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Bridget’s new book looks at ‘Reinventing London’

Bridget’s new book looks at ‘Reinventing London’

Volterra’s senior partner Bridget Rosewell’s new book 'Reinventing London' will be launched this month at the Festival of Economics in Bristol. The book is part of the 'Perspectives' series of books edited by Diane Coyle: essays on big ideas by leading writers given free rein to reframe an issue of great contemporary interest. Bridget asks how London’s economy might be developed after the financial crisis, and explores how future success will depend on several factors working together and include a substantial investment in infrastructure. Read more about the book and buy your own copy here.
Air Transport and the Economy

Air Transport and the Economy

Ellie Evans spoke at the GARS Workshop on “The Effects of Air Transport on the Economy – How can we Evaluate Them?” The workshop was held at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Geneva and Ellie spoke on the topic of lessons learnt from High Speed Rail in the UK and their application to aviation. She spoke about the need for models to be fit for purpose, understanding the assumptions that underpin them, the need for better metrics of accessibility, and how methods needed to consider the potential for HS2 to create a Step Change in the economic geography of the UK. See the slides here.
Britannia Airport in the Press

Britannia Airport in the Press

Bridget Rosewell and the TESTRAD Consortium recently presented their designs for a proposed hub airport in the Thames Estuary to the press. The plans detail the six-runway Britannia airport that would replace Heathrow. The estuary airport would avoid the need to demolish housing or remove green sites, and minimise the potential for noise pollution. The plan also proposes the remodelling of the Heathrow area into a new London Borough with 300,000 new houses and 200,000 more jobs. The proposed £47bn cost of the new airport could be recouped from the real estate value and the closure of Heathrow. Read the brochure detailing the plans here , and have a look at the reaction of the press to the proposed plans here.
Bridget releases report on the economic impact of High Speed Rail

Bridget releases report on the economic impact of High Speed Rail

Volterra’s senior partner Bridget Rosewell recently produced a report with Oxford University’s Tony Venables on the impact of new railway investments in the UK, in particular HS2. The paper looks at how to assess the potential benefits of higher speed and higher capacity connection between cities by rail. Much of the formal appraisal of HS2 to date focuses on saving time rather than examining the impact of ‘connecting places that are synergistic’; the report develops the arguments for the wider benefits of such ‘connections’. Read the full report here, or take a look at Bridget’s recent blog ‘The Political Economy of Risk Taking’ which considers how the often controversial topic of HS2 is misunderstood.
New frontiers in privatisation

New frontiers in privatisation

Volterra Partner Paul Ormerod recently spoke at an Institute for Economic Affairs conference in Slovenia on New Frontiers in Privatisation. The delegates from countries in the former Soviet bloc were particularly enthusiastic! His talk was on ‘Evolutionary Approaches to Privatisation’ and can be found here. The political economy of further privatisation raises issues which are of fundamental importance for economics, such as whether we believe the evidence from surveys or rely on what economists call ‘revealed preference’.
Nick Bosanquet

Nick and the ‘wider western front’

In other news, and in a brief deviation from economics, Volterra associate Nick Bosanquet has recently turned historian in a new book about World War 1 that focuses on the 'wider western front' and how the war impacted on home territory. In 'Our Land at War' Nick traces the main UK sites that affected the war effort, and examines how the signs of this effort and often of the sacrifice are there to be found in your own town. The book will be published by the History Press in May 2014 to mark the centenary of WW1. Read more about the book here.
Bridget and the TESTRAD Consortium introduce London Britannia Airport

Bridget and the TESTRAD Consortium introduce London Britannia Airport

Volterra's senior partner Bridget Rosewell formed TESTRAD to research the infrastructure potential of the Estuary and has worked with a number of experts to develop the ideas for an airport based there. This scheme has been merged with that of global architectural design firm Gensler and the TESTRAD Consortium has responded to the call from the Airports Commission with plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary to be known as London Britannia Airport. The six runway airport would position London as the gateway for Europe by offering travellers a hub airport able to operate around the clock, whilst minimizing disruption to London residents. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, says: “This is further welcome argument in favour of the feasibility of having a new hub airport in the Thames estuary. With so many options available for a multi-runway hub airport in a new location, it would be folly for the Airports Commission to give countenance to the prospect of expanding Heathrow, the most noise-polluting airport in Europe.” Read the full press release here, have a look at what the airport might look like here, or read the full report here.
Discovering how HS2 will unlock economic development potential

Discovering how HS2 will unlock economic development potential

Volterra is working with a number of partners to help realise the potential of High Speed 2 outside London. We have previously done research to show that HS2 is as much about capacity as about speed, and as much about jobs as about time saving. We are continuing to develop these ideas with some of the cities along the route to consider how to use the new line to unlock economic development potential and we are also working with HS2 on the evaluation framework. We believe that a different approach to evaluation of such large schemes is needed. Such schemes change the economy and this needs to be integrated into how we make decisions. Our work for Crossrail looked at the benefits of a stronger commuter network, we are now investigating the impact of inter-city linkages.
Paul 'airs' his ideas on Positive Linking

Paul ‘airs’ his ideas on Positive Linking

Volterra partner Paul Ormerod was recently interviewed by Peter Day on his ‘Global Business’ programme for the BBC World Service. The programme centres around the question: ‘What on earth is wrong with economics?’; Paul airs his views as to the limitations of how conventional economics is taught and documented and goes on to describe some of the themes and ideas contained within his recent book Positive Linking: how networks can revolutionise the world (incidentally recently available in paperback!) Listen to the interview here.
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