way. The way forward must reflect the particular needs and opportunities of each of our cities and frame policy accordingly. Our cities are not in competition; neither are they competing with rural areas. All Scotland's cities have successes to be proud of; all the cities have challenges that need to be addressed.

CITY FACT-FILE

Aberdeen

Dundee

Edinburgh

Glasgow

Inverness

Scotland

Population

212,000

145,000

449,000

579,000

55,000

5,064,000

Population change 1981-2001

3.9%

-19.4%

2.7%

-24. 4%

34% from 1970s

-1.3%

Projected population change to 2016

-11%

-19%

+4%

-4%

-3%*

-2%

Change in number of jobs since 1995

-1%

-6%

+9%

+10%

-4%*

+7%

People in paid employment (2002)

82%

76%

81%

68%

84%*

78.5%

Average weekly wage (2002)

494

409

465

419

375*

403

Unemployment rate

2.1%

6.1%

3.1%

5.9%

3.4%

4%

Proportion of Scotland's deprived postcode sectors (1998 index)

0%

5%

5%

58%

0%

100%

S4 pupils gaining 5+ awards at level 5 or better

32%

23%

33%

21%

36%

33%

S4 Pupils stay on rate to S5

63%

54%

62%

54%

71%

64%

Residents with a degree

22%

11%

25%

13%

16%

13%

Projected traffic growth by 2021

34%

22%

30%

24%

37%*

27%

Proportion of Scotland's vacant or derelict land

1%

3%

2%

13%

N/A

100%

Proportion of owner occupied

58%

53%

69%

46%

67%*

62%

households

Neighbourhood Satisfaction(% very satisfied)

54%

55%

58%

44%

64%

59%

Houses with poor National Home Energy Ratings (1996)

18%

27%

15%

20%

14%

17%

Tourist spending (2000)

186m

62m

877m

748m

230m

4,448m

Households with access to a car

62%

51%

59%

41%

73%*

64%

Proportion of city area which is greenspace

26%

22%

38%

23%

N/A

N/A

Proportion of waste recycled (2000/01)

3.6%

7.4%

5.5%

3.4%

2.0%*

6.0%

* Data for Highland Region, in the absence of available data for Inverness City.


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