the difference a crisis makes
The 1990s began with a major recession and geo-political shifts which focused policy on making cities better. Major problems included an emerging urban underclass, deferred infrastructure investment, and significantly more costly natural disasters. The OECD dramatically expanded its capacity to cope with urban policy. Europe took more of the lead in innovative strategies for cities, including on urban regeneration and governance. The decade ended on a more optimistic note, anticipating future growth. Policy and investment have not caught up with the acceleration of spatial change. Although the 1990s introduces the key themes of the book, it also highlights how different were the reactions of governments then, when urban policy gained a degree of importance it now seems to lack.
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