Most of the world’s population lives in city-regions and more than 80% of global GDP is generated in these places. Cities consume close to two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  

Regional economies face significant uncertainty as new business models and technologies continue to transform the conditions of production and the global distribution of economic activity. Simultaneously, an increasing focus on the regional devolution of resources and decision making is creating significant opportunities for city-regions to take greater control of their economic growth. 

The growth of these city-regions can only be sustainable and beneficial to all if we can increase productivity and enable innovation to combat the challenges of transport and energy infrastructures, affordable housing and basic services. 

The City Region Economic and Development Institute (City REDI) at the University of Birmingham is focused on developing an academic understanding of major city regions across the globe to develop practical policy which better informs and influences regional and national economic growth policies. 

The Institute has strong ties with academics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), centred on innovations in modelling these city-regions and developing these to apply to the West Midlands in the UK, and beyond. 

City-REDI is working with colleagues at the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) to develop an updated version of a place-based diagnostics model that was developed with funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority. This version will push the research frontier and replace some of the limitations of similar models. 

Read the City REDI blog:

  • The Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) UIUC is a regional science research center for advanced graduate students in the fields of economics, geography, urban and regional planning, computer science and mathematics.